Book Review
Italian Battleships
Osprey Publishing LTD book Italian Battleships of World War
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]

When World War Two broke out the Italian Navy, the Regia Marina, had the fourth largest navy in the world. Despite being made up of mostly obsolete ships, some with under trained crews and not having all of the modern equipment such as radar, the ships and their crews served well and with distinction during their involvement in the Second World War.

Osprey Publications Ltd has released Italian Battleships of World War II as Number 182 in their New Vanguard series. It is a paperback book with 48 pages. Included with the text are black and white photographs, color illustrations, information charts and detailed captions. It has a 2011 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-380-5. As the title states, the book covers Italian Battleships of World War II.


- Introduction
- Italian Naval Strategy and the Role of the Battleship
- Italian Battleship Doctrine
- Naval Treaties and Italian Battleship Construction
- Italian Battleship Weapons
- Italian Battleship Radar
- The Battleship Classes
o Cavour Class
o Duilio Class
o Vittorio Veneto Class
- Italian Battleships at War
- Analysis and Conclusion
- Bibliography
- Index


The text in the book is well written and contains many excellent details of Italian battleships used during World War II. I didnít notice any spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book. Stille has gone to great lengths to research the Italian battleships used during World War II and provides a very well written and accurate history of them. The text and the accompanying photographs are in a correct chronological order and are well written. Anyone interested in the Italian battleships of World War II will find this book very informative and interesting.


There are a total of 48 black and white photographs. Most of the photographs are well done, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark which is typical for photographs of that period of time. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and take away nothing from the book. One thing that I was appreciative of with the photographs is that a good majority of them are not the same old overused photographs that tend to turn up. It is always nice to see the lesser known photographs.


There are 7 color illustrations by illustrator Paul Wright that are very well done, nicely detailed and cover:

- The Cavour Class
- The Duilio Class
- Vittorio Veneto (cutaway view)
- Vittorio Veneto in March 1942
- Cavour Class Battleship Cesare during the Battle of Punto Stilo
- Roma Under Attack
- Littorio in June 1942


There are 10 color charts throughout the book that are very well done, nicely detailed and cover:

- Characteristics of Italian Battleship Main Guns
- Characteristics of Italian Battleship Secondary Guns
- Characteristics of Italian Battleship Antiaircraft Guns
- Explanation of the Names of Italian Battleships
- Cavour Class Construction
- Cavour Class (After 1937 Modernization)
- Duilio Class Construction
- Duilio Class (After Modernization)
- Vittorio Veneto Class Construction
- Vittorio Vento Class


The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs well. I didnít notice any spelling or grammar errors.

All in all I am very impressed with the book. It examines the Italian battleships of World War II very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.



Highs: Well researched, written, and detailed text and captions. Nicely detailed illustrations
Lows: The quality of some of the photographs
Verdict: This is a very nice reference book that is well researched and written and contains many interesting photographs and well detailed captions. This will make a nice addition to anyoneís personal library and will also be a benefit to the military enthusiast
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84908-380-5
  Suggested Retail: $17.95 US/£9.99 UK/$19.95
  PUBLISHED: Aug 29, 2011

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
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About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2021 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.


Nice review, Harv. This title is very enlightening that the Regia Marina was not the harbor queen myth has it to be. Also, when I first cracked the cover and saw modern RM BB's, my first thought was 'Why is there a North Carolia class BB in a book on Italian BBs'? Handsome vessels, indeed.
AUG 30, 2011 - 02:13 AM
Thank you for the kind comment Fred. I do appreciate it. Randy
SEP 02, 2011 - 04:57 AM

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