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U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History First American Edition Edition
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The book is filled with design schematics, ships' specifications and more esoteric naval information than you could possibly absorb in a lifetime. The rich wealth of information is the consistent strength of this series that makes it a bit overwhelming for the casual reader looking for a narrative history of U.S. carrier.
The emphaisis here is on ship design, its impact on operations and little else. If there is any shortcoming to be found within the book, it is that it is rather old, having been last updated in 1983, when the Nimitz class was just hitting its stride and long before the design innovations fueled by the Navy's growth in the waning years of the Cold War.
Please take my word for it - do NOT spend the $100.00 for Alan Raven's Essex-Class Carrier unless you want a photograph of a radar antenna and save yourself about sixty dollars and months and months of dead-end research and buy this outstanding piece of work instead.
For every class of carrier built during the century, Friedman assembles a mountain of data concerning the thoughts that went into the design and building of each class. Friedman reveals not only the military necessities that each carrier attempted to cover, but the international and political pressures that also figured into each design. What emerges is a very large book, but one that is very well constructed from the best materials. I've owned my copy of this book for approximately 20 years, and with average care, the book appears virtually brand new.
What is so interesting when reading this book was how American designers, after the creation of the experimental "Langley," immediately hit upon the formula for all future American battle carriers with the Lexington and Saratoga. Each was very large and fast, and could carry a very large air group. The U.S. has, on occassion, built smaller carriers for specific purposes when tiny, inexpensive types were all that was needed, or as in the case with the Independence class, the need for hulls was so great that partially built ships were hurriedly converted and performed Yeoman duty. In fact, the U.S. has gotten tremendous value for its investment in carriers. The Essex class ships from WWII were rebuilt several times to fit a number of needs, and were remarkably successful.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you want the nitty-gritty on aircraft carriers this book is for you. I was looking for a more illustrated and casual informational book and that is why I give it 3 stars. Read morePublished 1 day ago by DavidW
This is a most excellent book that I refer back to all the time. There is no other comparable single stop reference source. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MrP
This book is a good reference for the history of US carrier design before, during, and immediately after WWII, but it is also incredibly dry reading. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Erin
"The Bible", definite must have in the library of any, even casual, naval historian.Published 16 months ago by Lincoln Sander IV
The first of Friedman's outstanding US Navy design series, it does not go into the depth of the later volumes, but succeeds in bringing out the thought process behind the designs,... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Darrell Hartsig