US Battleships 1941-1963: An Illustrated Technical Reference Paperback – 12 Nov 2008
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About the Author
Born in Glendale Ca into a career Navy Family..I grew up on and around ships and naval stations...I went aboard a USN ship ( the Fleet Tug USS Sarsi ATF111) with my father for the first time at age 1 years in Jun 1951.....I went to sea a year later for the first time as a dependent with my family aboard the USNS Barrett T-AP 156 to Guam returning, to the US aboard the USNS Aultman T-AP152 in 1954...After a stint in Va were my father was stationed at the Pentagon (and assigned to the USS Kentucky BBG1 project) we were transfer in 1959 ti the San Diego area....While in High School I was member of the USS Parche Division of the US Naval Sea Cadets and a member of the California Cadet Corps ROTC program.....in 1966 I enlisted in the Army's Nike Missile Program and was stationed in Germany for 3 years...after discharge I worked as a computer technician on USN projects in the San Diego Area...working on many projects and aboard many ships...in the early 1970's I worked at the Ballistic Missile Early Warning Site I Complex in Thule Greenland for 2 years....in the mid 1970's I assigned aboard the USS Kitty Hawk CVA63 for an extended cruise deployment...........In 2005 my India born wife Swarn and the family cat Cozy relocated to the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains and open a full time art business (art by wayne) ..I began writing in 2007 and completed my first offering in Apr 2008
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The text consists of a 6 page introduction, 2 pages on the impact of the disarmament treaties between the wars, a 10 page chronology of the war and post-war period, 88 pages covering the 15 classes of US battleships and battlecruisers, and the remaining 16 pages tabulating camouflage, battle damage, construction and scrapping, radar and fire control, armament, armor, and aviation. Obviously none of this can be covered in any detail. The book lacks an index.
Scarpaci's text is very poorly written, consisting of long series of statements of facts and opinions (such as his own classification of "generations"of US battleships). Shorthand is used throughout, including the numeric 1st instead of "first." A freshman English teacher would have a field day with his prose, which includes many phrases instead of complete sentences, run-on sentences, and very poor grammar (e.g. p. 40 "The ship probably sunk [sic] as much due to progressive flooding, from the unrepaired torpedo damage giving way as to the effects of the scuttling charges.")
The illustrations include a large number of photos (approximately 260) and some 47 line drawings (all elevation views). Unfortunately, squeezing these into an 8" by 10", 132 page book means that they are necessarily small, typically smaller than 2" by 4". They are all very poorly reproduced gray-scale jpeg files, replete with horrible digital imaging artifacts (such as blurred detail, aliasing, and pixelation). The line drawings are very blurry and difficult to look at. The book includes a number of the author's paintings of the ships. These are similarly small (less than 6.5" by 3") digital color reproductions that are also very unsharp.
Much better books providing the technical information as well as sharp line drawings include Breyer's "Battleships and Battelcruisers" (1973), and Terzibaschitsch's "Battleships of the U.S. Navy in World War II" (1977) which can be had on the used book market for less than the price of Scarpaci's book. And of course, Norman Friedman's authoritative "U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History" (1985) remains in publication.
Addendum: Further to the above, Mr. Polychroniadi's comments on the quality of the graphics in the book are right on the mark. Finally, the author's comment on my review cannot pass without response. His personal attacks on my character (and my preteen's reviews of airsoft products) speak volumes about Mr. Scarpaci. He is, however, absolutely correct in suggesting that I utilize Amazon's very generous return policy.
Unfortunately the manner in which this data is presented leaves much to be desired. The photographs are reproduced far too small,three or four rather than one or two per page,with the that the details pointed out in the captions are virtually un-viewable. This book should have been printed in a much larger format and on glossy rather than dull paper