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James M. McPherson
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Warships After Washington: The Development of the Five Major Fleets, 1922-1930 - John Jordan

The Washington Treaty signed in 1922 represented the major effort by the victorious powers from the First World War to halt a budding and prospectively expensive naval arms race between them. Ratios and displacement limits were set for all major types of warships, which shaped construction for the rest of the decade. John Jordan's book is an account of how the navies of the five signatories -- the United States, Britain, Japan, France, and Italy -- developed and built warships within the confines of these limitations. This requires Jordan to define not just what those limitations were, but the often differing missions each navy set for themselves and how they attempted to develop vessels that would fulfill them, which he does in chapters that examine them by the type of ship, which makes for an effective means of comparing both the missions and the respective design choices. Supplemented by photos and sketches of the warships described, it makes for a useful study of a key period of warship development, one with important ramifications for the Second World War that shortly followed.