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Book Review
British Battleships 1939-45
Osprey British Battleships 1939-45 (1) New Vanguard 154 QE and RS Classes
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by: Jim Adams [ GOLDENPONY ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights


This is Ospreys 154th book in its New Vanguard series. This series covers design, development, and operation of the machines of war. This book covers the British Battleships (1939-45) Queen Elizabeth and Royal Sovereign Classes.


British Battleships 1939-45 (1)
(New Vanguard 154)

Author: Agnus Konstam
Illustrator: Tony Bryan and Paul Wright

US Price: $17.95
UK Price: £9.99
Canadian Price: $19.95
Release Date-April 209
48 pages ttl.
ISBN: 978-1-84603-388-9


Design and Construction
The Notion of the Fast Battleship
The Queen Elizabeth Class
The Royal Sovereign Class
Construction and Armament
Service Modifications
Service History 1939-45
The Queen Elizabeth Class
The Royal Sovereign Class
The Battleships in Action
Bibliography and Further Reading

Book Synopsis…

The introduction is just that. It gives you some overview as to state of the British Battleships when war came to Europe in 1939. It goes into explaining the Royal Navy had 12 battleships in service, but 10 of these were 20 years old. So then begins to search for a new and improved ship.

The book specifically details the two classes of ships mentioned, the Queen Elizabeth and Royal Sovereign class. It further more details the extensive modifications these ships went through during the war to allow them to hold back both the German and Italian fleets.

Each ship is elaborated on and its upgrades discussed. The development of the ships is discussed. The prime focus of these discussions is on the battleships bite, the guns.

There is also a great recounting of the Battle Matapan. The HMS Warsprite along with other Royal Navy and Australian Navy ships broke the back of the Italian fleet.

Added to the narrative of these great ships are some fantastic color illustrations and wonderful period photography. The color illustrations show the different ships in the two classes in their wartime camouflage.

Author and Illustrators…

Author Angus Konstam is the author of over 50 books, including over 30 for Osprey. He is a former Naval officer and museum professional. He had been Chief Curator of the Mel-Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West Florida. He is now a full time author and historian.

Tony Bryan is a freelance illustrator. He had been an engineer in Military design and development. He has done illustrations for many books including several in the New Vanguard series.

Paul Wright is a painter with a specific interest in steel and steam warships from the late 19th century to present. His works have illustrated works by Patrick O’Brien, Dudley Pope and C.S. Forester. He is an Associate member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists.

Overall Impressions…

First off, this is not a book on modeling. However with that said it is a great companion book to have when you are doing research on a particular ships history. True these two classes of ship are sorely lacking in today’s model market, but it is still nice to add a book like this to your library.

I did enjoy reading it and it was full of good information both historically and graphically. Both the narrative and illustrations are well worth picking this one up. My knowledge of these ships was zero before hand, now I have a new respect for this wonderful ships and I totally understand all of the Royal Navy fans wanting to see a QE Class kit.
Highs: Great reference book. Great Illustrations. Great history.
Lows: Not related to model building
Verdict: Pick this one up. These Osprey books a small, but they pack it in.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 978-1-84603-388-9
  Suggested Retail: $17.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 27, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

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 Jim Adams (goldenpony)

Copyright ©2020 text by Jim Adams [ GOLDENPONY ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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