Company: Osprey Publishing
The latest New Vanguard naval edition from Osprey covers one of the least well-known class of modern US Navy vessels, the light cruiser. The operational lifetime of the Navy’s light cruisers spanned 50 years, from the commissioning of the USS Omaha in 1923 to the scrapping of the USS Roanoke in 1973. Their heyday occurred between 1941 and 1945. By 1947, most of those that had survived the World War II had been decommissioned. A few soldiered on either as gun platforms during the Korean War, or were adapted to missile platforms during the Cold War.
The first chapters detail the origin of the light cruiser, the influence of the London and Washington Naval Treaty restrictions, the evolution of their standardized 6”-gun armament, and advent of radar and its spectacular effect on their fire control. Completed just after World War I, the Navy’s first “modern” light cruisers, the 10-ship Omaha class, were intended as a scouting vessel for the main Battle Fleet. They would prove a disappointment, never adequately fulfilling the mission they were designed for, much less the heavier demands placed on them by the Second World War.