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US Submarines 1941-45 (New Vanguard) Paperback – Illustrated, 10 Jan 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (10 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841768596
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841768595
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 0.3 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 643,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"This is one of the best books on the subject and while really a primer on the subject, provides enough information to be interesting and to whet one's appetite for more. It is a book that I found quite interesting and I know you will as well." -Scott Van Aken, "modelingmadness.com
""Overall, this new addition to the New Vanguard line of books from Osprey Publications delivers to the reader good, clear, information about the U.S. submarines in the time frame covered... Recommended from this modelers point of view." -Mark Smith, "AeroScale
""We have here a good subject and lots of information that Mr. Jim Christley was abble to condense well, showing the relevant points and even adds some curiosities without getting off course ." -Rui Matos, "Aeroscale""

We have here a good subject and lots of information that Mr. Jim Christley was abble to condense well, showing the relevant points and even adds some curiosities without getting 'off course.' "Rui Matos, Aeroscale"

This is one of the best books on the subject and while really a primer on the subject, provides enough information to be interesting and to whet one's appetite for more. It is a book that I found quite interesting and I know you will as well. "Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com"

Overall, this new addition to the New Vanguard line of books from Osprey Publications delivers to the reader good, clear, information about the U.S. submarines in the time frame covered... Recommended from this modelers point of view. "Mark Smith, AeroScale""

About the Author

Jim Christley retired from the US Navy in 1982 as a senior chief petty officer, having served on seven submarines ranging from diesel to nuclear fast attacks to ballistic missile boats. A student of US submarine technical history, he has written numerous articles and a book on the subject, in addition to providing technical illustrations to several notable books on submarine design and history. He is based in Connecticut, USA. Tony Bryan is a freelance illustrator of many years experience. He initially qualified in Engineering and worked for a number of years in Military Research and Development, and has a keen interest in military hardware - armour, small arms, aircraft and ships. Tony has produced many illustrations for partworks, magazines and books, including a number of titles in the New Vanguard series. He is based in Dorset, UK.


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a couple of osprey on naval subjects and this one falls probably in the average.

The book has a right balance in explaining design developments, technical advances, operational history, etc. but the reading may be a bit dull if you are not fully into these technical osprey new vanguard. The book can be very detailed and technical in some places.

More positively, the author clearly knows his stuff and the plates are decent and very informative.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have about 15-20 New Vanguard / Osprey series books on naval subjects. This one of US Submarines written by Jim Christley is one of the best.

In general I would say these "books" are more like fancy pamphlets or posh magazines rather than books. But I buy them as they are a useful first primer on a class of boats. Also they usually contain interesting photographs and some nice illustrations. However the quality, the readability and the accuracy of the writing is highly variable and often leaves much to be desired. Some authors are downright awful. While not worth the published price of GBP9.99 or $17/95, at a discounted price they are worth purchasing.

However this book by Jim Christley is a significant cut above most of the New Vanguard ship series. I've read quite a lot of more specialist books on USS Harder, Wahoo, Darter, Tang and boats led by other renowned skippers, as well as books on the RN submarine fleets. The knowledge of the author (a senior petty officer from US subs) and his passion for the subject clearly come through. Don't expect a detailed review - the bibliography mentions a list of follow on reading. But as a primer, or as a brief reminder, this book is excellent. There are also good illustrations and some very interesting photos of submarines being constructed.

This book is highly recommended. I will watch out for other books written by Mr Christley.
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A very good book for those interested in naval history especially the Pacific Submarine campaign and modeller giving a good insight on the development of the Fleet Submarine designs.
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By me on 10 Aug. 2014
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Good overview of the subject
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f02ec84) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f03481c) out of 5 stars A brief history of the Fleet Boat 6 Dec. 2006
By Thomas J. Dougherty - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jim Christley has written a short (48 pg) but masterful history of the submarines of WWII. Not intended as a comprehensive operational history, but rather a thumbnail sketch of the development and anatomy of these warships. After a chapter on the design and development leading up to the Gato class, the equipment section starts off with a review of weapons. Sections on torpedoes and gun outfitting offer succinct summaries of the offensive and defensive systems of the era. I found the section on guns to be particularly informative, stepping through the different deck gun models and the range & weight of the projectiles fired by each. The various periscope, sonar, and radar installations are covered next. Again, these are brief but well-written descriptions of each installation and the improvements made over the war. The next section introduces the Balao class boat as an illustrative example of the fleet submarine. This leads off with a description of paint schemes or measures, and covers Ms 9, 10, and the two variants of Ms 32. Next, the individual compartments and their functions in the boat are explored, followed by a discussion of submarine tactics. This includes informative diagrams of the approach and attack phase. The book ends with a brief operational history summary of submarines during WWII. In the limited space, Christley manages to condense as good deal of the high points of the submarine campaign against Japan.

