Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Warships of the Soviet Fleets 1939-1945

I’ve had a long-term interest in the Soviet Navy, and when the first volume of this three-part series was published, I was determined to buy copies ... and I have finally managed to buy the first two volumes!

The first volume covers the major combatants (battleships, cruisers, destroyer leaders, fleet torpedo boats, submarines, monitors, gunboats, armoured motor gunboats, armed boats/rocket boats, and motor torpedo boats) as well as chapters that deal with:

  • Ship types and classifications
  • The Fleets and Flotillas
  • Shipyards and constructors
  • The warship building programmes 1922-1945
  • Mobilisation of civilian tonnage
  • Quality of Soviet warship
  • Performance
  • The composition of the Soviet Navy 1939-1945

The second volume covers escorts and smaller fighting ships. These include:

  • Escort ships
  • Large submarine hunters
  • Small submarine hunters
  • Patrol boats
  • Floating artillery batteries
  • AA defence ships
  • Minelayers
  • Netlayers
  • Minesweepers
  • Minesweeping boats
  • Landing vessels and craft

Whilst quite a few of the ships covered in the books are reasonably well known, some of the smaller fighting ships (and especially those that have been extemporised from merchant ships) are often rather quirky. For example, there are several paddle wheel gunboats and a class of gunboats that were converted from German-built dredgers.

The third volume will be published in July, and I have already pre-ordered a copy.

WARSHIPS OF THE SOVIET FLEETS 1939–1945: VOLUME I: MAJOR COMBATANTS was written by Przemyslaw Budzbon, Marek Twardowski, and Jan Radziemski, and published by Seaforth Publishing in 2022 (ISBN 978 1 5267 5193 5)

WARSHIPS OF THE SOVIET FLEETS, 1939-1945: VOLUME II: ESCORTS AND SMALLER FIGHTING SHIPS was written by Przemyslaw Budzbon, Marek Twardowski, and Jan Radziemski, and published by Seaforth Publishing in 2022 (ISBN 978 1 3990 2277 4)

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Free paper model buildings from English Heritage

Sue and I are members of English Heritage, and recently we received the latest issue of the member’s magazine. It contained a children’s supplement entitled THE KIDS RULE! GUIDE TO VICTORIAN ENGLAND, ...

... and I happened to notice that there was a link to a section on English Heritage’s website where ...

Scroll down this page to find the links to the free model buildings.

... it was possible to download paper templates to build the following buildings:

  • A Bronze Age Roundhouse
  • A Roman Prefect’s house
  • A Saxon Thegn’s house
  • The Great Tower of Dover Castle
  • The south tower of Stokesay Castle
  • The gatehouse of Cleeve Abbey
  • A monk’s cell
  • St Mawes Castle
  • Boscobel House
  • Apsley House
  • Stott Park Bobbin Mill

Click on whichever of the buildings you want to construct, and it will take you to the appropriate page ...
... where you will find information about the building. If you scroll down this page ...
... it will take you to the link to the PDF templates for that building and instructions on how to put the model together.
An example of the first page of the PDF template for Stott Park Bobbin Mill.

I’m not sure what scale they are, but I don’t think that it would be too difficult to scale them up or down.

Monday, 20 March 2023

Wargames Illustrated No.423, March 2023

For the second month running I was tempted to buy a copy of WARGAMES ILLUSTRATED.

Yet again, it was a couple of articles that tipped the balance.

The first was Jervis Johnson's article about the campaign system (STRATEDY & GUILE) that he has developed to work with his latest Napoleon rules, VALOUR & FORTITUDE. Whilst STRATEGY & GUILE are designed to work with these rules, they look as if they can be easily adapted for other periods. Movement is on a point-to-point map, and it looks as if the amount of admin that the umpire or umpires must do is reasonable and not too onerous.

