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US Fast Battleships 1936-47: The North Carolina and South Dakota classes (New Vanguard) Paperback – November 23, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
This title gives a decent summary of both the design characteristics and war experience of these vital two classes of WWII battleships. Several useful diagrams help the reader to understand how they worked. The turret diagram and accompanying text on pp. 28-29 are especially useful. Illustrations are plentiful, and the captions are well-employed to provide additional information.
I have been studying battleships all my life, yet this title managed to introduce new tidbits for me. For example, during the typhoon that hit the US Pacific fleet, USS North Carolina generally rolled 10 degrees, with a maximum roll of 43 degrees, in conditions that sank three destroyers and damaged much of the fleet. There is a nice summary of the battleship duel between the Japanese Kirishima and the US battleships Washington and South Dakota. The text here clarifies a few things I had not known, such as the high proportion of hits that Washington achieved with radar-directed armament. Yet Washington almost fired on South Dakota in the confusion, which helps account for why the U.S.Read more ›
The book does seem to concentrate on the North Carolina class. However, there is information in here that I had never read before. Of particular interest was the description of the night surface action wherein the USS Washington and the South Dakota took on the Kirishima. It has been widely cited that the Washington scored 9 hits with her 16 inch battery. This book cites a post war interview with some survivors of the Kirishima that state the Washington scored close to 20 hits with her 16 inch guns. The author also points out that the relative closing speed of the two ships was 54 knots...meaning that the Washington's main battery turrets had to train 20 degree per minute to stay on target. If the 20 hits are accepted, then Washington scored 20 hits out of 75 main battery rounds fired...an accuracy of @27%...impressive performance by the crew.
I recommend this book and found it to be very enjoyable!
There is a short description of the factors that influenced their design in relation to the various naval treaties of the day. A short description of construction details is delved in to as is the fire control and radar systems installed throughout the involved ship's histories.
The descriptions of the battles the two classes of ships were involved in are portrayed in a short and precise fashion that will give a reader new to this topic a good understanding of the battles without getting too involved in the usual small details.
For someone with little experience in reading this sort of book this edition is of great value to any growing library on WWII naval combat. For those of greater depth of understanding of such things there is just enough new information to also make it a worthwhile purchase. For those who want more in-depth coverage there are a great deal of larger works available so the cost of this volume might be better spent on shipping for those larger books!
Overall this is a worthwhile volume to have in your collection.
My only criticisms are minor. He mislabels a USN CL as the North Carolina (pg. 30), he wastes some of the limited space he has by using the same pic of the North Carolina at anchor as a museum twice (pgs. 1 & 44) and although the text makes it clear he has read Robert Lundgren's fine web articles on the Kirishima's destruction by the Washington, he does not give any credit to Lundgren in the short bibliography.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Too thin on construction details. Service history is available from dozens of other sources.Published 24 days ago by RussD
Another valuable addition to the author's series on warships of World War II. Good discussion of the technical issues behind development the different classes of battleships before... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Gary Moore
It's an OK history book. Not a lot of good information, and deployment of the BBPublished 10 months ago by dbaoter
Much too simplistic and provides weak narrative and minimal technical details
A really detailled operational history is to be hoped for
These were the ships that filled the gap until the Iowa class arrived. Their designs were still being influenced by treaty limits, but they were well balanced and capable ships.Published 13 months ago by Dano t
This book should be simply called "The North Carolina"; virtually all of the pictures and text are of the North Carolina with little about the South Dakota Class. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Robert Jansen