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British Heavy Cruisers 1939–45

British Heavy Cruisers 1939–45 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review July 2012 Title British Heavy Cruisers 1939–45
Author Angus Konstam Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2012 ISBN 9781849086868
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $17.95


Spawned by The Great War and shaped by interwar politics, World War II British heavy cruisers protected maritime trade, supported Royal Navy battle fleets, and maintained a “calming presence overseas”.

Angus Konstam outlines the whole terrific tale in Osprey’s instructive British Heavy Cruisers 1939–45.  And what an informative introduction it is.

After useful background notes, contents segue to a handy history of heavy cruiser development after World War I.  Coverage moves from the Hawkins Class through The Washington Naval Treaty considerations to design and construction of all 13 vessels.

Text then shifts – class-by-class and ship-by-ship – to “Heavy Cruiser Specifications” and “Service History, 1939-45”.  Concluding sections detail armament and operations.  And illuminating illustrations, camouflage comments, captions, tables, bibliography, and index season this superb summary.

Atlantic or Pacific, Britains’s heavy cruisers served in every WWII theater.  Author Konstam calls them “some of the most useful vessels in the Allied naval arsenal”.  And enthusiasts will find his pithy précis an excellent introduction to this spellbinding subject.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!