South American Battleships 1908-59
So, before we get into the specifics of the book. Here is a little about the author and illustrators, Mark Ladas holds a degree in Naval architecture and has written a few naval publications for osprey, he is an avid ship modeler and amateur historian. The illustrators Johnny Shumate and Julian baker both work as freelance illustrators and have both also been longtime contributors to osprey.
Here we breakdown the contents of the book.
- Design and development
- Enter the dreadnought
- Brazil starts an arms race
- Argentina and Chile join the race
- The race unravels
- Operational History
- World War 1
- Between the World Wars
- World War 2 and afterwards Operational History
- Minas Geraes Class
- Rivadavia Class
- Almirante Latorre
- Almirante Cochrane/Eagle
About the Book
So, I have had this naval kick going on for a while and been keenly interested in just about anything naval related so naturally I asked for this book when I saw it, thanks Phil! But to get this started we have to get to the beginnings. Brazil at the time period for which this book was covering was becoming filthy rich off rubber and coffee, both of which where in high demand due to the automobile age and peoples love of coffee.
With business booming and Brazil supplying 95% of the worlds supply at the time and was sitting on an overabundance of capital because of this the additional taxes collected with it. Its Neighbors Argentina and Chile both however had modern navies where brazil had not had any ships ordered or modernized since the late 1880’s after the monarchy was abolished.
This started off a arms race in south America, the problem was while economically rich Brazil did not have the technology or facilities to build and modernize their fleet and turned to the United States and Europe just as its neighbors did, and pretty much all 3 nations almost collapsed each other economically due to this odds arms race, considering none of the nations where in conflict with each other.
Eustace Tennyson D’Eyncourt was the Head of design for Armstrong, the most successful ship building company in Great Britain, he himself was world renowned as a naval architect especially warship’s he was instrumental in Chile and Brazil choosing Armstrong as the preferred company for their naval needs, and then Subletted the work to Vickers’s a rival and partner through the years. This kept a steady line of ship output going parallel vs vertical and lowered the chance of a client backing out of contract.
While a lot of the warships built for these nations did not see any major conflict, the 2 that did end up being sunk towards the end of World War 2 and afterwards most where sold for scrap. While this book was not the typical full-fledged action and combat filled exploits we are all used to it did provide valuable insight to an arms race and how they begin along with the process and procurement of warships from start to finish.
If you are looking for action and ships coming to pieces from fiery broadsides…. not the book for you lol, if you are looking to understanding the business aspect of nations and companies in regards to large defense projects then you must have, I say again must have this book. I really enjoyed it and was able to comprehend more than I assumed I would have from the start.
I want to thank IPMS and Phil for recommending this book to me and Osprey for the opportunity to review this book. Thank you all so much for the great read looking forward to more from you all!