Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945 Hardcover – Nov 1976
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
A useful reference for the modeler, the only weakness is the size of the illustrations, which are mostly in 1/1200 scale. The original German edition had better line drawings, but few photos. The strength of this English edition is the collection of photos, many not seen outside of Japan until now. I would rate this as a 4 1/2 star effort and definitely superior to the book by Watts on the same subject.
Both books follow the same basic format. Every class of ship gets its own mini-chapter. All of the usual statistics about the ships characteristics are set off in a table. Measurements are given in both standard and metric. Most ship classes will also have a few b&w photographs and a line drawing of the ships profile above the waterline. A few of the larger ships, such as the battle cruiser Kongo and the carrier Kaga, that had extensive modifications, will have several tables, profile drawings and photographs to illustrate these changes. Both books have an index.
Jentschura's book has a few more drawings and they are all to the same scale and better quality. He also covers more of the minor auxiliery ships. This book was originally published in German, but was republished in 1977 in English. Jenschura places each ship's construction history and fate in individual paragraphs, where as Watts puts this information in the table.
Watts' book has a better text description of the ship's design and modification histories.
The book also fails to go into the intangibles that made the IJN so formidable in WW2, such as technical data on torpedo systems, guns, range fuinding and gunnery control. Little time is spent on details regarding ship design concerning crew comforts. Armor details are excellent, but it would have been useful to understand the variations in the different types of armor and how they compared to the US and British counterparts.
In the same way I wish the athor had done some more research into the types of radar the Japanese employed, which vessels had been equipped, whether the radar was search, air defense, or gunnery.
The author seems to have included every shuip the Japanese Navy and Army fielded (yes the Army operated ships). Outstanding book that would be hard to beat.