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British Destroyers 1939–45: Wartime-Built Classes

British Destroyers 1939–45: Wartime-Built Classes Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review February 2018 Title British Destroyers 1939–45: Wartime-Built Classes
Author Angus Konstam Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2017 ISBN 9781472825803
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.00

Review

Angus Konstam completes his two-part survey of World War II Royal Navy destroyers in British Destroyers 1939–45: Wartime-Built Classes – 253rd installment in Osprey's popular "New Vanguard" range.

Britain entered World War II with a sizeable, but largely obsolescent destroyer fleet. These temporarily held their own against Axis navies until newer, larger, more capable, and better-armored replacements arrived.

After introductory notes and comments, Konstam recaps the "Gun Destroyers" and "War Emergency Programme" – including role, weaponry, and "sensors".

His slim, 48-page study then recaps 10 destroyer classes, each section conveniently concluding, as the previous volume did, with tabular summaries of the warships with specifications:

  • Tribal-class destroyers
  • J-, K-, and N-class destroyers
  • L- and M-class destroyers
  • O- and P-class destroyers
  • Q- and R-class destroyers
  • S- and T-class destroyers
  • U- and V-class destroyers
  • W- and Z-class destroyers
  • C-class destroyers
  • Battle-class (1942) destroyers

Entries include builder, launch and commission dates, and fates. Photos, extended captions, camouflage notes, action paintings, selected bibliography and index augment the effort. Modelers will again appreciate the color profiles.

Recognizing the space limitations of "New Vanguard" volumes, Konstam concludes coverage with "A Destroyer In Action" case study: one warship in one engagement – HMS Saumarez of the East Indies Fleet during the Battle of Malacca Strait, 15-16 May 1945. Interesting!

Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!