Ships of the Royal Navy

The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th Century to the Present

J. J. Colledge

Date Published :
February 2010
Publisher :
Contributor(s) :
Ben Warlow
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781935149071
Pages : 396
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches


The essential work, fully revised up to 2010 . . .

This is the fourth fully revised edition of a book first published in 1970. This longevity is testimony to its enduring value as a reference work—indeed, ‘Colledge' (as the book is universally known) is still the first stop for anyone wanting more information on any British warship from the 15th century to the present day when only the name is known. Each entry gives concise details of dimensions, armament, and service dates, and its alphabetical and chronological arrangement makes it easy to track down the right ship (otherwise the Royal Navy's tradition of re-using the same names can be misleading).

When originally published, the second of the two volumes was devoted to minor fighting ships, and hired and requisitioned vessels. For the 3rd edition, published in one volume, this material was omitted, but for this edition all the genuine fighting ships—like the numbered Coastal Forces craft—have been restored, resulting in a convenient but comprehensive single-volume listing of all significant vessels.

Since the death of Jim Colledge, who was widely respected for his pioneering research on the technical details of warships, his magnum opus has been updated, corrected and expanded with similar enthusiasm and attention to detail by Ben Warlow, a retired naval officer and author of a number of books in the field.

About The Author

J.J. Colledge was a British naval historian and author of Ships of the Royal Navy, the standard work on the fighting ships of the British Royal Navy from the 15th century to the 20th century. He wrote Warships of World War Two with H. Trevor Lenton, listing Royal and Commonwealth warships.

Ben Warlow was born and educated in Devonport, entering the Navy through Dartmouth in 1957. After training in the frigate VIGILANT and destroyer CARRON, he served in the cruiser GAMBIA, fast patrol boat BOLD PATHFINDER, cruiser TIGER, frigates TENBY, EASTBOURNE, RHYL and AJAX, and then the Commando carrier BULWARK. After spells in training establishments and on various staffs he returned to sea in Naval Parties, firstly in the RMS QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 for the Falklands War, and then in RFA RELIANT (a trial mercantile helicopter carrier) for operations off the Lebanon. Afterwards he was at the Fleet Headquarters at Northwood for almost eight years as one of the Operations Room Officers. In all he served in the Navy for over 40 years, spending more than half of that time at sea. Such a wide-ranging career has furthered his interest in ships and the sea. He has compiled several books about ships and the Navy, and also written the definitive reference books on Royal Naval Battle Honours and on Shore establishments, as well as writing a history of the Supply and Secretariat (Logistic) Branch of the Navy. For many years he has also been the Editor of, and written articles for, the magazine Warship World.


"This important reference book, giving the fundamentals for each ship, and helping to distinguish ships of the same name should be in any collection supporting British and Commonwealth Naval researchers.”

- FGS FORUM, January 2011

"…right at the top of the 'must have' list… A book which will get much use and very welcome.”

- Royal Navy and Maritime Book Reviews, October 2010

"An amazing and immensely valuable work of dedicated and persistent research.”

- Baird Maritime, February 2017

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