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U.S. Cruisers: An Illustrated Design History Hardcover – October 1, 1984


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press; 1st edition (October 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870217186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870217180
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #574,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A must for anyone seriously interested in warships!
Michael Avery
Friedman is a naval expert and written other equally good books on US Battleships, Carriers, Destroyers and Subs.
cpt matt
You will read it from start to finish -- not just page through it -- and you will be rewarded.
Ignotus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you are a cruiser fan throw away all of your other reference books and get this one. The book traces the history of the U.S. cruiser and it's development with great pictures, drawings and charts. Every class of cruiser is treated in detail with particular emphasis on the many WW2 classes and variations. Especially intresting is the detail given to the modificiations of pre Dec.7 1941 ships after experience in fighting those ships. If you are a modeler this book will be of great assistance in getting the detail you want on any particular ship. The book is worth every penny of the cost. I strongly reccomend for any admirer of some of the most beautiful ships this country has ever produced.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Bill Hensler VINE VOICE on September 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The American cruiser was an odd ship for the United States Navy. The cruisers most Americans know of are the "Treaty Cruisers" which first started with the Pennsicola class (or egg shells armed with hammers) and the cruiser class ended with the USS Long Beach, the first and last true missle cruiser for the US Navy.
Dr. Friedman makes it clear the first cruisers were inspired by the old American civil war frigates. The first cruisers were designed as commerice raiders, scouts, and minor capital ships. This is not much different than the initial days of the US Navy in the 1790 era.
However, the US Navy takes a different view of the Spanish American war and produces a group of post-war cruisers that have interesting design characterists. They are slower, more expensive, and have greater weight than foreign ships.
American cruiser design goes into a sort of hybernation from about 1906 until 1918 when the Omaha class is invented. American cruisers in WWI were left over ships from the Spanish American war or oddly designed ships, such as the over gunned & over armored USS Pennsylvania & Tennessee class armored cruisers.
The Treaty cruisers of the 20s and 30s are the halcyon days of cruisers. Actually, a proper technical term for cruisers are "small, light, very fast battleships".
Dr. Friedman writes that none of the Treaty cruisers are bad designs. Yes, there is stability problems but that is from treaty limits on warship weight and not from bad designs from the US Navy. Indeed, the Cleveland & Baltimore class cruisers are some of the most outstanding designed cruisers from WWII.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Avery on September 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Part of an amazing series (Battleships, Destoryers etc.), this book captures the history of the Cruiser in the US Navy.
The discussions of evolution of Cruiser design through each class, along with a discussion of the external factors in the design (the Washington Treaty, budget, Navel Politics...) is fasinating. Any Big ship/big gun fan will return to this book over and over again. The photos are incredable, especially when you have the pre war config, early wartime config, battle damage and analysis, and detailed photos of refit.
This book goes a long way in helping to undrestand the weeknesses of US Cruiser design that contributed to many of the problems faced early in the war, and the changes made as a result. Not being a Naval Officer, much of the thought processes involved in trading armor for speed or guns, stability issues, and armerment mix were a mystery. This book makes sense of these issues, and provides a look into elements of the Navy one might otherwise never consider.
A must for anyone seriously interested in warships!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ignotus on July 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Illustrated Design History series should be part of the collection of any naval enthusiast, and "Cruisers" is no exception. The book includes a detailed description of the evolution of each cruiser design in the modern U.S. Navy (which, as "enthusiasts" know, began in the last quarter of the 19th century). Those not familiar with the series should know this is not a mere picture book. You will read it from start to finish -- not just page through it -- and you will be rewarded.

Of particular value are the descriptions of hundreds of little-known alternative designs. The author is quite free with his pungent, well-informed and largely negative opinions concerning U.S. warship design. This too will keep you interested, through a sometimes highly technical volume.

The line-drawings included in this book are helpful -- and beautifully executed. Yet, one wishes for more of them, particularly as to the Lexington-class battlecruisers and other prominent alternative designs. The drawings of classes actually constructed are, again, well-done but not as comprehensive as the text.

The numerous black and white photographs are generally well-chosen. Some of the details mentioned in the captions are difficult to discern, however. The quality of photographic reproduction would have been better had the book been printed on glossy paper.

Overall, this is the best book of its kind, and yet it might have been better.
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