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British Battleships 1939–45 (2): Nelson and King George V Classes (New Vanguard) Paperback – Illustrated, September 22, 2009
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“This title offers a comprehensive review of the seven battleships of the Nelson and King George V classes from their initial commissioning to their peacetime modifications in wartime service, detailed descriptions of the main armament of the ships will offer further analysis of individual battleships effectiveness discussing how the guns were manned when engaging the enemy. Moreover a specially commissioned artwork and a dramatic retelling of the battleship battles, this book will highlight what it was like on board for the sailors who risked their lives on the high seas.” ―Ken Williams, IPMS/USA (December 2009)
“The drawings, photographs, and artwork are first rate...The typical ship modeler can readily use these books as a good reference when building any of these important ships.” ―Rodger Cole, Model Shipwrights (November 2009)
“All of Britain's battleship classes are covered in some detail as to the design and armament... This is all accompanied by some superb photos of the various ships and by the excellent art work of Tony Bryan and Paul Wright. This helps us to see how these ships improved over the years and the differences in the various classes. In all, it makes for an excellent primer on the subject and fully meets this reviewer's expectations of books in this series. If you want to learn about the subject, I know you will find it to be equally useful. Buy with confidence.” ―Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness, modelingmadness.com (December 2009)
About the Author
Angus Konstam hails from the Orkney Islands, and is an acclaimed author of over 100 history books, 60 of which are published by Osprey. He has written widely on naval history, from Sovereigns of the Seas and Piracy: The Complete History to his most recent bestseller, Hunt the Bismarck. A former naval officer and museum professional, he worked as the Curator in both the Royal Armouries, Tower of London and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida. He now works as a full-time author and historian.
Paul Wright has painted ships of all kinds for most of his career, specializing in steel and steam warships from the late 19th century to the present day. Paul's art has illustrated the works of Patrick O'Brian, Dudley Pope and C.S. Forester amongst others, and hangs in many corporate and private collections all over the world. A Member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists, Paul lives and works in Surrey.
- Publisher : Osprey Publishing; Illustrated edition (September 22, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 48 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1846033896
- ISBN-13 : 978-1846033896
- Item Weight : 6.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 7.29 x 0.19 x 9.78 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,244,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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If you know little about these four classes of British battleships, this title is a readable, reasonably well-illustrated, and informative introduction. If you are already knowledgeable, you may be disappointed. I believe author Konstam spread his effort too thinly. By giving background on Vanguard and the Lion class, he lost the opportunity to give the kind of depth I wanted on the King George V class.
The King George V class ships were vital participants in World War II. Three of them were involved in surface actions against enemy battleships. Their protection incorporated the lessons of Jutland, meaning they were well-protected against shellfire. On the other hand, Prince of Wales succumbed to just five torpedoes in the South China Sea, suggesting flotation survival was not ideal. Yet this vital class was given barely over five pages of text; insufficient to address valid questions about protection, seaworthiness, and firepower.
There are two "Range and Penetration" tables, comparing the capabilities of the 16-inch and 14-inch guns of the Nelson and King George V classes: range, gun elevation, angle of descent, and shell velocity. Despite the title, the tables give no information about actual shell penetration.
The author also makes an error on p. 11 when he describes Britain's proposed G3 battlecruisers and N3 battleships as "the first battleships in the world to adopt triple turrets" around the year 1920. They may have been the RN's first triple-turret ships, but by this time the Italian, Russian, and U.S. Navies had all commissioned triple-turret battleships. That said, the related discussion of the Washington Treaty, and its impact on the eccentric design of the battleships Nelson and Rodney, is probably the most insightful section of this book.
This title is simply not up to the standard of Mr. Konstam's earlier title about the Queen Elizabeth and Royal Sovereign classes, which covered a smaller topic with greater depth. Yet it still gives a nice overview of the modern battleships that comprised a vital cornerstone of Britain's survival in World War II's grim early years.
Top reviews from other countries
Very nice collection of photos and high quality artwork together with concise descriptions of the history, service and modifications of each ship throughout its service.
Highly recommended as a quick reference guide, and very readable. For the low price as well, it has to rate 5 stars. And contrary to the solitary (and thoroughly undeserved) 1-star review, the accuracy of this book is first class and obviously meticulously researched. Top marks to Mr Konstam!
They are a great place to start if your recently new to the interest of Naval history and the big guns of History. Plenty of pictures and cross section images of King George V ships and art work specific to these books.
Well worth a look and take it as an aid to getting interested rather than a definitive guide.