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US Fast Battleships 1938-91: The Iowa Class [Paperback]

Lawrence Burr , Peter Bull
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

10 Oct 2010
In 1938, the United States abandoned the constraints imposed by the Washington Teaty and began work on a new class of super-battleships. This book covers the design, construction, and employment of the four Iowa-class battleships, the largest in the American fleet. During World War II, they served as guards for the aircraft carriers and their bombardments provided cover for the numerous landings in the Pacific. At the war's end, the Japanese signed their surrender on the decks of an Iowa-class battleship, the USS Missouri. After World War II, the ships continued to serve, providing support during Korea, Vietnam, and even the first Gulf War. This book tells the full story of the greatest of the American battleships.

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US Fast Battleships 1938-91: The Iowa Class + US Fast Battleships 1936-47 (New Vanguard) + Imperial Japanese Navy Battleships 1941-45 (New Vanguard)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey (10 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846035112
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846035111
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 18 x 0.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 557,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

."..this is a very good primmer of the Iowa class, with a considerable amount of information packed between the covers." - Bill Kluge, "IPMS/USA"

--Ipms/USA

This is another excellent concise reference source for any reader interested in the battleships of the US Navy which upheld the pre-eminence of American seapower in the 20th Century. --Ships in Scale



Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The Iowa Class battleship has become an icon for a bygone age of ships the like of which will never be built again and this is all about them. Before going any further, however, I would like to record my admiration for the US for preserving so many of their historic ships. At the beginning of the 20th Century the two largest navies in the would belonged to Germany and the UK. Sadly none of those ships and, with the exception of one WW2 British cruiser, none of the great European ships from both World Wars were ever preserved for posterity.

Once again, in another from this excellent series of books, Osprey Publishing have provided all the information the reader might ever require about a single class of warship. The content is impressive by any standards with author Lawrence Burr producing a complete appraisal of one of the most formidable battleships ever built.

With artist Peter Bull providing excellent illustrations and cutaway diagrams, the reader is given access to every aspect of the make-up of this particular vessel. Commencing with the historical background information which led to the requirement for such a fast battleship, the book is divided into two main sections headed; Design & Construction and Iowa Class Operations. Under the former we gain a full appreciation of; Fire control, radar, aircraft and the construction timetable. Under the latter we learn of this ship's role during; WW2, Korea, Vietnam, the cold war and even as recently as the first Gulf War. The book concludes with a two-page chart showing the specifications of each ship in the class.

Well illustrated with artwork and historic photographs (both colour and black and white), one of the most telling images is found on page 37.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just the right amount for an overview 19 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent value at the amazon price for a book(let) that gives just the right amount of info for the reader to gain an overview of the class and the histories of the ships. The intro shows how and why the class came about and then describes the histories of each of the battleships, including their up to date engagements and subsequent 'fates'. The photos and colour diagrams/illustrations are excellent, (and helpful for modellers), including the camouflage schemes employed. As with all the New Vanguard series that I have read, this is a concise volume and gives just the right amount of info without getting the reader too bogged down in detail. Certainly recommend as a clear, well written and informative overview.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capable 15 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Iowa class battleships are the subject of this book,48 packed pages cover the the story of these ships from inception through to today.Mr Burr tells how cost effective,capable and absolutely devastating to any foe within range of her guns these ships could be,not only during world war two but Korea,Vietnam,the middle east US forces ashore had reason to be grateful to one or other of these mighty battlewagons.The design and construction is well covered,also the changes made over the years,the hybrid battleship-carrier concept that never came about,their ability to stand hits by modern missiles--in theory at least.A very good set of photographs,the bow shot on page 5 is outstanding,good artwork,all in all a fine book.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most formidable battleships of all time. 23 Dec 2010
By Ned Middleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Iowa Class battleship has become an icon for a bygone age of ships the like of which will never be built again and this is all about them. Before going any further, however, I would like to record my admiration for the US for preserving so many of their historic ships. At the beginning of the 20th Century the two largest navies in the would belonged to Germany and the UK. Sadly none of those ships and, with the exception of one WW2 British cruiser, none of the great European ships from both World Wars were ever preserved for posterity.

Once again, in another from this excellent series of books, Osprey Publishing have provided all the information the reader might ever require about a single class of warship. The content is impressive by any standards with author Lawrence Burr producing a complete appraisal of one of the most formidable battleships ever built.

With artist Peter Bull providing excellent illustrations and cutaway diagrams, the reader is given access to every aspect of the make-up of this particular vessel. Commencing with the historical background information which led to the requirement for such a fast battleship, the book is divided into two main sections headed; Design & Construction and Iowa Class Operations. Under the former we gain a full appreciation of; Fire control, radar, aircraft and the construction timetable. Under the latter we learn of this ship's role during; WW2, Korea, Vietnam, the cold war and even as recently as the first Gulf War. The book concludes with a two-page chart showing the specifications of each ship in the class.

