The website description of this title, “Written by US Navy expert Mark Stille, this book offers a unique insight into the Standard-type classes of US battleships. It provides a detailed investigation into the histories of each of the warships in the Standard-type battleship classes, the first three of which, the Nevada, Pennsylvania and New Mexico, formed the US Navy's main force in the inter-war period. The Standard-types reflected a new design philosophy: by designing each class to meet common standards of maneuverability and handling, vessels of different classes could operate as a single tactical unit without being limited by the performance of the slowest and least maneuverable ship. At the time of their construction, these ships incorporated the latest design features such as triple gun turrets. Although they were rendered increasingly obsolete by evolving naval doctrines and the ascendance of the fast battleship, they served with distinction throughout World War II. This study combines analysis of design features and an absorbing narrative of operational histories to offer a comprehensive picture of the Standard-type battleships, from the brutal destruction of the USS Arizona to the triumphant occupation of Japan.”
- American Battleship Design Development
- The Battleship Classes
- Analysis and Conclusion
Bottom Line Up Front
This volume from the New Vanguard series, number 220, follows Osprey’s highly successful pattern for their books on battleship classes from the World’s major navies. The author, Mark Stille, has 35 years of experience working in the US intelligence community and is a retired US Navy commander. Paul Wright specializes in painting sail and steamships from the mid-19th century through the present. He has provided illustrations for leading authors including Patrick O’Brian, Dudley and C.C. Forester.
What’s in the Book
Mr. Stille starts the book with the impact of the Naval Treaties on US battleship development. Initial US “dreadnoughts” carried a 12-inch main battery until the New York class which was upgraded with 14-inch guns. The three ships of the New York class were the only original class still serving in the battle line at the start of WWII.
The results of the Naval Treaties forced the US to develop a balance between firepower, armor and speed. The US Navy concentrated on firepower and armor with speed being a secondary consideration. 14-inch guns for the main battery were forced on the US Navy by the introduction 13-1/2 inch guns by the Royal Navy and 14-inch guns by Japan. The introduction of triple turrets allowed the reduction in turrets, thus a savings in space resulting in more room for engineering spaces.
The author provides a short history of the service life of each battleship from its loss or decommissioning.
I highly recommend this book, first for history buffs of naval warfare, but also secondarily for modelers. The nine color drawings by Paul Wright will be very useful for model painting. The photos are clear and the illustrations are the usual high Osprey standard. It will be available for purchase on 24 March 2105.
I would like to thank Osprey Publishing LTD for this review copy of US Standard-Type Battleships 1941-45 (1).