This was an enlightening book. It covers naval ship design following the second of the interwar naval arms limitations treaties, and explains why the treaty came out the way it did, and how it affected warship design in the late 1930s.
Following the end of World War I, a major naval arms limitation treaty (Washington) resulted in the scrapping of large numbers of capital ships then under construction, and provided Britain, Japan, and the United States with the battle cruiser hulls, unusable for their original purpose, which became the first generation of large fleet aircraft carriers. Some years later, a second round of arms limitation talks (London) resulted in a second set of limitations, which had a major impact on all countries' naval construction in the 1930s as they began to ramp up for a possible war.
The book was very interesting in that it explained the differing strategies countries had for naval construction – for example France and Italy had very different needs, and had different ideas about the best way to allocate their limited shipbuilding tonnage. Similarly, Britain, Japan and the United States experimented with different allocations of their tonnage based on which ships they believed would be most useful in the event of war.
It can be dry reading, especially when the book is discussing ships which did not play a role in World War II, but it is still interesting to see that there were different strategies surrounding naval construction during this period, and that all nations had false starts and design dead ends, with differing effects when the war began.