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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Sunday 12 May 2024

Russian Warships in the Age of Sail

 This is one of those huge wow books you love to have on your bookshelf, even if you have no interest in the Russian Navy. John Tredea and Eduard Sozaev have meticulously researched the Russian Navy from 1696 to 1860. I was fortunate to pick this up in a second-hand bookshop in York for a reasonable price, even if my arm still aches from lugging it around for the rest of the day. 

The authors start with the historical background and then explain ship types, shipyards and ordnance. Over fifty pages are devoted to Russian naval history covering the wars in the Baltic, Black Sea and Caspian Sea. There is a brief mention of the voyages of exploration that saw Russian ships establishing settlements as far away as San Francisco.

The meat of the book is a description of every ship, covering its construction, design and armament, as well as its service history. This is broken down by fleet and period. The smaller fleets in the Sea of Azov, Caspian and the Far East are also included. Captured ships are also covered along with river flotillas and auxiliaries. This is an example covering one of the Pavel class, the Patrikii.

The book is profusely illustrated with line drawings, portraits of the leading commanders and paintings of sea actions. It would have made the research for my book, The Frontier Sea, a lot easier. However, it will certainly encourage me to add to my Russian fleet for games of Black Seas.

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