Britain, like other colonial powers, established, controlled and accessed her empire from the seas. It was realised that the preservation of secure trading conditions required armed ships able to operate in shallow coastal and river waters. The gunboat was developed to meet this need: a small, shallow-draft, steam-powered screw or paddle driven vessel, sufficiently fast and manoeuvrable to take the enemy, whether on shore or afloat, by surprise.
In this book Bryan Perrett recounts thirteen episodes of exciting gunboat action, ranging from the Burma war in 1824, through two world wars and on to the dramatic escape of the Amethyst down the Yangtze in 1949.
Author: Bryan Perrett
Title: Gunboat!: Small Ships at War
First Published by: Orion
Date: 28 September 2000