German Destroyers of World War II Hardcover – Jun 2003
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About the Author
Gerhard Koop served in both the Kriegesmarine and the postwar Bundesmarine, and became one of German's leading authorities on warship design and the author of numerous highly regarded books.
Klaus-Peter Schmolke, was well-known for the detail and accuracy of his technical drawings. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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The book itself is broken up in near chapters. First, the reader is given a back ground into the effects of the treaty ending the Great War and how that limited the German Navy. Second, the reader is given a chapter of the design and building of the Narvic and other types of German ships. Then the Author gives a short history on all the Destroyers that Germany built in WWII. Yes, every destroyer gets a write up.
I've never read such a good analysis of German ship construction. Now, the German destroyers were all very well armed, some were the equal of an American light cruiser (155mm guns X 6). But the trouble is the hulls were small and the power plants were dreadful. Many times the power plants of the German destroyers would blow a steam tube just before going into battle (a good way to quickly lose a fight). The Author says the British "Tribal" class destroyers never had an engine breakdown before a fight. Honestly, I can say I've never read such a thing about American cruisers, destroyers, or carriers. Indeed, American carriers were extremely sturdy. German engines were cranky and more than once put their crews at risk. Gerhard does an excellent job of showing the short comings of the German navy in WWII.
I highly recommend this book. It will give a student of the German WWII Kreigsmarine an excellent overview of the main type of combat ship the Germans used in WWII, a look into its design history, and the operational development in the ships.
Five stars and its well worth the money.