In the last several years, Kagero Publishing of Lublin, Poland has rapidly expanded, providing a host of publications for modelers. Its newest series is War Camera Photobooks. As the series suggests, it uses photographs from World War Two to illustrate, in this case, German Heavy Cruisers. With the recent release by Trumpeter of the Prinz Eugen and Admiral Hipper in 1/350 and 1/700 scales, this book is a timely release.
Each ship in the class is given its own section with text in Polish and English. The text briefly covers the history and origins of the Admiral Hipper and Prinz Eugen classes and a concise summary of the construction and trials of each ship of the class. The captions and photographs provide and broad overview of the service record of each ship. If, however, you want a fuller explanation of each ship’s actions and technical specifications, you will have to go elsewhere. The quality of the photographs varies from crystal clear to very grainy and, for aficionados of these warships, you will recognize that many of these photographs have been published before. The book would have been more useful to modelers if the publishers had decided to add color profiles and photograph as well as line drawings. These are curiously missing. There are some original plans in the back of the book of the Seydlitz, but these would be of limited use for a modeler. The emphasis is on the black and white photographs.
Most everyone is familiar with the Admiral Hipper and the Prinz Eugen. Both ships participated in the well known fleet actions of the Kriegsmarine. For those who prefer to super detail ship kits, there are plenty of photographs that provide close up details of weapons, fittings, and rigging as well as several nice photographs of the ships float plane, the Arado 196. Several ships of this class were never completed and what is most fascinating about this book, are photographs detailing these ships. The Seydlitz and Lützow were sisters to the Prinz Eugen. The Seydlitz was launched after the war began and was meant to be converted to an aircraft carrier. The ship languished until the end of the war when its hull was scrapped. Its sister the Lützow was sold to the Soviet Union. There are several photographs of the hull in Soviet hands. It was never completed and lasted until 1960 when it was also scrapped.
If you are interested in a complete collection of contemporary photographs on German Heavy cruisers, this will be a helpful addition to your library. My thanks go to Kagero Publishing for providing IPMS/USA publication for review. For more information, please visit the Kagero Publishing web site at www.kagero.pl for a complete catalog of their publications.