For more than 150 years it was the world's most powerful force: between victory at Trafalgar in 1805 and the withdrawal from `east of Suez' in the 1960s, the ships of the Royal Navy were ubiquitous. From Newfoundland to New South Wales and Cyprus to Ceylon, the Royal Navy was there, protecting British interests, projecting British power and maintaining British prestige. An Act of Parliament laid down that the Royal Navy had to maintain a number of battleships at least equal to the combined strength of the next two largest navies in the world and in addition to this, shipyards up and down the land were sending the most technologically advanced vessels of the age down their slipways.
In this readable and informative book, John Ballard tells the story of ten of the most significant ships in the Royal Navy, from HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, to HMS Invincible, the key ship of the Falklands War. In between there are the stories of a variety of ships that encompass the era of the Royal Navy's global pre-eminence and Pax Britannica, two world wars, the Cold War and the complex post-Cold War era.
John Ballard is a journalist, writer and former press officer with a keen interest in maritime history. While working as a reporter for the Wiltshire Times newspaper he regularly wrote news and feature articles about the army and is the author of Three Lions Roaring, a book telling the story of 10 classic England football team matches between 1938 and 1998.