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Book Review
11
British Light Cruisers 1939-45
British Light Cruisers 1939-45
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]


Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

BODY OF THE TEXT:


HISTORY:

** The light cruiser was a natural development of the sailing frigate a fast multi-purpose warship that could patrol the sea lanes, protect convoy and scout for enemy battle fleets. By the interwar period the need for this type of ship was even more important, as screening and protecting the fleet from enemy aircraft, submarines and destroyers became paramount. Throughout World War II, the British light cruiser proved to be one of the most versatile types of ship in the Royal navy, able to protect other warships, bombard enemy shores, guard life-saving convoys and intercept and destroy enemy warships. These were truly the workhorses of the wartime Royal Navy. While the battleships and carriers grabbed the headlines, these sleek, elegant warships quietly got on with the task of securing of the seas. **

** Quoted from the back cover of the book.


THE BOOK:

Osprey Publications Ltd has released British Light Cruisers 1939-45 as Number 194 in their New Vanguard series. It is a paperback book with 48 pages. Included with the text are black and white photographs, black and white color illustrations, information charts, illustrated cut-away views and detailed captions. It has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-684-4. As the title states, the book covers the design, development, operation and history of the British Light Cruisers during World War II from 1939 to 1945.


THE CONTENTS:


- Introduction
- Design and Development
o The World War I Cruisers
o The London Naval Treaty
o Leander Class
o Arethusa Class
o Southampton Class
o Edinburgh Class
o Dido Class
o Bellona Class
o Fiji Class
o Swiftsure Class
- Operation
o Weaponry
o Sensors and Fire Control
- Specifications
o Caledon Class
o Ceres and Carlisle Classes
o D Class
o E Class
o Leander Class
o Arethusa Class
o Southampton Class
o Edinburgh Class
o Dido Class
o Fiji Class
o Bellona Class
o Swiftsure Class
- Further Reading
- Index


THE TEXT:


The text in the book is well written by Konstam and contains many excellent details of British light cruisers and their use during World War II from 1939 to 1945 and provides a very well written and accurate history of them. He discusses very well the British light cruisers and their participation and involvement in the World War Two naval battles that shaped history. Anyone interested in the British light cruisers will find this book very informative and interesting and a worthwhile read. As I read through the text I didnt notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.


THE PHOTOGRAPHS:


There are a total of 35 black and white photographs. The majority of the photographs will be of interest to the navy, and World War Two British Navy, enthusiasts well. However the majority of the photographs are from a distance away from the ship showing their profiles and therefore lack details which would have helped the military naval modeler. However, as they do show the profile, they will be of use when it comes to painting as the modeler can the see whole camouflage paint scheme used on some of the light cruisers. Many of the photographs have a hazy, out of focus type, look to them and some appear to be too dark, and some appear too light, which is typical for photographs of that period of time. Many military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason as well as the fact that the photographs are around 70 years old. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and take away nothing from the book. One thing that I was appreciative of with the photographs is that a good majority of them are not overused photographs that tend to turn up in numerous publications. Konstam has stuck to the title of the book and chose photographs that are of British light cruisers and did not include photographs that strayed from the main subject of the book. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself

Some of the British light cruisers shown in the photographs are the:

- HMS Leander
- HMS Orion
- HMS Coventry
- HMS Caledon
- HMS Curlew
- HMS Ajax
- HMS Glasgow
- HMS Cleopatra
- HMS Argonaut
- HMS Jamaica
- HMS Edinburgh
- HMS Arethusa


THE ILLUSTRATIONS:


There are 11 color illustrations by illustrator Paul Wright that are very well done, nicely detailed and cover:

- HMS Calcutta (1939), HMS Danae (1940)
- HMS Ajax At The Battle Of The River Plate, 1939
- HMS Leander (1940), HMS Penelope (1941)
- HMS Belfast (1943) - cutaway illustration
- HMS Sheffield (1941), HMS Gloucester (1941)
- HMS Cleopatra At The Second Battle Of Sirte, 1942
- HMS Bellona (1944), HMS Euryalus (1944)
There are also 2 black and white illustrations. They look as if they are from military manuals or military publications and are of:

- Cutaway view of a Southampton class cruiser
- Diagram showing how visual and radar-guided fire control information was processed

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.


THE MAPS:


There are no maps included in this volume.


THE INFORMATIONAL CHARTS:


There are 29 informational charts throughout the book that are very well done, nicely detailed and provide information on:

- Caledon class cruisers
- Ceres class cruisers
- Carlisle class cruisers
- D class cruisers
- E class cruisers
- Leander class cruisers
- Arethusa class
- HMS Belfast (as of December 1943)
- Southampton class cruisers
- Edinburgh class cruisers
- Dido class cruisers
- Bellona class cruisers
- Fiji class cruisers
- Swiftsure class cruisers
- 6-inch Breech-Loader Mk XXII
- Range and velocity (given for armour-piercing shells)
- 5.25-inch Breech-Loader Mk I
- Caledon class specifications
- Ceres and Carlisle class specifications
- D Class specifications
- E Class specifications
- Leander Class specifications
- Arethusa Class specifications
- Southampton Class specifications
- Edinburgh Class specifications
- Dido Class specifications
- Fiji Class specifications
- Bellona Class specifications
- Swiftsure Class specifications

Please refer to the scan that I have provided so that you can judge the informational charts for yourself.


THE CAPTIONS:


The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs in detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown in the accompanying photograph. They detail things such as the specific light cruisers shown, paint schemes, the ships location, ship names, the date of the photograph, and what the ship is doing or involved in. As with the text I didnt notice any spelling or grammatical errors I read through the captions. As I stated before, grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.

This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.


CONCLUSION:


All in all I am pleased with the book. It examines the British Light Cruisers from 1939 to 1945 very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.


REFERENCES:


Great Weapons Of World War II
John Kirk
Robert Young
Introduction by Bernard E. Trainor
Walker And Company


Search inside this title on the Osprey web site:

http://www.ospreypublishing.com/store/British-Light-Cruisers-1939–45_9781849086844


Search inside this title on the Amazon web site:

http://www.amazon.com/British-Light-Cruisers-1939-45-Vanguard/dp/1849086842/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357444837&sr=8-1&keywords=British Light Cruisers 1939-45


Search inside the Kindle Edition of this title on the Amazon web site:

http://www.amazon.com/British-Cruisers-1939-45-Vanguard-ebook/dp/B009BXAL6K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1357444837&sr=8-2&keywords=British Light Cruisers 1939-45
SUMMARY
Highs: Well researched, written, and detailed text and captions Nicely detailed illustrations and useful photographs
Lows: The quality of some of the photographs
Verdict: This is a very nice reference book that contains many excellent details of British light cruisers and their use during World War II from 1939 to 1945 and provides a very well written and accurate history of them
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84908-684-4.
  Suggested Retail: US $17.95 / UK 9.99 / CA
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 07, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.22%

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright 2018 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.



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