Well illustrated with artwork and historic photographs (both colour and black and white), one of the most telling images is found on page 37. This shows a full builder's model of a concept vessel that was never built and was to have been a hybrid. Best described as the front half of an Iowa class battleship and the rear half of a fully functional aircraft carrier with elevated flight-decks along both sides of the rear funnel. It was quite some concept!

Altogether a book which contains almost everything you might need to know about this class of ship.

NM
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine review of the Iowa class of battleships 25 Dec 2010
By Steven A. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a part of the Osprey Publishing "New Vanguard" series of books. This slender volume considers the Iowa Class of battleships, whose life span ran almost five decades. The "fast battleship" designation belonged to the Iowa class, as earlier classes of battleships did not have adequate speed. As the book mentions at the outset (Page 4): "The service life of these four ships, from August 1943 until March 1992, demonstrated the quality of their design and construction as well as their capability to deliver accurate and devastating firepower, both conventional and nuclear."

The four ships in this class: Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The keel was laid for the Iowa in 1940; it was launched in 1942. It was the first in its class. The Iowa and New Jersey were operational in 1943, and the other two in 1944. The book considers the design and construction of these ships (as well as their battle capabilities and accessories, such as radar and aircraft). It goes on to explore the operation of these four ships over time, including battles in which they were engaged (And there is even a hypothetical: What would have happened if Iowa would have taken on the Yamato?). One or the other of this class went on to active service in Korea, Vietnam, and even Desert Storm.

A very nice examination of this class of battleship.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish and inaccurate 8 Jun 2012
By Luke T. Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has a few good photos and portions of the text are informative. However, the book contains a number of gross inaccuracies, some of which have been mentioned by other reviewers. Some of those comments are, admittedly, somewhat nitpicky and of interest only to ship geeks, but they are inaccuracies nonetheless. Many of the line drawings are incorrect, and show or do not show items that the ships either did or did not have on the dates supposedly depicted. That's just an example.

My biggest problem with the book is with the numerous instances of what I would call "battleship worship" where it is suggested that these ships were practically invincible and that they were immensely significant in a strategic sense. I love battleships as much as the next guy, but neither of these assertions is even remotely true. As for the invincibility assertion, the author discusses the British navy's tragic encounter with surface-to-surface missiles in the Falkland's and goes on to say that an Iowa-class battleship would suffer no more damage than "scratched paint" from a missile attack. This is absurd. As exhibited many times during World War II, an explosion within the unarmored areas of a battleship's or other surface combatant's superstructure can result in tremendous damage and many casualties. Radar, communications, fire control, and other essential systems can be destroyed entirely by an enemy projectile. Anyone working in the vicinity of the explosion would be killed or injured. True, the ship might not sink as was the case with the unarmored destroyer HMS Sheffield in the Falklands, but the damage would be substantially more than scratched paint, even on a battleship. Not everything is armored. In fact, a substantial portion of an Iowa-class battleship has no armor protection whatsoever. The "scratched paint" assertion leads me to believe that the author was woefully ill-informed as to the level of protection offered by a battleship's armor.

The real killer for this book, and the most staggering example of battleship worship is the author's assertion on the last page that deployment of the four Iowa-class ships in the 1980s was a principal factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. The author's assertion is that when the Soviet's found themselves faced with the new U.S. battleship/carrier groups, they pretty much threw up their hands and rolled over in defeat. One can almost see the Politburo members in the Kremlin looking at one another and saying "well, that's it for us" when they heard that the Iowa's were coming out of mothballs. If only it had been that easy. As documented in just about every study of the subject, the downfall of the Soviet Bloc was largely due to economic and social factors. True, our outspending them militarily added to the pressure, but to suggest that our breaking out some 1930s-designed ships from mothballs, strapping a few pieces of new technology on them, and putting them out to sea and having that break the back of the Soviets is plainly preposterous.

These and other silly assertions got me to wondering exactly what the author's qualification were for writing this book. There are many other works out there that are far better. Probably the best layman's overview of the Iowa class is Malcom Muir's book (available used on Amazon), which is well-written and much less given to preposterous assertions of Iowa-class invincibility. It was written prior to the 1980s upgrades, but it is still pretty good in spite of that.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iowa Class Battleships 23 May 2013
By Caroline Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was a great look at the battleships. I worked on the BB62, the New Jersey as a contractor for the ABLs for the cruise missiles. I have one book from the New Jersey's ships store and wanted more info.

Super boats and it was a bad strategic decision to retire these great offensive weapons.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Iowa Class Detailed 20 May 2013
By D. Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My father served aboard the Iowa in WW2, so I was looking for details about the ship. This book had much more than just WW2, but covered the entire operational history of the class, with nice renderings of the various remodelings that took place over the many years these giants were in service. While I am not a modeler, I must say this book would be invaluable for anyone constructing an Iowa class scale model. I'm going to sheer this book with my dad, I think he will be pleased as well.
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