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Type 81: a History of the Tribal Class Frigate - Patrick Boniface

I don't mind these 'self produced' books, as long as their content and authenticity is good. This one is lacking in the former and pretty thin on the latter. I spent thirteen life-forming months on the last days of one of these great (but frankly useless) warships when they were hauled out of reserve to stand in for the tragic losses of Op Corporate.

In that short time I achieved pretty much bugger all but absorbed a tonne of experience in dealing with the austerity and hard laying which it gave me. I expected a lot more from this book with regard design and layout and its influence in engineering terms on future ship designs such as the County Class, which has much of it's engineering DNA imprinted in it. What we get is a vague dusting over of this and then a ship-by-ship account of the whereabouts and what becomes of each vessel through the heady days of green dado, rum bum and baccy up to the paying off into reserve, and then almost a cursory mention of the remainders' lives after regeneration. It would be nice to know, for example, if any of these ships are still afloat in Jakarta naval base (a Google Maps search produces confusing images of long abandoned hulls) as post UK use, Tartar, Gurkha and Zulu were in service into last decade.

If there's to be a second edition, I'd suggest a conflab with the very knowledgeable members of the Tribal Class facebook page and an extended bit concentrating on the pretty primitive machinery and messdeck conditions on these ships, with ship layouts. What would also make this more readable is a definite tale of the eventual fates of each vessel which comparative books have in abundance.

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