Ship Craft #32:  British Aircraft Carriers

Author/Artists: Robert Brown


Pen & Sword


$28.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 64 pages, softcover, 120 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-

This is the first volume on British Aircraft carriers and concentrates on purposely designed ships rather than those early ships that were converted from other types. Covered in this edition are the HMS Hermes, Ark Royal and the six ships of the Illustrious class.

Undoubtedly the most interest is in the Hermes and the Ark Royal as they were launched prior to the outbreak of WWII. Hermes was correctly noted as being the first aircraft carrier designed as such from the start, but thanks to a protracted build, the Japanese Hosho was the first to actually enter service. Hermes had a long career as such ships went in those days, before being sunk by the Japanese in the Indian Ocean during 1942.  Ark Royal had a similar ending being sunk in 1941 in the Mediterranean by U-81 after only three years of service. 

The Illustrious class of ships were all launched either just before or during WWII. They all survived the war with the Victorious being used to test angled deck operations, a feature that has been on most all US and British carriers since.

The book follows a standard format. The first quarter of it is a history of the various ship classes. This includes any combat operations in which they were involved.  This is followed by a section covering various kits and accessories along with several feature builds in various scales. Several pages of plan drawings are provided and there is also a very nice section on the varied camouflage schemes carried by these ships. In addition to all this, in much of the book are some very nice and clear photographs of these ships.  In all, it is a nice addition to the series and one you should seriously consider getting this one.

May 2024

Copyright All rights reserved. No reproduction in part or in whole without express permission.

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