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Austro-Hungarian Battleships 1914-18 (New Vanguard) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I will start with the photographs. They are superb and numerous. I particularly liked (i) a close up a 7cm anti aircraft gun and crew, (ii) a view of three Austro-Hungarian battleships on a good will visit to Malta with a Royal Navy dreadnought in the background and (iii) a shot of the interior of main battery turret of a Tegetthoff class battleship. The quality is far higher than to be found in Rene Gregor's Austro-Hungarian Warships of World War I Whether this is due to improvements in contemporary technology or the uncovering of more and better images I am not qualified to say.
The original artwork by Paul Wright is of the highest quality and lives up the high standards we have come to expect from this publisher. There are full colour plans and elevations of the ships under discussion and two atmospheric paintings of the ships in action
Now to the body of the work, the text. We get a fairly routine account of the design and construction and technical specifications of the five classes of Pre-Dreadnought, Semi-Dreadnought and Dreadnought battleships that served in the K.u.K. Marine between 1914 and 1918. We get a little discussion of the design weaknesses that made the ships vulnerable to attack by mine or torpedo.Read more ›
Although I was surprised by the small size of the work (9¾ in x 7¼ in - 248mm x 184mm and only 43 pages of text plus Contents, Bibliography and Index), I was quickly drawn into the very readable style of writing which does provide a full understanding of the political machinations of the day and the way in which these impinged on the last days of a great navy.
What I had not previously known was that another Battleship of the same class later became a victim of one of the very first attacks by Italian miniature submarine.
Altogether, the story of the final days of the Austro-Hungarian Navy makes fascinating reading and this account is as interesting as any I have studied. In addition, we are treated to a good selection of B&W historic photographs and some excellent artwork.
After a brief introduction on the political situation of the twin monarchy and the related consequences for its Navy the author launches into all the battleship classes that were still in operation during WW2, describing the design decisions, the building, and the characteristics of each ship class in turn. Each ship class also gets treated to a colour plate and historical pictures are peppered throughout the book, too.
Following the ship class descriptions, all the battleship operations are covered for the entire period. As there have not been all that many, a good description is possible within the condensed format of the series, with sufficient detail provided.
It is quite interesting that the rather limited ressources of the Austro Hungarian Navy managed to bind a quite significant portion of the opposing fleets and the fleet in being concept was carried out brilliantly throughout. If you are interested in the other extreme of Austro Hungarian naval operations in WW1, Austro-Hungarian Submarines: In World War One (Maritime) is a nice complement, and quite a bit more extensive on specific aspects of the naval operations (it also describes the background of the operation that resulted in the loss of Szent Istvan a lot more thoroughly).
Overall a good starter on the subject of Austro Hungarian battleships and certainly interesting for people looking for additional understanding of naval matters, or then military or WW1 matters more generally.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is quite a lovely book combining the different classes of Austro-Hungarian battleships, but the lack of depth in certain areas that I was hoping to learn more about was... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Grey Wolf
A naval homework of a young student of Naval History , nothing you have not read when you are interested in WW I and the war in the Adria !!Published on 23 Dec. 2013 by klabautermann
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