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Italian Cruisers of World War II

Italian Cruisers of World War II Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review July 2018 Title Italian Cruisers of World War II
Author Mark Lardas Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2018 ISBN 9781472825353
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.00


Mark Stille distills and dissects Italian Cruisers of World War II in the 261th installment of Osprey's extensive "New Vanguard" range.

Contents commence with notes on post-WWI political influences and Regina Marina design factors – as well as on weapons, fire control, and radar.

Coverage then segues to summaries of major surface actions – and thence to every Fascist Italian heavy and light cruiser class, including war prizes:

  • Trento
  • Zara
  • Bolzano
  • Condottieri – Da Barbiano Group
  • Condottieri – Luigi Cadorna Group
  • Raimondo Montecuccoli – First Group
  • Raimondo Montecuccoli – Second Group
  • Garibaldi
  • Capitani Romani
  • Ex-Imperial German WWI Cruisers

Individual class sections include design, armament, and deployment comments. Photos, color profiles, and action paintings provide plenty of eye candy. And tables recap constituent warship specifications, milestones, and fates.

Sidebars and extended captions further augment the account. An "Analysis and Conclusion" puts Fascist Italy's cruisers into historical perspectives. And an index and selected – albeit truncated – bibliography wrap things up.

But don't expect annotations to guide further study. Why no mention of the old, but operational "incrociatore corazzato" San Giorgio? Remember that "preventative" remains a noun – not an adjective. And note that the destruction of Axis forces – not Allied – occurred "in Tunisia in May 1943".

Osprey's pithy précis totals just 48 pages. And it succinctly supplements the publisher's Italian Battleships of World War II (New Vanguard 182). Make it your introduction to these fascinating, but largely neglected, warships.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!