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Torpedo Boats
by John Lambert
Les Brown

Reviewed by Sean Hert
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In this special, hard backed volume of the Shipcraft series, the topic is the Allied Torpedo Boat. This edition is twice the size of the standard book, and covers the pre-war and wartime evolution of the torpedo boat. Developments in horsepower and firepower, and the subsequent implementation thereof are discussed, giving ample coverage to both the Royal Navy and the United States Navy forces. Some of these developments benefitted both navies, while others reflected the differing missions and requirements of each service.

Book Contents

  • Coastal Forces Development 915-1945
  • Model Products
  • Modelmakers's Showcase
  • Colour Schemes
  • Construction
  • Armament
  • Appearance
  • Experimental Craft
  • Selected References

The nine sections of this book are somewhat deceptive. The first three parts are substantive with plenty of text, photographs and drawings. There is no break identifying the color section from the showcase, however; the color scheme section is very short; six pages. The construction section is even shorter; only 4. The armament section returns to the lengthy character of the earlier sections.

One standard of the Shipcraft series is the Model Products section. This is always interesting, seeing coverage of all the various kits in a variety of scales that are available. This subject matter is conducive to a larger variety of scale than usual, as well a greater selection of accessories, making the Products section an even more enjoyable read than usual.

It would be remiss not to discuss the line drawings in this book. Al Ross and John Lambert, both well known illustrators in our rarified world of interests, both lend their considerable talents to this volume. Rarely a page goes by without another stunning illustration from one of them. Not only are they masters of their craft, but the drawings they produce are usable as primary references for your own custom projects.

Steve Wiper and T Garth Connelly aided this reference by providing photographs- and their collective experience shows. There are some great shots of these small craft, many of which will be fresh to you. The color photographs are an unexpected pleasure; it is always a treat to see quality color images taken during the war. The only fault is in their number- there are too few!


This book is a great volume for those with an interest in mosquito boats, although modelers who are already fairly knowledgeable on the subject will find this volume has little to offer. ] The drawings by Ross and Lambert, however, are worth the price of admission alone. The fantastic and uncommon photographs reproduced herein are a very tasty icing on the cake. This volume, however, only offers information on the torpedo boat; coverage of the gunboat was left out due to space considerations.

Allied Torpedo Boats is available direct from the publishers; in the United Kingdom, from Seaforth Publishing (an imprint of Pen and Sword books); in North America from Classic Warships direct or from one of their dealers. Prices vary.