British Battleships 1939-45 (2)

This book features the Nelson Class (HMS Nelson and Rodney) and King George V class (HMS King George V, Prince of Wales, Anson, Duke of York and Howe).Also included, although not listed in the title, are the Lion Class (never built) and the HMS Vanguard.

The book begins with the aftermath of the First World War and the Washington and later London Naval Treaties which were intended to prevent another arms race like that which preceded World War I.  The Nelson class with its unconventional arrangement of the triple 16 inch turrets was the result of the compromises made to stay within the treaty limits.  The unconventional arrangement of the triple 16 inch turrets was the result of compromises made in an attempt to maximize the power and protection of the ships while staying within treaty limits.  The 14 inch armed King George V battleships are thoroughly covered.  The Lion class (never built) is discussed as they are an important part of the story of British Battleship development.  The last British Battleship, the 15 inch gunned HMS Vanguard, is also included to close out the story of the British Battleships.Wartime modifications are listed including the dates they were made which will be especially useful the modeler concerned with the accuracy of building one of these ships at a particular point in time.  There is a brief service history for each ship which will give you a good starting point for further research.

There is a lot of visual appeal to the book.There are several color profiles; HMS Nelson 1940, HMS King George V 1941 and 1945, HMS Vanguard 1946, HMS Lion 1939 (as planned), and HMS Rodney 1943 including a detailed drawing of the 8-barrelled 2-pdr (40mm) pom-poms.  There is a nice cutaway profile of HMS Prince of Wales 1941 with key areas and components of the ship labeled.Artwork featured in the book includes HMS Rodney engaged with the Bismarck and another with HMS Duke of York attempting to finish off the German Battlecruiser Scharnhorst in December 1943.Diagrams show the layout of the armament and armored protection for both classes.  There are drawings featuring the internal layout of the gunnery control position and the interior of a 16 inch gun turret of the Nelson class and a wartime diagram of the offensive and defensive arcs of fire of a King George V Class Battleship.

Several tables are included listing key dates for each ship, and various design characteristics of each class.  Detailed statistics are given for both the 16 inch Mark I guns of the Nelson Class and 14 in Mark VII guns for the King George V class including range and striking statistics.

This is a great reference for the Nelson and King George classes.The book is thorough, well organized and has a lot going for it from a visual standpoint.

Review sample provided by the reviewer

The Osprey Publishing Name, Logo, and Photos are copyright of Osprey Publishing.

 Scott Espin – Model Builder International – 


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