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The Battleships of WWII. Volume 1


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The Battleships of WWII

Kagero

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There are many books on the battleships of WWII, what makes this one different is that it includes photographs and histories of many battleships that never saw action as well as the more famous ships of the main protagonists. In part one of a a two volume set, we see ships from Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Spain and Argentina all have a place alongside those who only had short careers during the war, such as Greece and France. The battleships and pocket battleships of German naturally have the largest section, alongside those ships from Japan.

 

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The photographs include ships builds, launches, trials, as well as war time photographs of the ships in action, including several after they’ve been sunk, but still accessible, or, as in the case of most of the French fleet, scuttled. Some ships have a very limited number of photos included. The best example of this is the Japanese battleships, Musashi and Yamato, of which only few photographs exist. But there are quite a few new ones, which I haven’t seen before, especially those from private collections which, apparently were very difficult to get permissions to print

 

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Some of the histories are rather disingenuous, particularly against the British against the German battleships, including theories that have yet to be proven and inaccuracies of historical fact. Whether this was due to the author’s deadlines, bad editing to get the volume down to a certain page count, or even bad translation, I couldn’t say.

 

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Conclusion

Having read the author’s previous books on the Japanese carriers, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu with some interest, he does pick some rather difficult subjects, particularly when there are few photographs of particular ships. This volume is still interesting and I learnt quite a bit about the smaller navies ships, even if they saw little or no action. It is certainly a good book to have in your collection as there is quite a bit of detail shown in the photographs of ships that have been kitted, therefore improving the look or accuracy for the maritime modeller.

 

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