This volume of the Osprey New Vanguard series highlights perhaps the most enduring class of fighting ships of the 20th century. Considering that transformation in warships during the last 70 years, the longevity of the Iowa class battleships is noteworthy and a testament to their design and construction.
The book is basically divided in to two sections. The first deals with design and construction of the four units of the class (U.S.S Iowa, U.S.S. New Jersey, U.S.S Wisconsin and U.S.S. Missouri) with particular emphasis on how design parameters of previous battleships (of both U.S and foreign navies) as defined by the Washington Naval Treaty influenced the development of the Iowas. These considerations had a direct bearing on such things as armament, protection and speed. The author also goes into some detail describing the brains of these heavyweights – the fire control systems. The use of radar as well as aircraft for gunfire spotting is also detailed here.