The other article that attracted my attention was by Jim Graham, and was about Operation Polo, the Indian annexation of Hyderabad in 1948. Having already designed and played a game about Operation Vijay (the Indian annexation of Goa in 1961), I've looked at refighting this very short campaign myself several times ... and this might just be enough encouragement to do so!

Sunday, 19 March 2023

I have been to … Tiverton … again!

As I have reported on my previous visits to Tiverton and its surrounding area in detail in previous blog posts, I’ve decided not to write a blow-by-blow daily account about what we did and saw. Instead it’s going to be edited highlights.

Our journey to Tiverton using the M25, M3, A303, A358, M5, and A361 was much quicker than any of our previous ones, even though the weather was quite bad for most of the way. We arrived at Tiverton Castle at 3.45pm, having left home at 11.00am and having a stop about halfway to have a drink and to restore our personal comforts.

We were met by one of the castle’s owners, who gave us the key to the house we had rented for out stay, Castle Lodge.

Castle Lodge.
The tower of Tiverton Castle, which is just behind Castle Lodge.

By the time that we had unpacked and settled in, it had stopped raining and we spent until 7.00pm enjoying the restful atmosphere of the castle and its garden. Sue and I then walked into the centre of the town to have dinner in a newly-opened Italian Restaurant, the ‘Ponte Vecchio’. The food, ambience, and service were excellent, and we left feeling very full.

On the following day the rain had stopped and we walked past the local parish church (St Peter’s) …

… into the centre of Tiverton, across the bridge over the River Exe, and on to the factory shop attached to Heathcoat Fabrics. Sue was able to buy some great dress material at a much-reduced price, which made her very happy!

We walked back through the centre of Tiverton, buying a few things that we needed along the way. Our route back to Castle Lodge took us back through the Pannier Market, which was very quiet even though it was almost midday.

Sue and I decided that we fancied lunch at the seaside, and by 1.00pm we were parked on the seafront at Exmouth. The Pavillion Bar and Cafe was open, …

The Pavillion Bar and Cafe, Exmouth.

… and we were able to eat delicious, freshly-caught cod and chips.

During the holiday season the seafront is usually very crowded, but on the day we were there, there were very few people about and the beach was almost deserted.

The seafront at Exmouth, looking upriver.
The seafront at Exmouth looking sewward.
The tide coming in met the flow of the River Ex going out, resulting in considerable turbulence.

The next day was interesting in that we were able to see the crew of HMS Enterprise exercise their right to march through Tiverton.

HMS Enterprise is the second of two Echo-class multi-purpose hydrographic survey ships. Her sistership (HMS Echo) was decommissioned in June 2022, and HMS Enterprise will follow her at the end of March 2023.

The ship was granted the freedom of the town when she was first commissioned, and as she is about to be decommissioned for the last time later in March, this was a somewhat poignant occasion.

The ship's company paraded at one end of the Pannier Market place ...

The ship's company of HMS Enterprise.

... and they were supported by the Band of the Royal Marines from their base in Lympstone.

The Band of the Royal Marines, Lympstone.
The percussion section of the Band of the Royal Marines, Lympstone.

After the parade and an address by the mayor, the ship's company, led by the band, marched around the centre of Tiverton.

The march around Tiverton was led by the Band of the Royal Marines, Lympstone.
The Band of the Royal Marines, Lympstone, ...
... followed by the ship's company of HMS Enterprise. These were led by the colour party, which was followed by a group of armed sailors, the ship's officers and senior Petty Officers, the rest of the ship's company, and the local Sea Scouts.

Unfortunately, Sue and I were unable to stay to see the who thing as we had an appointment to meet my nephew for lunch. He is the general manager and licencee of the 'Lord Poulett Arms', a gastropub/bed-and-breakfast hotel in Hinton St George.

The Lord Poulette Arms, Hinton St George.

It took us just over an hour to drive there, and we had a very enjoyable lunch with him in the pub's excellent restaurant.

