Osprey's Warship 2018


John Jordan


Osprey Publishing




Scott Van Aken

Notes: 224 pages, hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-4728-2999-3

This is the second book in this series I have had the pleasure of reading. It comes out once a year and is a compilation of articles on various aspects of warships. It appears that most of the articles concentrate on the last 125 years or so, though from time to time, you will find older ships. This particular one is a wonderful mix of articles on some famous and some less famous ships with one being pretty much a 'whiffer' article.

The initial article is on a Danish coastal battleship, the Niels Iuel. The article tells of its reason for being, the design and eventual construction of the ship as well as its fate.

The next two articles concentrate on the Graf Spee. The first one is an in depth tactical analysis of the Battle of the Riven Platte while the second is an equally detailed look at the battle damage suffered by the ship. Both are quite detailed and I know that fans of the battle and the ship will find them both fascinating.

The story of the French armored cruiser Jean d'Arc is next. One thing about the French is that their warships were often quite distinctive.

The breaking of the Italian Ultra code by the British is the fifth article and quite well done.

The story of a ship whose design purpose was pretty well gone once she launched is the article on the Japanese light cruiser Oyodo.

The 'whiffer' article is on the Russian Navy's attempt at having coastal battleships designed and built prior to WWI. Some rather innovative designs in this one.

Moving to the 21st Century is another well written article on naval replenishment vessels and the way the various major powers approach the subject.

British Cruiser designs for trade protection from 1905-1920 is the next article. It did result in some ships, but not the ones initially envisioned.

The story of the Japanese destroyer Amatsukaze is the next to last main article. This ship had the front half blown off and yet was rebuilt enough to be seaworthy once again.

Finally a look at the US armored cruiser USS Huntington (ex-West Virginia) and how she looked in 1920.

This is capped with several notes and addendums as well as several pages of book reviews.

Not an inexpensive book, but one that is certainly worth the money in terms of the quality of the articles. Ship fans should pick this up.

June 2018

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