IntroductionUS Navy Light Cruisers 1941 45
from Osprey Publishing LTD
chronicles those important USN ships. It is the 236th title of their New Vanguard
More than 40 light cruisers were in service or commissioned with the US Navy during World War Two. Heavily armed compared to their Axis rivals, most mounted the USNs primary warship-killing gun, the Mk 12 6-inch/47, rapid-firing dual-purpose 5-inchers, and powerful anti-aircraft batteries of light and medium automatics. Cruiser expert Mark Stilles continues his USN series with this war history of not only the dozens of ships of four classes, he explores the two classes of cruisers that did not make it into the war before VJ-Day.
During World War II, the United States built 72 light cruisers of various classes. In response to the severe air threat that surface ships faced, new cruisers were designed with increasingly heavy antiaircraft weaponry as well as the traditional 6in guns. With the speed and range to keep up with aircraft carriers, and their considerable antiaircraft capability, they were a mainstay of the carrier escorts.
This book examines every US light cruiser produced, including those of the Fargo and Worcester classes (and unofficial Oakland class), which were actually complete after World War II had ended, tracing their design, development and evolution throughout the war and beyond. - Osprey
The book is available in three formats: Paperback, eBook (ePub), eBook (PDF). The book is illustrated by artist Paul Wright. Osprey's code for the book is NVG 236
ContentUS Navy Light Cruisers 194145
is presented through 48 pages in eight sections and an index:
* American Naval Strategy and the Role of the Light Cruiser
* The Impact of the Washington and London Naval Treaties
American Light Cruiser Weapons
American Light Cruiser Radar
USN Light Cruisers at War
* Omaha Class
* Brooklyn Class
* Atlanta Class
* Cleveland and Fargo Classes
* Worcester Class
Analysis and Conclusion
Most of Americas light cruisers were developed under the constraints of the successive Washington Naval Treaty, London Naval Treaty and Geneva Naval Conference. USN struggled to build balanced designs within the weight limits. Mr. Stille discusses these facts in addition to detailed discussion of the ships and equipment, such as:
Light AA guns
Heavy AA guns
Main battery armament
Tactical doctrine is explored, and how that influenced USN CL assignments. Effectiveness (or lack thereof) and modifications of the ships are presented, as well as tables concerning the subjects. Design and subsequent rebuilding of the ships is discussed. USN CL cruiser armor was light yet heavier compared to IJN designs.
Furthermore, Mr. Stille discusses each of the six classes in satisfying detail:
Design And Construction
Photographs and Illustrations
Supporting the text are several dozen black and white photographs. Most are surprisingly clear. Several are even studio quality. Most are water level although there are several taken from aircraft. Many photographs are detailed shots of parts of the ships.
Osprey is known for their original artwork and this book is no exception. The painting of San Juan
used for the cover art is detailed and dramatic. Fourteen exceptional illustrations by artist Paul Wright enhance the subject:
A. Cleveland. Cutaway keyed to 31 items.
B. Battle scene: Helena in Action in the Kula Gulf in July 1943
C. The Omaha Class. Three profiles: Omaha as completed; Raleigh at the time of Pearl Harbor; Detroit, late-war outfit.
D. The Brooklyn Class: Three profiles: Honolulu at Pearl Harbor; Helena at the time of her loss; Nashville in late-war configuration.
E. The Atlanta Class. Two profiles: Atlanta at Guadalcanal, Nov. 1942; Reno in November 1944.
F. Battle scene: San Juan at The battle Of Santa Cruz, October, 1942.
G. The Cleveland Class. Three profiles/planforms: Houston, mid-war; Vincennes, late-war outfit.
Additionally, over a dozen tables presnt data;
1. USN Light Cruiser Main and Secondary Guns
2. USN Light Cruiser Antiaircraft Guns
3. Omaha-Class Construction
4. Omaha-Class Specifications
5. Brooklyn-Class Construction
6. Warime Modifications to Brooklyn-Class Light Cruisers
7. Brooklyn-Class Specifications (as built)
8. Atlanta-Class Construction
9. Atlanta-Class Specifications (as built)
10. Cleveland-Class Construction
11. Fargo-Class Construction
12. Cleveland-Class Specifications
13. Worchester-Class Construction
14. Worchester-Class Specifications
15. USN Light Cruiser Damage by
Agent of Damage
That last table is particularly interesting in light of USN's calculations that these cruiser designs were a one-hit-one-kill against enemy torpedo attacks. Yet, these CLs proved amazingly survivable, even against Japan's ship-killing Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedo.
This is another excellent book for modelers, historians and enthusiasts of USN light cruisers. It is by no means comprehensive, nor is it meant to be. What it is is a detailed basis for further research about one of the particular ships at a particular time. The data concerning weapons is very interesting if you want to compare them to Axis weapons. Other technical aspects are equally interesting to read over. The graphic support photographs, artwork, profiles and tables alone are worth the price of the book. My only complaint is, as usual, nitpicky typos.
Thanks to Osprey Publishing for providing this book for review.