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Gunboat: Small Ship at War by Bryan Perrett

Gunboat: Small Ship at War

by Bryan Perrett

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Gunboat is a brief introduction to operations carried out by small ships from the time of the Crimean War through the escape of HMS Amethyst down the Yangtze in 1949. It's thirteen chapters are a rather eclectic selection, almost entirely British (there is a chapter on gunboat actions in the American Civil War). In a book of just over two hundred pages, the reader is treated to more of a survey of operations than any definitive history. Beside the three areas mentioned above, there are chapters on British gunboat operations in the Second Opium War, suppression of piracy in the East Indies and the South China Sea 1855-69, along the Nile during the 1880s and 1890s, in German East Africa and Mesopotamia during WW1, and the Mediterranean during WW2. There are also a couple of chapters about general operations during the second half of the nineteen century and between the world wars.

The narrative often includes descriptions of individual ship actions, but sometimes is more of a general retelling of campaigns and battles. There are also some very good stories about individuals both good and bad to give the narrative a more human touch at times too. In general it is a good introduction to the subject, but suffers a bit in it's brevity. ( )
1 vote jztemple | Jan 3, 2013 |
See my review dated 2 Feb 2010 on the Amazon website
  lestermay | May 12, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0785816046, Hardcover)

the usually untold story of the use of gunboats

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:59 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Britain, like other colonial powers, established, controlled, and accessed her empire from the seas, and the gunboat was developed to meet the need for armed ships in shallow waters. This text traces the development and history of the gunboat.

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