Andrew Bowcock's "Anatomy" is exactly that, a superb dissection of the Confederate Steam Ship Alabama. If someone wished to rebuild Alabama - either as a scale model or operating duplicate, this could be the blueprint. The book is not for the faint hearted, but "project detail" for historians, model builders, naval engineers or architects, etc. seeking specifications of the commerce raider. Deep in primary and secondary research (i.e., original doucments and plans, contemporary accounts, and study of the discovered wreck off the coast of France) the book features copies of original documents for the ship as proposed, built and in service. An interesting plus is the text of the contact between the CSA's James Bulloch and Birkenhead Work's William Laird, Jr. for the ship's construction.
The 200 pages include photographs and paintings, line drawings in every conceivable level detail (hull, decks, sails and rigging, armament, and machinery), descriptions, as well as measurement and weight specifications, equipment descriptions and lists. A brief history of the vessel, from conception to its end, at the hands of USS Kearsarge, is addressed in the Introduction. The only aspects I found lacking were (a) all pictures and illustrations are in black and white and, (b) a lack of information on color (e.g., hull, boats, masts). Highly recommended for the discriminating Civil War naval interest.
Was this review helpful to you?