[mahan] counting ships [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

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The 70 cruisers occurred to me too.

The statement by Blackman is interesting. On the face of it, it seems to be saying ‘it has been considered that we need 70 cruisers but we only have 23’.

It seems that Blackman might have been living in the past. The threat to seaborne trade in the late ’50s was not something that could be countered by 70 cruisers.

I remember _The World’s Warships_ well. I had, and still have, a well thumbed 1963 edition. It provided a useful summary of the major warships of the world at the time.

I didn’t have any Fletcher Pratt naval stuff. He was not as well known down this end of the planet. But I did have _Rockets, Jets, Guided Missiles and Space Ships_ which he co-authored in the late ’50s with Jack Scoggins or Coggins, forward by Willy Ley.

Ric Pelvin

So, I still wonder about that 70 number. The only time I have seen that number connected to the Royal Navy is this:

“Great Britain now has 23 cruisers. Jellicoe estimated the number of cruisers necessary for the protection of British seaborne trade to be an absolute minimum of 70, a figure not attained since 1919.”

This comes from Raymond V. B. Blackman, The World’s Warships, Hanover House edition, 1957. Bought in either 1957 or 58, it was the second warship book I ever owned. The first, acquired as a gift in 1956, when I turned 8, was Fletcher Pratt’s The Monitor and the Merrimac.

Jonathan Beard

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