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German Battleships of World War Two in action


     Squadron/Signal Publications

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Warships Number 23 - German Battleships of World War Two in action
ISBN: 0-89747-482-1
Media: Soft cover, “in action” format, card cover with 50 pages of text, black and white photos, line drawings by Darren Glenn and excellent artwork by Don Greer and David Gebhardt.
Price: USD$8.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Covers the three major battleship classes, lots of interesting B&W photos and the usual excellent artwork with German colour names picked out.
Disadvantages: No deck colours or below-waterline colours shown or mentioned.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended to ship modellers.

Reviewed by Glen Porter

German Battleships of World War Two in action is available online from Squadron.com


F i r s t   L o o k


You wouldn’t expect a book on German Battleships of World War Two to be very thick. After all, there were only seven of them. However it allows Squadron to concentrate more fully on each of them.

Starting with the first class to be built, the Duetschlands, Pazerschiffs [Armoured Ships] or Pocket Battleships, as we knew them, consisted of three ships, Deutschland [later Lutzow], Admiral Scheer and Admiral Graf Spee. These were not a particularly successful class as, although they had six eleven inch guns in two turrets, they only had the armour of a light cruiser. Their closest Allied class of ship was the battle cruiser but they had speed to make up for their lack of armour. Indeed, if Admiral Graf Spee had had the speed, there may have been a very different outcome from the Battle of the River Plate. However she didn’t have that essential element and this allowed Exeter, Ajax and Achilles to get far too close to her and suffered irreparable damage. The class was generally successful as commerce raiders, although over expensive for that duty, providing they didn’t confront allied warships.

The next class was far more conventional in that the Germans decided to ignore the treaties and build whatever ships they wanted. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were reasonably good ships although they still had only eleven-inch guns, which would make it hard for them to confront Allied Battleships. They were built in such a way that at a later date they could be fitted with the same guns and turrets as the third and final class.

Bismark and Tirpitz were the biggest and the best of the German ships. Although the potential was there they were never really put to the test and although they were based on a WW I design, they still had the right mix of armour, armament and speed. Because of the outdated design, the crew numbers were much higher as evidenced by the loss of life from the Bismark’s sinking as opposed to the Hood, a comparatively sized ship.

This book covers the three classes very well with design parameters and service history, heaps of B&W photos and the usual excellent artwork by Don Greer and David Gebhardt, which brings me to my only criticism. Nowhere, in the text, captions or artwork is there any mention made of the deck colours or lower hull colours. The larger scale models of these ships are all full hull and therefore the under-water colours will be required. Similarly, for all scales, the deck colour conformation would be helpful.

Apart from my one little nit pick, this is a very useful reference book for any ship modeller.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample.

Review Copyright © 2005 by Glen Porter
This Page Created on 11 January, 2005
Last updated 11 January, 2005

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