The book is illustrated with both black & white photos and color plates. Christley spent time selecting the photos at the Submarine Force Museum & Library in Groton CT. The results are pictures that are largely unfamiliar and fresh, which complement the text. Christley wisely has included a photo of a key piece of submarine equipment-the coffee urn. The center section of the book has color plates by Tony Bryan. These include a nice scale comparison of an S-class boat, the large V-boat Argonaut, and a P class (Perch) boat. Another plate illustrates different paint measures, and a two-page plate that has a cut-through diagram of a Balao class boat. Other color plates cover examples of Gato & Balao conning tower fairwater modifications and variants. There are also beautiful color illustrations of Tang attacking on the surface and Sterlet at periscope depth. Overall, this slim volume packs an amazing amount of submarine information. Anyone contemplating building a fleet submarine model will not only learn more about the "hardware" from this book, but also will develop an appreciation of the fleet boat in naval history. This little book is a real gem, and you will want it in your collection, right alongside Alden's book on fleet submarines (The Fleet Submarine in the US Navy- John D. Alden).
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90262cfc) out of 5 stars Ignores top scoring US skippers and boats 7 April 2006
By R. A Forczyk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jim Christley, a retired US submariner, provides a synopsis of US submarines in the Second World War in Osprey's New Vanguard #118. Given that Osprey provided two volumes on U-Boats in WW2 in the NV series, just as they have for other `big topics' like WW1 artillery, it seems that the author was handicapped from the outset. Trying to discuss the development and operations of over 200 submarines in 14 different classes is a daunting, if not unrealistic task for a mere 37 pages of text. Furthermore, the author's ability to focus on what is important and pack information into this tight format was disappointing. What the reader gets is a "walk-around tour" of the chief's old boat, some notes on development and a series of snapshots about a few sub actions in WW2. Somehow, the author managed to ignore three of the top five US subs in the war (USS Rasher, Barb and Silversides) and barely includes the top-scoring USS Flasher. Even given the space limitations, to omit mentioning skippers like "Mush" Morton and boats like the USS Wahoo would be like writing about U-Boats and omitting Gunther Prien and the U-47.

The author begins with a brief discussion of the development of US submarines in the period from 1916 up to the 1930s. Given the format constraints, spending 5 of 37 pages on several classes that played little or no role in WW2 was a mistake. The section on weapons and equipment is decent, probably the best part of this volume. The "tour of the boat" was a bit tedious and descriptions of "the maneuvering room" provide too little detail to be useful to specialists but too much to interest general readers. The section on operations and tactics is rather uninformative and I wonder why the author chose to describe a `generic' attack instead of a real, historical attack with actual timelines. It seems like USS Archerfish's attack on the Shinano would have been a good one. Furthermore, there is little mention of surface vs. submerged attacks or the effectiveness of Japanese ASW against US subs.

The sections on operations consists primarily of two vignettes, one on the USS Harder's "destroyer-killing-spree" in June 1944 and the actions of the USS Darter and Dace in October 1944. The author also provide brief mention of Richard O'Kane and the USS Tang in one of the color plates, plus brief mention of the early efforts by the Asiatic Fleet boats and life-guard duties. While Sam Dealy's patrols on the USS Harder were impressive, the author presents some wartime claims as fact without mentioning that some were later disputed by the US Navy. Also, the actions depicted were primarily against Japanese warships, while the bulk of US submarine actions were against Japanese merchant shipping. As noted, three of the top five fleet boats are ignored and the only mention of the top-scoring USS Flasher is about its paint scheme. Nowhere in the volume does the author list the tonnages scored by individual boats or top skippers and his brief synopsis of total tonnage sunk does not breakdown Japanese warship losses to US subs (incl. 1 battleship, 8 carriers and 11 cruisers). Failing to mention early stars like "Mush" Morton and the USS Wahoo, as well as superb combat teams like Eugene Fluckey on the USS Barb - Fluckey's excellent book Thunder Below! Is not even mentioned in the bibliography - is devastating for the credibility of this author. On the other hand, the less well-known USS Sterlet, on which the author served in the 1960s, graces both the cover and one full color page. OK chief, you covered your old boat, but what about the rest of the sub force?

The author does provide a table listing the number of boats by class in service each year (good) and a list of subs lost, but there is no mention of what caused the loss of these boats or any real attempt at analysis. Nor is there any effort to discuss squadron organization nor any mention of the US submarine force that served in the Atlantic. One look at the bibliography - no Roscoe, no O'Kane, no Fluckey, etc - should warn the reader what kind of research effort went into this volume. Overall, this volume was a disappointment.
HASH(0x8fbdfc90) out of 5 stars Not bad, but there was one thing I was expecting 5 Jun. 2015
By Brendon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not a bad book on US Subs during the Second World War. As with any New Vanguard book on the subject, it goes through the development history, service history, and a small overview of the weapons fitted. The book also gives an idea of submarine tactics(which is appreciated).

However, I don't feel like Jim Christley gave enough insight on the actual effect these submarines had during the war. These submarines entered a war of attrition that was arguably war winning, and although Christley briefly(and I mean SERIOUSLY brief) mentions their overall impact to the war, he doesn't seem to give it enough justice. He merely mentions the tonnage sunk during the war and mentions how it may have suffocated Japan in a paragraph or two. Perhaps it's just historiography in play, but I believe that these subs had a major impact on the PTO, and Christley only slightly agrees (what do I know?)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b938b88) out of 5 stars US Submarines 1941 - 1945 28 Mar. 2011
By Robert F. Schive - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book is very basic....Price is way to much for the contents of the book. Would not have spent the money for it, if I had known there was very little to the book and the information.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91beabdc) out of 5 stars Shallow, but Appropriate 23 Oct. 2013
By Harshjudge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Those remaining souls who wish to know more about WWII submarines are likely a slim audience. This cursory overview will not appeal to a serious search for technical details.
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