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Book Review
Victory vs. Redoubtable
Ships of the line at Trafalgar, 1805
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by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

"This MSW book review is of Osprey Publishing's latest edition in the "Duel" series of publications, "Victory vs. Redoubtable". The Osprey Duel series provides accounts of machines of war, pitted against each other, and the men who operated them."


Victory vs Redoutable
Ships of the line at Trafalgar 1805
(Duel 9)

Author: Gregory Fremont-Barnes
Illustrator: Ian Palmer, Giuseppe Rava

ISBN: 9781846031342
May 2008
80 pages
US Price: $17.95
UK Price: 12.99
Canadian Price: $21.00




Design and Development

Technical Specifications

Strategic Situation

The Combatants


Statistical Analysis




The book, and what's inside...

"Late in the morning on 21 October 1805, warships from the British and combined French and Spanish fleets clashed off Cape Trafalgar on the Spanish coast. After a six month game of cat and mouse across the Atlantic, 27 British ships of the line engaged the Allied force of 33 ships of the line. This was a duel of skill, tenacity and bravery as captains and crews battled for mastery of the seas"

This new addition to the Osprey "Duel" series examines the function and role of the ship of the line, most specifically at Trafalgar. In eight seperate sections, the author takes the reader from the design and developemental history of the maritime vessel, in the time frame between the 16th and 18th century, explaining in full detail of the ships of Trafalgar, 1805, through the battle itself in full detail, and culminating in a Statistical Analysis of the battle, winners, and losers.

The volume contains not only a great deal of informative, well written text, but is also packed with full color illustrations throughout. The book reads very well, and keeps the readers attention by telling the battle story in an exciting manner, while also providing a wealth of documented information about the vessels, and the men who sailed them.

As far as being a useful resource for the modeler, I would place it in the 80% range as such, as there are many full color illustrations, diagrams, and line drawings that detail the vessels, weaponry, sails and rigging, that will prove as a useful reference if building these vessels.

For the maritime enthusiast or student, this book will be an exciting and informative read, packing a great deal of history into a small volume, as well as an opportunity to study the battle tactics of the Captains, and their crew.

the author, and illustrators...

Written by Gregory Fremont Barnes, who holds a doctorate in Modern History frfom Oxford University. He has written many other military related titles, as well as serving as editor and co-editor of multiple encyclopedic texts.

Ian Palmer, highly experienced digital artist, currently works as a senior artist for a leading UK games developer.

Howard Gerrard studied at the Wallasey School of Art, and has been a freelance designer and illustrator for over 20 years, working for many publishers.
Highs: Exciting, informative text, beautiful, full color illustrations and drawings
Lows: None!
Verdict: Overall, a great little volume to be used as a point of reference for the sailing ship modeler, or as a study aid for the student or historian...definitely recommended from this modelers point of view!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978 1 84603 134 2
  Suggested Retail: $17.95 USD
  Related Link: Official Osprey Website
  PUBLISHED: Jun 01, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright 2020 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Another nice looking book. Thanks for sharing.
JUN 14, 2008 - 02:41 AM
Thank you so much for the review. Is there any decent representation (drawing, detailed painting etc.) of the "Redoutable" as well? I am looking up and down about the "Redoutable" and found nothing worthy for quiet a while.
JUL 11, 2009 - 06:19 AM

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