on March 21, 2014
At 35,000 tons the Queen Elizabeth class and the Royal Sovereigns were giants in 1916 but their record goes on into WWII and one of the Queens, Warspight may be, historically, the fightingest ship ever. She was in almost every battle in both wars and even after a direct hit by a Nazi glider bomb at Anzio still was present on D Day to use her 15 inch guns to good effect. This volume chronicals the modifications and upgrades of these handsome ships from their launch to their scrapping at the end of WWII.
Anyone looking for a book about British battleships might ordinarily expect to find a very thick and equally expensive work in which all such vessels are detailed. Alternatively, they might find the history of one particular ship. In this instance, however, the publishers have confined themselves to two classes of British Battleship - namely the Queen Elizabeth and Royal Sovereign classes.
With only 47 pages, I was impressed by the amount of detail. There are no shortages of either photographs - many of which do not appear to have been previously published, or artwork of the highest standard arranged alongside all the facts, figures, dimensions and detail that one would expect to find in any comprehensive account.
Of immense value to the serious historian as well as anyone else with an interest in the subject, this book will also provide all the data required for the serious modeller.
It says much for the work that my only criticisms are very minor. Being one of very few people outside of the Royal Navy to have visited the remains of HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow, I would like to have known who took that underwater picture of her director platform. Elsewhere, having learned HMS Repulse was laid down as a Royal Sovereign class battleship, her fate is recorded as converted to battle cruiser in 1914. Viewed in the context of what eventually happened to all the ships in that class, I know what they meant. Her conversion, however, was never her fate.
Nevertheless, do not let such inconsequential comments mar your enjoyment of an otherwise excellent product.