British Battleships 1939–45 (2): Nelson and King George V Classes (New Vanguard)by Angus Konstam
First Edition Paperback edition
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With the outbreak of World War II, Britain's Royal Navy was at the forefront of her defence with her fleet of battleships as her main striking force. However, ten battleships of this fleet were already over 20 years old, venerable veterans of the first world conflict. As such, in the 1930s two new classes were commissioned - modern battleships which were designed to replace the ageing battle fleet although only one would see active service. Together with the older battleships, which were increasingly modified in the decade preceding the war and during the conflict itself, these vessels held their own against their German and Italian counterparts. This title offers a comprehensive review of the seven battleships of the Nelson and King George V classes from their initial commissioning to their peacetime modifications and wartime service. Detailed descriptions of the main armament of each ship will offer further analysis of individual battleship's effectiveness, discussing how the guns were manned when engaging with the enemy. Moreover, with specially commissioned artwork and a dramatic re-telling of key battleship battles, this book will highlight what it was like on board for the sailors who risked their lives on the high seas. Describing HMS Rodney battling against the Bismarck, the might of the Kriegsmarine, the author details how the British battleship closed in on her German adversary at such close range that the spotters could follow the shells onto the target, arguing that although the aircraft carrier would eventually dominate later naval conflicts, it was the battleship that performed an invaluable service throughout countless engagements.