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King George V Class Battleships

King George V Class Battleships Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review January 2019 Title King George V Class Battleships
Author Witold Koszela Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2018 ISBN 9788365958075
Format 136 pages, hardbound MSRP (GBP) £30.00


Author/illustrator Witold Koszela spotlights perhaps WWII Britain's most famous warships in The King George V Class Battleships – second in a new series from MMP/Stratus.

The introduction and first two chapters focus on general design, construction, and technical details – like superstructure, armament, armor, propulsion, even aircraft.

Subsequent sections individually detail all five vessels in the class:

  • HMS King George V
  • HMS Prince of Wales
  • HMS Duke of York
  • HMS Anson
  • HMS Howe

Coverage chronicles each warship's distinguishing characteristics, service, modifications, and fate.

Prepare for surprises.

Did you know that, during the hunt for Bismarck, King George V nearly ran out of fuel – and risked "being towed back to base"? Did you know that Winston Churchill explored exchanging Duke of York for as many as eight US Navy heavy cruisers? And did you know that the Allied naval occupation force off defeated Japan totaled a staggering 23 battleships and 90 carriers?

Action accounts, anecdotes, footnotes, and tables augment the lavishly illustrated account. Captions accompany dozens of photos and illustrations. And color notes and art recap camouflage.

Koszela's detailed drawings and competent chronicle will certainly help accuratize, date, and paint your KGV-class kit.

Unfortunately, Koszela failed to include at least one color view of Prince of Wales' intricate camouflage during her final December 1941 sortie. I strongly suspect that modelers will rue that omission.

Similarly, the author describes Duke of York's first "unusual paint scheme" – but includes no image of the pattern. Again, hobbyists must seek those details elsewhere.

Additionally, as with MMP/Stratus' previous Battleships Of The Third Reich, Koszela's superb line drawings include no scale references – not even scale bars. This undermines their value to hobbyists using line art to fact-check project accuracy.

Finally, throughout text, Koszela anachronistically employs metric units for dimensional and performance data. Why not cite English measurements the original vessels used?

None of these nitpicks irreparably dilutes the value of MMP/Stratus' handy handbook. If you're seeking a superb survey of KGV-class battleships, grab this terrific tome.


I want to thank MMP for this review copy.