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» » United States Navy destroyers of World War II
United States Navy destroyers of World War II

United States Navy destroyers of World War II

Jr. John C. Reilly,Frank D. Johnson
PDF book size:
1317 kb
ePub book size:
1597 kb
Fb2 book size:
1562 kb
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4.7 of 5
Distributed in the U.S. by Sterling Pub. Co; 1st Edition edition (January 1985)
Dust jacket notes: "United States Navy Destroyers of World War II breaks new ground for both the historian and enthusiast. The first serious study of the fascinating evolution of the US destroyers which fought World War II, this book presents information and photographs which have, literally, never seen the light of day in any past general publication. The author explores in detail the whys and wherefores of the US destroyer programs before and during World War II, in terms of design, performance, armament, modifications, and the influences of pre-war tactical doctrines and economies. This book deals with the process which brought the second and third generations of US destroyers - the first modern US destroyers - into existence, and, although not an operational history, with the ways in which they met the challenges of the Pacific War...."
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7 Reviews
  • I was pleasantly impressed out of my wits when I received this book, which I purchased used on Amazon.

    First, let me describe what I was looking for, to give you a point of reference, as we naval readers don't always have the same expectations. I am an avid WWII modeler first and an amateur historian second. To me, naval engineering or weaponry facts are secondary, as you don't really need a pictorial book such as this one to obtain that kind of data; what's more encyclopedic works from authors like Polman are better suited for that purpose. I do want to know exactly what the general configuration of a particular ship was at a given time, which marks of the various equipment were installed (ie. mark 33 versus 37 director, 5 inch guns enclosed or open, etc).

    And now for the book: it is one exceptional book. The author starts with the 1898 era briefly, then moves on to the 4-stackers of WWI, then after just a few pages on to the main subject: WWII destroyers, with the Farragut class making the first step, then the Benhams, and so on. Along the way we are treated to gorgeous, large size for the most part, super sharp photos showing the ships in detail, up-close, quarter views, at sea side profiles, etc. Author has relied heavily on official naval yard photos (i.e. the ones with the white circles showing additions) as well as period in-action photos. Some are quite poignant in what they represent, sometimes very subtly. For example, on page 29 a picture shows gunners manning a 5-inch wearing asbestos gloves, which would later cause many health ailments to our dear vets.

    The author really earns his keep at explaining the reasons for the updates between each class. He does so in a way I haven't read elsewhere. Easy to follow and very logically he explains what issues the designers faced and how the either solved (majority of cases) or accepted compromises. Each chapter has a caption, usually a piece of wisdom for the time, for example, chapter 11 has "We must become intolerant of delay. We must tear our way through red tape. We must pillory bureaucrats who stupidly sacrifice time in the pursuit of an impossible perfection", which is right on as far as introductions go for the subject being explained, the build-up period of 1941, right before Pearl Harbor. It is little added insights offered that add a dimension not found in other books. For these and many, many more I give this book an enthusiastic 5 stars! Get it, if you don't already have it. Easily worth $50 or more, I will trade mine for a copy in a better condition, which is something I only do with books I intend to keep forever.

  • Usually I am quite skeptical when it comes to reading any books of the American Navy during the Second World War that isn't by Mark Stille, but I can assure you that John C. Reilly Jr most definitely knows his stuff as well.
    He provides good insight into many classes of destroyers, provides charts for various items (including armaments), and gives the author an excellent read.

  • Great book. The very detailed pictures from when the ships were being refitted are amazing. You can spend hours studying just these pics.

  • Awesome reference book. I love the hundreds of photos and information on all variants.

  • Excellent information, and many superb and detailed photographs.

  • good book for hard t find info

  • All books on the US Navy are gifts for my brother in San Diego. I do not read them

  • great job