The following day we went to Taunton to meet some old friends of ours who had moved to Congresbury in Somerset two years ago. We had a very enjoyable lunch in 'The Brazz', the brasserie restaurant that forms part of the 'Castle Hotel' in the centre of Taunton, and we were able to catch up on everything that had happened to us since we last met up.

The Castle Hotel, Taunton.

Our journey home on Friday started off quite well, but an accident on the M25 caused a long tailback of vehicles onto the M3. As a result of this and several further holdups and bad weather, our journey from Tiverton to home took us nearly six and a half hours ... nearly two hours longer than our journey there!

Saturday, 18 March 2023

Rating ironclads for my Computer Assisted Wargame

Following on from my recent rediscovery of my first ever wargames publication, I looked at some of the ships that the rules were designed to be used with and calculated their ...

  1. Flotation Factors (FF)
  2. Manoeuvrability Factors (MF)
  3. Ram Effects (RE)

... using the formulas that were incorporated into my rules. The results are as follows:

  • HMS Dreadnought (1875): FF = 56; MF = 5; RE = 10.
  • HMS Superb (1875): FF = 46; MF = 6; RE = 9.
  • HMS Victoria (1890): FF = 64; MF = 5; RE = 12.
  • HMS Trafalgar (1890): FF = 71; MF = 5; RE = 14.

These make for interesting comparisons, and when time permits, I may well do these calculations for other ships from the period.

HMS Dreadnought (1875).
HMS Trafalgar (1890).

Friday, 17 March 2023

Relaunched Wargame Developments website

The new Wargame Developments website was launched yesterday … and in my opinion, David Burden has done a great job in making it look a lot better. It really looks professional … unlike my rather amateur original. 10/10, if not better!

Please pay the new website a visit and bookmark it as well as add a link to it if you can.

Thursday, 16 March 2023

It's all rather BASIC

In one of those wonderfully examples of Kant's synchronicity (see my recent blog post about wargame design being an art and/or a science), last weekend I happened to find a copy of the very first wargaming 'publication' I ever produced. It was entitled COMPUTER ASSISTED WARGAMES ...

... and I wrote and sold it not long after the Sinclair Spectrum 48K came onto the market in April 1982.

The booklet was A4 in size, only ten pages long, and was split up into four sections:

  1. Introduction ... in which I explained why I thought that computer assisted wargames (or CAWs) had a role to play in wargaming.
  2. BASIC ... in which I listed all the main BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) commands used to write programs for the Sinclair Spectrum. (BASIC came in a variety of 'dialects' for different computers [e.g. the Commodore 64 and the BBC computers] that were mostly the same but which had some slight differences.
  3. Writing a Computer Assisted Wargame ... in which I identified three stages in the process of writing a CAW:
    1. The Program Specification.
    2. The Program Layout and Game Mechanisms.
    3. Writing the Program.
  4. An example of a CAW – the writing of IRONCLAD! ... in which I listed the entire code used to write a CAW for a naval wargame that covered the period from 1875 to 1890.

From what I can remember, I demonstrated the program at at least one wargame show (probably SALUTE) using my Sinclair Spectrum, a cassette tape player (on which the program was stored!), a small black & white portable TV (my computer monitor!), and a number of model ships. I seem to remember that it all went rather well, and I sold out of my booklet.

The game mechanisms are rather interesting, and comprise six different calculations, some of which are done pre-game (the first three) and some of which (the second three) took place during the game. They are:

  1. Flotation Factor Calculation ... which is ((2 x (Thickness of the iron Belt Armour in inches + Thickness of the iron Deck Armour in inches)) + (Standard Displacement in Tons/500)).
  2. Manoeuvrability Factor Calculation ... which is (Length in feet/Beam in feet).
  3. Ram Effect Calculation ... which is ((Standard Displacement in Tons/1000) x (Speed in knots/15)).
  4. Number of Hits by Gunfire ... which is (a random number x (number of guns firing x rate of fire) +1).
  5. Number of Hits by Torpedo ... which is (a random number x (number of torpedoes fired +1)).
  6. Effects of a Ramming ... which is (a random number x (Ramming Ships Ram Effect) +1.

