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Drawings in the NAO or elsewhere unpublished by Brown and Friedman

uk 75

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The recent books on the postwar RN by Friedman (Destroyers and Frigates) and Brown/Moore(Rebuilding the RN) contain tantalising descriptions from documents of a whole range of proposed ships, but with no supporting illustrations.

Does anyone know if there are rough sketches in the documents at source in the NAO or elsewhere that have not been drawn (for reasons of space and cost) in these books? If so, how could one find them in the source material and get copies?

UK 75
 

phil gollin

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uk 75 said:
The recent books on the postwar RN by Friedman (Destroyers and Frigates) and Brown/Moore(Rebuilding the RN) contain tantalising descriptions from documents of a whole range of proposed ships, but with no supporting illustrations.

Does anyone know if there are rough sketches in the documents at source in the NAO or elsewhere that have not been drawn (for reasons of space and cost) in these books? If so, how could one find them in the source material and get copies?

UK 75

The main source of such drawings/sketches would be the "Ships Covers" held at the National Maritime Museum at their "Brass Foundry" site at Woolwich Arsenal. They have almost all of the ships covers for WW2 and earlier (including most of the "general" ones). For post-war they have some and it would be best to check (apart from anything else they only take one researcher per day and you have to pre-book). The Ships Covers are mainly textual, but contain those draft drawings prepared during the design decision process. There is a fascinating "general" file covering the RNs initial thoughts on taking SAGWs (SAMs) to sea. About 22 designs were given anything from a couple of pages through to whole chapters of thought. NONE came to anything, but included such things as three different versions of mounting Seaslugs on light carriers, mounting Seaslug on versions of the Darings and purpose designed ships. That sounds fine, but unfortunately whilst the file is interesting and fun to read (with hindsight) the drawings are massive, mostly at least 3 foot wide and one is not allowed to photograph the documents. So it means a booked trip to Woolwich and lots of work with a pencil.

In addition the National Archives (TNA:pRO) also contains some of the Admiralty discussions.

In addition, both Brown and Friedman are likely to see sources that are not generally open to the ordinary researcher, but I wouldn't get too hung-up about that.
 

CJGibson

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Could be that the sources charge like a wounded buffalo for reproduction, which is one of many reasons books:
a) have very few "new" images
b) they cost so much.
c) don't get written in the first place

Embarking on works such as those of Brown and Friedman entails a large up-front investment for a very slow return. There is also the problem that large drawings do not reproduce very well on smaller scale A4 pages. This can only be helped by reproducing detailed parts of the larger images as additional images which increases page count etc etc etc. There has to be a balance between investment and return. Obviously the writer has to judge whether an image is worth including if it loses its impact by being shrunk past the point of usefulness.

KB
 

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