Ex-naval architect writes a new book

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A retired naval architect from Tynemouth has poured his knowledge into a new book.

Ian Buxton was reader in marine transport at the School of Marine Science and Technology, from 1974 to 2002.

In recent years, Ian’s major focus has been The British Shipbuilding database of 80,000 British-built ships, but he is perhaps best known as the author of Big Gun Monitors.

He has now launched his book, The Battleship Builders: Constructing and Arming British Capital Ships.

The 1906 launch of HMS Dreadnought, the world’s first all-big-gun battleship, rendered all existing battle fleets obsolete.

At the same time, however, it wiped out the numerical advantage that had been so expensively maintained by the Royal Navy for decades.

Ian said: “Britain urgently needed to to build an entirely new battle fleet of these larger and more complex and costly vessels, and, in little over a decade, 50 such ships were completed – almost double the number from Germany.

“This mammoth achievement was only made possible by the country’s vast industrial network of ship-builders, engine manufacturers, armament firms and specialist armour producers whose contribution to the Grand Fleet has too often been ignored.

“Their heroic triumph, and how it was accomplished, is the central theme of the book.”

The Battleship Builders: Constructing and Arming British Capital Ships is available now priced at £30.