The tape on which the program was stored is now long gone, although I do still have my Sinclair Spectrum 48K ... and I wonder if it would still work today? It certainly generated some interest in CAWs at the time, mainly because the use of computers in hobby wargaming was still rather new.

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Have I painted (and based) myself into a corner?

I recently received an email from a wargamer who was using one of the versions of THE PORTABLE WARGAME asking me why I hadn’t stuck to single-figure or multi-figure basing throughout. In truth, I didn’t really have a definitive answer for them, and this set me wondering that if by opting for multi-figure bases, I might have painted (and based) myself into a metaphorical corner.

I have opted for multi-figure bases for my 15mm Belle Époque project and my 25/28mm Napoleonic collection, and single-figure bases for my 15mm Dammallia/Mankanika/Marizibar and 20mm World War II collections … and now I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve made the right decisions or not.

From an aesthetic point-of-view, there isn’t a great deal to choose between the two systems of basing … but single-based figures do have a bit more flexibility. After all, I can use sabot bases if I want to group single-based figures into units, but I cannot strip figures off the multi-figure bases.

I don’t think that there is a definitive answer to this conundrum, but I’d be interested to read comments from my regular blog readers.

Monday, 13 March 2023

Finally, I was able to test-run my HO9 model locomotives

Over the weekend I was able to set up an oval of model railway track using my recently acquired Kato N-gauge model railway track pack and was able to test-run my 'stable' of HO9 model locomotives. The results were a mixture of good and bad.

Whilst my Egger-Bahn/Jouef HO9 0-4-0 locomotive ran quite well pulling its three coaches ...

... as did my Liliput HO9 0-6-2 locomotives, ...

... my two ROCO 0-6-0 locomotives just would not move. I have no idea why, and it may be that their contacts need a good clean and their bearings need some lubrication before they will run at all.

The Kato track was a doddle to set up and take down afterwards, and I will probably look at disposing of my current collection of PECO N-gauge track and replacing it with more Kato track.

Saturday, 11 March 2023

Is wargame design an art … or a science … or both?

Yesterday Tradgardmastare used a word in his most recent blog post that I’d not come across before … gesamkunstwerk. It is a German compound word that has been ‘borrowed’ into the English language and can be translated as meaning 'total artwork', 'total work of art', 'ideal work of art', 'universal artwork', 'synthesis of the arts', 'comprehensive artwork', or 'all-embracing art form'.

It sparked off an interesting online discussion and reminded me of a previous discussion I had taken part in some time ago at Connections UK. I’m a great believer that wargame design is not just art, but also – in its broadest sense – a science. An American professional wargamer took a somewhat different view and argued that a scientific approach was far and away more important, and that like a science experiment, a wargame should be repeatable and produce similar results each time it is played. Only then could its mechanisms and overall design be regarded as tested and proven. The arts approach was rather too woolly for him, and whilst it might be acceptable in a hobby wargame, it wasn’t in one aimed at use by professionals.

So, is wargaming (and particularly wargame design) an art, a science, or some sort of combination of the two?

After some considerable thought, I have come to the conclusion that it is the latter … and this started me wondering if my thinking was affected by my educational background and experience.

The American I had discussed wargame design with at Connections UK came from a scientific background whilst mine is a mixture. When I had done my O-levels, I chose to do A-levels in History, Economics, and Mathematics … a combination that did not fit easily into my school’s subject timetable. My secondary school was very traditional, even by the standards of the late 1960s, and felt that pupils should follow courses in the arts or the sciences. My combination crossed the boundaries between the two, and I and the other pupils who chose this non-traditional course combination were required to attend half the lessons in one or more of our A-levels. As a result, I only attended 50% of my A-level Mathematics classes and I ended up with the the lowest pass grade I could achieve. I did – however – study statistics and probability, and over the years this has been of great help to me as a designer of wargames.

