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First Look Review
US Standard-type Battleships
US Standard-type Battleships 194145 (1) New Vanguard 220
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Model Shipwrights

US Standard-type Battleships 194145 (1), New Vanguard 220, is the new Osprey Publishing title introducing us to the first USN dreadnaught classes: Nevada; Pennsylvania; New Mexico. Authored by Mark Stille and illustrated by Paul Wright, it is 48 pages long and available in softcover, PDF and ePUB formats. The ISBN is 9781472806963.

Osprey Publishing has generously allowed this pre-publishing first look! The book is scheduled for release on 20 March 2015.

Between the covers
US Standard-type Battleships 194145 (1) tells the story of the Nevada, Pennsylvania and New Mexico classes through 13 chapters and subsections in 48 pages:
    American Battleship Design Developments
      Interwar Reconstruction of American Battleships
      American Battleship Weapons
      USN Battleship Radar
    The Battleship Classes
      Nevada Class
      Pennsylvania Class
      New Mexico Class
    Analysis and Conclusion

Mr. Stille has authored numerous Osprey titles covering the naval history of the Pacific War. His style of writing and organization is concise and informative. The subject is well presented and easily read. This title is by no means comprehensive, nor is it meant to be. It presents detail for further research about a particular ship at a particular time, with an overview of the ships' effectiveness in WWII.

The book starts with a short overview of the American dreadnaught battleship concept and subsequent effect of interwar naval treaties. American Battleship Design Developments discusses in seven pages the subjects listed above, including development of a new triple turret (with data including weight), the "control tops" atop the masts, and ship armor. How the ships might have fared against the Japanese is touched upon, especially in light of the IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) torpedo development and the threat that imposed. Tables are included presenting weapons data.

The majority of the book focuses on the three classes of ships. In The Battleship Classes the author explores each classes' design and construction, improvements from class to class, weapons, armor, machinery, propulsion, service modifications and wartime service is covered. Each classes' section lists this data:
    Built at [ship yard]
    Date commissioned
    Laid down [date]
    Launched [date]
    Range (Miles at a specific speed)
    Wartime modifications

Finally, the post-war use of the ships is recounted.

photographs, graphics, artwork
Supporting each of those sections are many original artwork plates, photographs, and tables. The photographs cover a wide span of time, from pre-commissioning to retirement. For fans of the latticework "cage" masts there are many good photographs of those structures. Battleships during peace and at war are shown. Most of the images are very clear. An image showing the effects of Japanese torpedoes (the air-launched type with "small" warheads) is a dry dock view of USS Oklahoma after she was raised. These many photos reveal the significant changes to the ships through rebuilding before and after Pearl Harbor.

On page 44 is an after-attack photograph of Battleship Row at Pearl Harbor. It is awkwardly oriented per the caption.

1. USN Battleship Operations During WWII Involving Ships of the Nevada, Pennsylvania or New Mexico Classes per operation, dates, ships.

2. Major Wartime Damage to Nevada, Pennsylvania and New Mexico Classes by ship, agent of damage, date, fate.

3. Specifications (as built): Displacement; Dimensions; Speed; Range; Crew.

4. Wartime modifications: 5-inch guns (5"/25, 38, 51); 40mm and 20mm outfits; 1.1-inch complements.

5. USN Battleship Main and Secondary Guns - muzzle velocity, maximum range (yards) and rate of fire for:
    14-inch/45 (and post-modernization)
    5-inch (for the 25, 38, and 51-caliber)

6. USN Battleship Antiaircraft Guns - muzzle velocity, maximum range (yards) and rate of fire for:
    .50-inch Browning M2 Water-cooled machine gun
    1.1-inch Mk 1/1
    20mm Oerlikon
    40mm Bofors

Original artwork by Paul Wright (a favorite part of this series for me) presents in-action, profile, and cutaway scenes.

A. The New Mexico Class, waterline profiles of a late-war Mississippi and Idaho in 1943.

B. The New Mexico Class, waterline and full hull profiles of Mississippi in 1917 and New Mexico, January 1942.

C. The Pennsylvania Class waterline profiles: Arizona in 1921; Pennsylvania, October 1944.

D. The Nevada Class in full hull and waterline profiles: Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor; Nevada in 1945.

E. In-action: USS Nevada dueling shore batteries at Cherbourg, 25 June 1944.

F. In-action: USS New Mexico taking a kamikaze hit off Luzon, 6 January 1945.

G. Centerfold cutaway: USS Arizona, keyed with 27 items plus the breech of a 14-inch main gun scene inset.

This book is interesting to me for personal reasons as my dad originally served aboard USS Arizona; my neighbor was cut out of the hull of the capsized Oklahoma; I became friends with a sailor who served aboard Idaho after USS Helena sunk in the Battle of Kula Gulf. I think this is a good primer for the first three classes of American dreadnaught battleships. It concisely covers the ships and their general histories, examines wartime upgrades and refits, and their war service. Obviously this book is not an in depth history of each ship or class, yet it is a good introduction.

Book composition is "Bristol rigged" with excellent photographic and artwork support. The minor typo and cumbersome position of the Battleship Row photo should not confuse readers.

I am enthusiastic about this book and look forward to volume 2. Modelers, artists and historians of these ships in particular, battleships in general, and WWII naval topics should find this a must-have for their book shelf. Recommended.

We thank Osprey Publishing for sending this book for review. Please tell vendors and retailers that you saw it here - on MODELSHIPWRIGHTS.
Highs: Concisely covers the ships and their general histories, examines wartime upgrades and refits, and war service. Excellent photographic and artwork support.
Lows: Minor typo and cumbersome position of the Battleship Row photo
Verdict: Modelers, artists and historians of these ships in particular, battleships in general, and WWII naval topics should find this a must-have for their book shelf.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 9781472806963
  Suggested Retail: $17.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 14, 2015
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


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