Black Swan Class Sloops...


...Detailed in the Original Builders' Plans, from Seaforth Publications


Title: Black Swan Class Sloops

Author: Les Brown

Publisher: Seaforth Publications

ISBN: 978-1-5267-6596-3


Another super book from Seaforth Publishing which is done in association with the National Maritime Museum Grenwich. This one tackles, in detail, one of the best classes of anti-submarine escort vessels of WW2.
The Introduction sets out the background of the Sloop in Royal Navy service, and experience which resulted in the Black Swan class development, and further wartime service which ended up with the Modified Black Swan Class. It turned out to be the last class classified as a Sloop in RN service, and which showed the way for development of the larger Hunt class of destroyers. The bulk of the book is centred around the detailed builders plans for 4 particular ships of the class. They are for Black Swan, the original name ship of the class, and Flamingo, which was modified post-war. Then of the Modified version, both Starling, the most successful U-boat hunter of the war, and Amethyst, which became famous for her involvement in the Yangtze Incident in China in 1949. The large collection of detailed plans along with the additional notes and commentary from the author make for some fascinating reading as well as the best reference I think modellers could ask for. I also found it interesting that the different shipbuilders presented their plans in very similar, but not necessarily identical ways.
One of the things I particularly like about this and some other similar books in this series, is that you get access to some of the detail held in the collection of a national museum, with an unrivalled collection, published in a way that gives access to some of that archive to historians and modellers anywhere in the world. Clearly this includes those who could not easily visit the museum for themselves. Lots of detail for historians and for modellers in particular which will be an invaluable resource. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in the U-Boat war and RN ships of WW2.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.