Naval Archives Volume 9. Radetzky-class – Forgotten Battleships of the Forgotten Navy
Thanks to Casemate Publishing & IPMSUSA for the review copy!
Kagero Publishing’s latest installment of its Naval Archives – Volume 9 – is a softbound European A4 size with only one page of ads – for Kagero Publishing books. You get five feature articles with detailed text and photographs plus drawings, and sprinkled in between, two-page color layouts of specific ships. The last 10 pages live up to Kagero3D’s name with 3D CG drawings of the WW2 Kriegsmarine destroyer Z37 in its early fit (before its 1945 “Barbara” antiaircraft gun enhancement), and a red/green plastic eyeglass is included to visualize the 3D effect.
The main features start with the front cover title - a well-researched article on the design, building and appearance of the Radetzky class of battleships for the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the mid-1900s, built and based on the Adriatic Sea. No operational history is given, but these ships had the misfortune to be finished after HMS Dreadnought was commissioned, relegating them to an inferior, pre-dreadnought battleship status, and thus, have been largely relegated to obscurity. The Polish WW2 destroyer Grom has a two-page, color set of CG drawings.
The second feature is an interesting history of the heavy cruiser/aircraft carrier DKM Seydlitz, a sister ship of Prinz Eugen, before, during and after WW2. Seydlitz was a ship never finished and was batted back and forth between Germany and the Soviet Union. A two-page set of CG drawings of US Casablanca class escort carries CVE-61 & CVE-64 follows, showing their dazzle camouflage patterns.
The third feature follows the patrol exploits of U-481, a German submarine in WW2, in the Gulf of Finland at the end of WW2. The fourth feature is a series of line drawings and color drawings of Italian battleships in WW2 – very nicely detailed. The fifth feature reports on the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in 2015 and her air wing changes, loaded with color photographs.
Finally, the DKM Z37 is illustrated in color and in 3D images, requiring the supplied lenses to visualize. I did not get the proper effect, as the red/blue never synchronized. Perhaps that is because I wear glasses and the red/green lenses are not the proper distance from my eyes. Hopefully the 3D effect will work for others.
The articles are very well researched, detailed and full of photographs and excellent drawings. This is a high-quality book that is useful for modelers of these subjects, and highlights obscure-enough subjects to attract and keep your interest. Both a reference work and interesting reading.