7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2011
The "Battle Cruiser" concept looked good on paper - a relatively cheap, but enormously powerful ship. Faster and bigger than any Dreadnought of the time, but fatally weak in armour protection. Inevitably they were used for a role they had never been intended to fill - politicians and civil servants only hear what they want to hear in any country and in any generation - and of the three that went to war in 1939, Hood and then Repulse were both casualties. Renown survived, but only to become razor blades as a post war economy needed scrap iron more than it needed it's Fleet.
The fatal mistake of not replacing the aging battle Squadrons during the 1920s and 30s meant that, on the outbreak of WW2, the three British Battlecruisers had to take their place in the Battlefleet as "Battleships" when they patently were not. This book details their originals, the attempts to "modernise" them and give them the protection they lacked and covers the tragedy of aging ships sent to deal with an enemy who had done all the things the British government refused to do until it was to late. Repulse and the Prince of Wales were sacridficed to the stupidity of Whitehall which believed the Malaysian jungle to be "impenetrable" and that the Japanese "were not air minded" and so Singapore and the ships sent to the Far East needed no air cover...
Short, an excellent reference tool and magnificently illustrated.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2013
A good osprey title packed with information and details on the battlecruisers Repulse, Hood, etc. that britain produced between the two wars.
I have learned a few things on these boats that I was not familiar with. The battlecruiser concept is well explained the author successfully made me understand their role and failures.
It is also well illustrated and the author's writing style is fluid and clear. However, I found the photographs and plates slightly repetitive. A bit more photographs of the inside of the boats, or of crewmen would have been welcome and more lively. Also, the book was a bit light in "construction" of the behemoths.
Finally, the maps are a good addition. The plates are beautiful and illustrate the text perfectly.
Exactly what I am expecting of an osprey title.