On leaving school, I went into banking, and thence into teaching. As a teacher I began teaching a range of subjects at secondary school level, but after a couple of years I specialised in History, with some Geography thrown in for good measure. When the need arose, I took on teaching Social Economics and Business Studies, and eventually moved into the area of Information Technology.

On reflection, learning how to write computer programs in BASIC – an essential skill at the time for teaching Information Technology – taught me lessons that I was able to carry over into my wargame designs. Programs usually comprise an number of sub-routines, each of which needs to be designed and tested repeatedly ... which is very akin to what my American colleague was proposing as a scientific approach to wargame design. Once the sub-routines work, they can then be combined together within what is sometimes referred to as the program's architecture to produce a final, workable program.

Looked at from the wargame design perspective, if you regard each of the mechanisms I use as a sub-routine and the turn sequence of the rules as its architecture, then any wargame rules I write are a sort of analogue of a computer program. This – to me – is the science of wargame design.

So, where does the art come in?

It comes in in many different ways. It is there in the aesthetic of the painted toy soldiers and the modelled terrain or even the counters and map board used in a board wargame. It is also there in the study of history that is central to an enjoyment of wargaming ... and which also informs the way one designs the sub-routines or mechanisms incorporated into the rules. They must 'work' in the chosen historical framework one is working within, otherwise – in my opinion – they have no validity.

Getting the two side of wargame design – the art and the science – to work together has been referred to as a 'dark art', and in many ways, it is ... and herein lies the answer to my original question, 'Is wargame design and art, or a science, or both?'

To me it is a 'dark art' that combines elements of both art and science, and as long as it remains true to both of these ways of looking at the world, the resultant design will work ... and should work well.

So, to return to the German word that Tradgardmastare used, perhaps it should really have been gesamtkunstwerkundwissenschaft?

This madeup compound word means 'total work of art and science' ... and I think that it sums up my view of wargame design rather well.

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Nugget 352

Our printer – Macaulay Scott Printing Company of Welling, Kent – did a magnificent job of printing, collating, folding, and stapling the latest issue of THE NUGGET in a matter of a few days, and whilst I was out yesterday, I was able to collect it from them. As a result, I will be able to post it out to members later today or early tomorrow. In the meantime, members can read this issue online.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the seventh issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2022-2023 subscription year. If you have not yet re-subscribed, a reminder was sent to you some time ago. If you wish to re-subscribe using the PayPal option on the relevant page of the website, you can use the existing buttons as the subscription cost has not changed.

Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Today I will be mostly ...

... trying to keep warm!

This morning's view across London from my toy/wargame room.

Overnight it began to snow, and as it approaches 9.00am, it still is. The part of London where I live seems to be very quiet as the local council has – as usual – not bothered to grit or salt any of the less important roads, including the one that we live on. As a result, the local bus service – which is the only way to go anywhere in weather like this if one hasn't got a car – seems to have stopped running as the buses cannot get up the steepest part of the hill.

On a day like this I would normally just stay indoors and wait for the thaw to start, but unfortunately, I have to go out. Yesterday I broke my dentures and had to take them to a dental technician to be repaired. I am supposed to collect them this morning, and until I do, eating is going to be a bit problematic. As I no longer have any lower front teeth (they were loosened very badly over the years thanks to getting smacked in the face in one too many rugby games and eventually had to be removed), I can chew alright ... I just cannot bite.

I have a choice. Stay inside and keep warm ... or go out so that when I get back, I can at least eat something properly.

Now where did I put my fur hat and warm boots?

