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SMS Armoured Cruiser Blücher Kagero Super Drawings in 3D The SMS Blücher was the last armoured cruiser built by the German Empire. She was constructed to counter the new armoured cruisers rumoured as being built by the British. Blücher was larger than preceding armoured cruisers and carried heavier guns but was unable to match the size and armament of the battlecruisers which replaced armoured cruisers in the British Royal Navy and - later - the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). When the Germans learned of the true details of these new British ships, called the Invincible class, and that they were to be armed with 12" battleship guns, they realized that the Invincible class was a completely new type of warship, soon to be known as battlecruisers. By the time the Germans learned of this it was too late to turn back and construction of the Blücher took place as scheduled. The ship was named after the Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard von Blücher, the commander of the Prussian forces at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Blücher was built at the Kaiserliche Werft shipyard in Kiel between 1907 and 1909, and commissioned on 1 October 1909. The ship served in the I Scouting Group for most of her career, including the early portion of World War I. She took part in the operation to bombard Yarmouth and the raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby in 1914. At the Battle of Dogger Bank on 24 January 1915, Blücher was slowed significantly after being hit by gunfire from the British battlecruiser squadron under the command of Vice Admiral David Beatty. Rear Admiral Franz von Hipper, the commander of the German squadron, decided to abandon Blücher to the pursuing enemy ships in order to save his more valuable battlecruisers. Under heavy fire from the British ships, she was sunk, and British destroyers began recovering the survivors. However, the destroyers withdrew when a German zeppelin began bombing them, mistaking the sinking Blücher for a British battlecruiser. The number of casualties is unknown, with figures ranging from 747 to around 1,000. Blücher was the only warship lost during the battle. This latest release from Kagero follows the now familiar format, with a short history of the ship, covering seven pages, including:- Specifications Hull Armour Armament Machinery Operational history The next seventy eight pages are taken up with the wonderfully rendered 3D drawings that this series has become known for. Although with this release there is so much more. Not only are the lower hull and propellers provided, but also great swathes of the interior of the ship have also been included in the finest detail. These include the engine rooms, propeller shaft spaces, turrets, magazines and even the forward torpedo compartment. For those modellers with a slightly masochistic bent, this information will be perfect for a scratch built interior for your models. The renderings show every part of the ship both in wide angle and close up which show some amazing detail not seen in other publications. As with most other releases this edition comes with an A1 pull out sheet with a top down and starboard side view, that also includes full interior cutaway showing all the ships spaces. On the reverse it is a similar story, but with the ship cut athwartships from stern to stem, giving twenty six diagrams. Conclusion As we’ve come to know what to expect from this series I can’t really say much more, other than if you’re a maritime fan you really should have them all in your reference library. What really picks this release out more than the rest is the amount of detail the authors have provided, what with all the cutaway renders and diagrams. Here’s hoping for a nice 1:350 injection moulded kit to go with it, such as the Combrig example, who also do one in 1:700. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of