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Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War [Hardcover]

Eric LaCroix , Linton Wells , Linton Wells II
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, November 1997 --  
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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding investment. April 20 2004
Your first impression upon recieving this will be just how huge it is. At just over 6cm (2.5 inchs) in thickness you had better strengthen your shelves and coffee tables. The huge impression does not stop there for inside the covers is a cruiser policy, design and operational history that makes excellent books like "Norman Friedman's US Cruisers - An Illustrated design history" and "Robert's - Britsh cruisers of WWII" look childlike in comparison (and these last two titles are amongst the best that money can buy being far better than their closest rivals). This book is for the dedicated naval buff and anyone intent on research in this topic.
Those of you who thought they had all the information they needed on Japanease cruisers from either "Whitley's - Cruisers of WWII" or "Conway's all the world's fighting ships 1922-47", think again. These books often berate the Japanease designs and certainly don't do them justice. Where as the authors of "Japanease cruisers of the Pacific War" have gone to great pains searching through even Japanease sources to write the most complete work on Japanease cruisers that there will ever be. You could say that the title often strays a little from cruisers as it delves deeply into policy and then the conplex subject of firecontrol. If you wanted to know how a type 94 Japanease director and computer functioned, its in this book along with simple diagrams and any of its ancesters used on board Japanease cruisers in WWII. In fact the number crunchers among you might enjoy the dispersion figures and statistical chances of hitting a target at 20000 metres and so on....
For those who just want to know the life and times of these ships, thats in there too.
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This book is one of the best English language works on a specific subject, that of the cruisers of the Japanese Navy during World War 2. During the early phases of World War 2, Japanese cruisers posted an impressive combat record. The authors are experts on the IJN and many of the sources are unavailable outside Japan
For the modeler and historian, all aspects of Japanese heavy and light cruisers are illustrated, including armament, profile drawings, and operational histories. Some of the successes and failures of Japanese design, including the Takao class, possibly the most successful Japanese heavy cruisers to the Mogaim class, which attempted to place a heavy armament on a lightly constructed hull and were considerably overweight and later rebuilt, are explained in great detail
The profile drawings are well detailed, albeit extremely small; however they are useful in showing the arrangements of the ships. For the modeler and naval historian, this is a must book. With the recent proliferation of better detailed IJN cruiser models, this book is needed in any naval library.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great Analysis, Little Synthesis April 8 1998
By A Customer
Despite the effort to write this mammoth book (at 880 pages the largest in its class, requiring 50 years of research) the bottom line seems to be missing. It is a bottomless pit of facts, but lacks conclusions about the overall effectiveness of these warships, either against each other or against comparable ships of rival navies. Now I know how much a forward 8" gun director of the Atago weighed, but I still don't know how that director was integrated into the fire control system of the ship or how it contibuted to the net effectiveness of the ship. There is also no synthesis among the classes, that is, an evaluation of the overall results of the Japanese cruiser building program, rated against the programs of other navies. For a book this substantial, a Conclusions Chapter is a "must", and the fact that it is not there accounts for my low rating. However, the pure technical detail of the book was tremendous and the pictures and line drawings were superb. Now, can I find a place for it on my shelf?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous! A work of art. Dec 30 2002
By A Customer
I purchased this book without realizing that it was 850+ pages, a full 7.5 lbs, jam packed with everything anyone could ever want to know about these vessels. I have read a lot of books claiming to be a thorough histories of a county's vessels of a given type and I can honestly say, there isn't even a book this detailed in the U.S. about the U.S.Navy's Cruisers! I cannot imagine how long this information must have taken to collect. For the current price it is a bargain. Japanese cruisers were not at the top of my list as far as interests go, and I loved it.
I highly recommend this book, not only as good reading, but as an example to be followed by any would be author that would like to write books on American, British, or German warship types.
Simply outstanding! If these authors collaberate on another work, I'm buying without waiting for reviews.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Landmark work concerning Japanese WWII cruisers Jan. 12 1998
In this work, Mssrs. LaCroix and Wells have drawn together and greatly expanded on the series of articles LaCroix previously published in "Warship International" concerning these vessels. The technical information and illustrations are exhaustive, delving into the nuts and bolts of the construction, propulsion, armament, and other equippage of these warships to a degree I have never seen in the Western literature. There are also good operational histories, rare photographs, and several useful appendices which give insight into no only the cruisers themselves, but also into the way the entire Imperial Japanese Navy worked and fought. This work is the equivalent of Dulin & Garzke's battleship work in its respective topic area -- it will reign as the final word on IJN cruisers for the foreseeable future. And the price is a steal. Get it.
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