Monday, 6 March 2023

Nugget 352

The editor of THE NUGGET sent me the latest issue yesterday and I will be sending it to the printer later this morning. I hope that it will be ready to be posted out to members by the end of the week so that they will be able to read it over the weekend.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the seventh issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2022-2023 subscription year. If you have not yet re-subscribed, a reminder was sent to you some time ago. If you wish to re-subscribe using the PayPal option on the relevant page of the website, you can use the existing buttons as the subscription cost has not changed.

Sunday, 5 March 2023

The Second Portable Wargame Compendium: Another short progress report

Thanks to some excellent work done by Arthur Harman, who has been proofreading and correcting articles for the COMPENDIUM after I have done the initial layout, its contents page currently looks like this:

There are still quite a few articles that are going to be added, and it look as if the finished book is going to be well over one hundred and twenty pages long. (The first one was one hundred and twelve pages long including end and title pages.)

Saturday, 4 March 2023

UNO card game

One of the articles that will be included in the next PORTABLE WARGAME COMPENDIUM uses cards from the UNO game for a card-driven unit activation mechanism, and as I’ve never played the game, I bought a copy.

The deck includes 112 cards, and looks like this:

As you can see, it has twenty-five cards in each of four colour suits (red, yellow, green, and blue). Each suit consisting of one zero, two each of one to nine, and two each of the action cards 'Skip', 'Draw Two', and 'Reverse'. The deck also includes four 'Wild Cards', four 'Wild Draw Four' cards, one 'Wild Shuffle Hand' card, and three 'Wild Customizable' cards.

The cards used in the mechanism included the following ones:

The cards used included those numbered from one to nine in each of the four colours, the Draw Two card (shown on the bottom row with '+2' on it), and the Wild Card (shown on the right-hand side of the bottom row).

Thursday, 2 March 2023

I have been to … the French Hospital and Huguenot Museum, Rochester, Kent

Sue’s genealogical research suggest that back in the late eighteenth century one of her forbears married a silversmith who was a Huguenot. They got married in Soho, which is one of the areas of London that was settled by Huguenot refugees, and many of the refugees were either silk weavers or silversmiths. As the Huguenot Museum is situated in Rochester (which is about a forty-minute drive from where we live) we decided to visit it last Tuesday.

We parked in the centre of Rochester and made our way along the High Street to the museum. Along the way we passed the French Hospital, which is nowadays a group of almshouses that were built to provide homes for the descendants of the Huguenot refugees.

The original hospital was situated in London and was established in 1718 to give care and support to those Huguenots who had fallen ill or were destitute. It moved to Rochester in 1959, and now provides sheltered homes for fifty-five residents.

The museum is situated on the second floor of the tourist information centre, and entry cost us £4.50 each fora ticket that is valid for a year. On the day we visited, it was staffed by two ladies who were residents of the French Hospital. They were very welcoming and helped Sue to make contact with the volunteer researchers who work in the museum. Unfortunately, they were not there on the day we visited, but we hope to go back when they are.

The museum is quite small, but as the photographs show, it is well laid out and there is lots to see. I’d certainly recommend anyone who thinks they might be of Huguenot descent to pay it a visit if you are in the area.

Whilst we were in Rochester, I was able to visit Baggins Bookshop, where I bought a copy of Edward M Nevins’ FORCES OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 1914. This was published by Vandamere Press in 1992 and is illustrated with photographs of painted 54mm figures (ISBN 1 918339 18 9). It also has an introduction penned by David Chandler.

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

The Second Portable Wargame Compendium: A short progress report

I’m continuing to put the Second Portable Wargame Compendium together, and so far I’ve had contributions (or the promise of contributions) from Arthur Harman, Nick Huband, Paul Leeson, Ryan Recker, and Stephen Smith. I will also be contributing quite a bit of the contents myself.

