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German Light Cruisers of World War II (Paperback)

Seaforth Naval Naval Warfare WWII

By Gerhard Koop, Klaus- Peter Schmolke
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 223
ISBN: 9781848321946
Published: 22nd July 2014

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The warships of the World War II era German Navy are among the most popular subject in naval history with an almost uncountable number of books devoted to them. However, for a concise but authoritative summary of the design history and careers of the major surface ships it is difficult to beat a series of six volumes written by Gerhard Koop and illustrated by Klaus-Peter Schmolke. Each contains an account of the development of a particular class, a detailed description of the ships, with full technical details, and an outline of their service, heavily illustrated with plans, battle maps and a substantial collection of photographs. These have been out of print for ten years or more and are now much sought after by enthusiasts and collectors, so this new modestly priced reprint of the series will be widely welcomed.

This volume is devoted to the six ships from Emden to Nürnberg that were built between the wars. They were primarily intended for commerce-raiding, but the war gave them few opportunities for such employment, although they did provide useful support for key naval operations in the Baltic and North Sea. Two were lost in the 1940 Norway campaign, but the remainder survived for most of the conflict.

Reviewed alongside German Destroyers of World War II

These publications each contain a wealth of data and information.

Marcator

A very reliable reference work and the level of detail model makers look for.

Firetrench

I like the structure of this book. Instead of looking at the ships class by class or ship by ship Koop starts with a topic-by-topic examination of their design, starting with the overall design, then looking at subjects such as armour, armaments, fire control and machinery. This makes it easier to trace the changes made in each of these areas during the design of these six ships. This is followed by a ship-by-ship history of the cruisers. The text is supported by an excellent collection of plans and photographs. Overall this is a very impressive history of a fairly unimpressive set of warships.

History of War

These superb books have been repackaged by Seaforth Publishing from the German language originals produced in the 1990s. Billed as concise, they offer an immensely interesting look at different types of vessels in Nazi service and cover the full aspect of these ships from drawing board to destiny. The individual ship histories are fascinating and there is a wealth of detail that should satisfy any bathtub admiral playing battleships with the soap and sponge.

Seaforth naval books have always been a welcome sight on my doormat and these titles entirely live up to the standard aficionados will recognise. I cannot fault them.

War History Online

German Light Cruisers of World War II by Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke is a fascinating and comprehensive look into the German Light Cruisers of the Kriegsmarine during WWII. The authors have provided a highly detailed pictorial walk around of these six ships. I would highly recommend this book to any individual interested in German Naval history as well as to any modeler of the ships, especially fans of the Kriegsmarine.

MSC Review
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