Since the start of the 20th Century there have been several thousand books published about submarines and on the order of a thousand discussing aircraft attacks on ships. The principal weapon of most of those submarine attacks and many of the aerial attacks—both by land- and carrier-based aircraft—was the torpedo. Indeed the torpedo and the mine share responsibility—by a large margin—for sinking more ships than those lost to gunfire and bombs over the past 100 years.
However, only a handful of these books have been about torpedoes. Ship Killers will fill that gap by discussing U.S. Navy torpedo development through the end of the Cold War. It begins with a brief description of the weapons developed for "submarines" prior to the beginning of the 20th Century--the efforts of Americans Bushnell and Fulton, the spar torpedo of the Civil War, and the U.S. Navy's attempts to imitate the Whitehead torpedo. Then, from the beginning of the 20th Century, the book will discuss American torpedo development in peace and during war, and their use--from submarines, surface warships and small combatants, and aircraft, including blimps and helicopters. The book will also covers the technologies and politics involved in torpedo development, and many unusual efforts to deliver torpedoes.