Hopefully, the topics covered will include:

  • Making your own 10cm square terrain tiles
  • A simple campaign system
  • Fast Play 3 x 3 Portable Napoleonic Wargame Rules
  • Fast Play 3 x 3 Portable English Civil War Wargame Siege Rules
  • Fast Play 3 x 3 Portable Western Front/Trench Wargame Rules
  • A generic set of Portable Skirmish Wargame Rules
  • A set of Portable Napoleonic Skirmish Wargame Rules
  • A Generalship game
  • Using figures from other games to create Portable Wargame armies
  • 3D printing Portable Wargame armies and terrain

So far, the articles shown in bold have already been typeset and proof read, and with a bit of luck at least three of the others will have reached that stage in the publication process by this time next week.

Sunday, 26 February 2023

Kato N-gauge model railway track

On the advice of several more experienced railway modellers, I have bought a Kato M1 Starter Set with controller via eBay.

It was delivered a few days ago, and having seen the track, I can see why it was recommended to a novice like me. The track clips together very easily, and the rails and sleepers come already fitted to the track bed. I hope to build an oval of track in the near future and to give some of my locos a test run. Once I’m happy that I have a better understanding of how to put together a small layout, I hope to begin planning a small, military-related one.

As I live close to the site of the former Woolwich Arsenal, an arms factory might be suitable option for me to model. Because my locomotives are based on German originals, a factory inspired by the ones operated by Krupps makes sense, but rather than use that name, I am tempted to ‘steal’ a similar name from Hergé and to call my arms company the Korrupt Arms GmbH or - with a little tweaking of the locomotives and rolling stock - the Vikings Arms Company Limited.

The Kato M1 Starter Set includes:

  • 1 x Kato 22-014 Mains Controller
  • 4 x #20-000 248mm Straight Track
  • 1 x #20-020 124mm Straight Track
  • 1 x #20-021 124mm Road Crossing Track
  • 1 x #20-040 62mm Straight Track
  • 1 x #20-041 62mm Feeder Track
  • 8 x #20-120 315mm Radius 45º Curve Track

Saturday, 25 February 2023

The Elswick cruisers

If one thinks of the flatiron gunboat concept as a small, slow ship armed with a very big gun, the Elswick cruisers – which were the brainchild of the same designer, George Wightwick Rendel – must be regarded as fast ships armed with larger-than-normal guns. These were a very attractive idea, especially to some of the smaller navies who were looking for ships with a bit of punch but that were not as expensive to buy and operate as a small battleships.

The first of many; the Arturo Prat in Japanese service as the Tsukushi.

The shipbuilder built cruisers for quite a few foreign navies, and some of them passed through several hands during their careers. These so-called Elswick cruisers included:

  • Arturo Prat (Chile), later Tsukushi (Japan)
  • Chao Yung (Chinese)
  • Yang Wei (Chinese)
  • Esmeralda (Chile), later Izumi (Japanese)
  • Giovanni Bausan (Italy)
  • Naniwa (Japan)
  • Takachiho (Japan)
  • Salaminia (Greece), later Angelo Emo (Italy), later Dogali (Italy), later Montevideo (Uruguay)
  • Chih Yuan (Chinese)
  • Ching Yuan (Chinese)
  • Isla de Luzon (Spain), later Isla de Luzon (USA)
  • Isla de Cuba (Spain), later Isla de Cuba (USA)
  • Piemonte (Italy)
  • Elisabeta (Romania)
  • Necochea (Argentina), later Vienticinco de Mayo (Argentina)
  • Nueva de Julio (Argentina)
  • Republica (Brazil), later Quinze de Novembro (Brazil), later Republica (Brazil)
  • Yoshino (Japan)
  • Blanco Encalada (Chile)
  • Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  • Ministro Zento (Chile)
  • Barroso (Brazil)
  • Amazonas (Brazil), later New Orleans (USA)
  • Almirante Abreu (Brazil), later Albany (USA)
  • Takasago (Japan)
  • Chacabuco (Brazil)
  • Hai Chi (China)
  • Hai Tien (China)
  • Dom Carlos Primeiro (Portugal)
  • Hamidieh (Turkey)