I have set up the purchasing of my library of books into basically two catagories. First category is basically on logistics/beginnings, and the second on historical info regarding war involvement, dates, personnel and revealing the fate of said ship or operation. I enjoyed said book and how everything was categorized/rated. Very informative and easy to understand.
A glance at the table of contents shows that there were a lot of cruisers in World War II! Ships are listed for 18 countries, of which Great Britain had the greatest number of distinct classes - 20 in all, although the USA had more ships. The cruisers described in this book varied enormously in size, from the Japanese Yubaris (under 3000 tons) to the massive American Alaska class - battlecruisers in all but name at 30,000 tons, and hardly inferior to the undergunned German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. And then there were the Royal Navy's cruisers: typically medium sized, stoutly constructed to go anywhere and survive any seas, often old-fashioned in appearance but respected by friends and enemies.
This is a fine thick book that gives masses of details, together with diagrams and photographs. Quite apart from its intrinsic merit, it is ideal for flattening out curled-up papers or cardboard! As well as a bibliography and index, it has a short (4 page) introduction...
Cruisers of World War 2 is a compilation of all the cruisers in existence during World War 2. All operational details and a history of cruisers of the major combatatants and neutral powers is included. The photo selection is good and the coverage of ships belonging to neutral contries is welcome- I bet most people didn't know that Argentina had three modern cruisers in commision during World War 2- two Italian designed and built heavy cruisers and one British built light cruiser/cadet training ship. All in all a pretty decent reference, but the drawings are of little use except to show a basic layout- no good for modelers. Also there are some miscaptionings and factual errors, an unfortunate feature in almost all of Whitley's books. Examples- the photo captioned as HMS Dehli is of a different ship. Dehli had American pattern 5 inch guns and the ship in question still has her original British armament. Also, my copy of the book is missing the operational history of...
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