Seaforth World Naval Review: 2022  - Conrad Waters

Seaforth World Naval Review: 2022 - Conrad Waters

One of the things I like about this little book ‘club’ is that if you go for ‘pot-luck’ some right little gems turn up. This book is one of those little gems and one that I would never have thought to buy for myself.

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I’d describe this book as more of a reference book, rather than one that you’d normally read from cover to cover; but as it was the first time I’d ever seen one of the series, and as I was to write a review, I read it from cover to cover, and enjoyed it immensely. – Even if the cat did park her butt on it every time I put it down! Incidentally, this particular series of books has now been running for over 10 years, so it is quite established.

My normal habit is reading in bed for an hour or so each night. However, this book is physically large and I didn’t find it particularly comfortable to hold in bed, so it was in my favourite fireside armchair and with a few glasses of Haig Club at my side that I settled to read it.

Apart from the excellent quality photographs, I found the inserted tables of data to be extremely useful. It was interesting to be able to compare countries in not only types of craft, but also in terms of military spending. Of course, there are the usual disclaimers with this material, but it does give you a relative feel for things. I was really surprised at the current small size of the Royal Navy and couldn’t help wondering how it had been allowed to become so small.

I was also quite interested in noting how many unmanned and autonomous vessels were under evaluation and in development around the world, and of the names of the companies involved. I wasn’t aware of just how far we’d travelled along this particular path. But again, I found it quite depressing that the shipbuilders of my boyhood weren’t mentioned.

The chapter on ship to shore connection was a bit of an eye-opener, and the chapter on naval aviation was fascinating. Both sent me scurrying to the internet to learn more.

I must admit that as I read a few cited quotes from Boris Johnson about the future of the Royal Navy and monies likely to be available to it, I allowed myself a quiet smile as his present ‘difficulties’ were being aired on TV. I sincerely hope that the author’s quotes, selected in good faith, don’t come back to haunt him.

I really can’t fault this book; it’s high quality, the content is good, and it’s well laid out, and very easy to read. An even bigger bonus is that at the time of writing the book is reduced by 31%, down from £35 to an absolute bargain at £24 on Amazon.

I’m going to run to 4 anchors on this book. It kept me occupied for over a week and I learned quite a lot about the state and of the size of the world’s navies.

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