by: Darren Baker [ ]
The Iowa Class of Battleships can be considered the panicle in design of the type and also the terminus of the type. These ships were built during World War 2 and saw service during WW2, Korea, Vietnam and even the gulf War with of course changes to the weaponry in use. This offering from Seaforth Publishing courtesy of Pen and Sword Publishing is possible the ultimate book on the subject of these ships, so letís take a close look at what they offer.
The following portion of this introduction is from Pen and Sword:
The four battleships of the Iowa class, the crowning achievement of US battleship construction, had exceptionally long careers and each in their way left a distinctive mark not only on the US Navy but on naval history at large. Built as the ultimate American battleship and designed to engage the major units of the Japanese and German fleets, the class were commissioned in the closing stages of World War II, the beginning of half a century of service during which individual units saw action in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Lebanese Civil War and finally the Gulf War.
As such these vessels are symbolic of the primacy of US seapower during the Cold War, and the preservation of all four of these mighty vessels as museum ships is testament not only to their enduring fascination, but also to the immense technical, financial, military and political resources wielded by the United States during the second half of the twentieth century.
This superb new book includes a general introduction providing the context and design history of the entire class; detailed and extensively illustrated information on specifications, equipment and modifications; and comprehensive coverage of the construction, career, operations and preservation of each unit. The author covers all the significant events in the life of each ship, including Missouri in Tokyo Bay, New Jersey off Vietnam and Lebanon, Wisconsin's collision with the destroyer Eaton, the Iowa turret explosion and many others.
Lavishly illustrated with more than 600 photos (many in colour), 35 spectacular CG artworks and six maps, this beautifully produced work is the ultimate volume on the ultimate battleship class and a fitting souvenir of these four ships, now all preserved for posterity.
This offering from Seaforth Publishing courtesy of Pen and Sword Publishing is a beautifully bound hard back tome full of information on the Iowa Class battleships. The book is authored by Phillipe Caresse who has written three titles covering battleships, the book has then been translated into English by Bruce Taylor who has also written some titles covering battleships. The spine of the book looks to have the pages stitched in which is always a sign of quality, and the dust jacket depicting one of the battleships main guns firing is a well thought out eye catcher. The title provides 522 pages of high quality silk paper that provides 641 Illustrations and so covers the four ships that were completed to a very high degree.
This title starts with a look at the battleships of the time as the keels were being laid for the Iowa class ships and the steel warriors that these ships were to work with and go up against. As you progress you get to see the curves of these laid out in all of their glory and that resulted in such a well armed and fast weapons of war that served for a long period with the US Navy. The text is well written and a pleasure to read which is a result as text written in one language and then translated into another can result in some text that trips you up.
The text covers the four vessels in the class through their lives and also covers the major events in which they were involved. This aspect of the book provides the reader with a great timeline with which to tie the ships down with. The photographs are all of a great quality and show the vessels from both the earliest stages of their building through to the state they got into while decommissioned and then back into service after being upgraded. Another nice aspect of the book I like is that the captions while concise provide a suitable description of what you are looking at.
If the Iowa class battleships are of specific interest to you then this offering should I feel cover every aspect of the vessels to your satisfaction. The text is well written and informative resulting in it being easily understood despite going into great detail. The pictures are very nicely captioned and show what the captions refer to. The images of those 16inch guns firing are very impressive inclusions and you can see the whole ship being forced sideways, try pushing a flat board through the water and you will then understand the forces involved.