This book covers the Queen Elizabeth Class (Battleships Queen Elizabeth, Warspite, Valiant, Barham, and Malaya) and the Royal Sovereign Class (Battleships Ramillies, Resolution, Revenge, Royal Oak, and Royal Sovereign).

These two classes of Battleships were the first to employ 15 inch guns and were considered to be the next step up from the 13.5 inch armed Battleships of the previous classes.Even though they were built during the First World War, with modernization and upgrade programs they were still powerful Battleships and served well all the way through World War II.While the book focuses primarily on their service in World War II, there is enough information on the early years to paint the whole picture of these important warships.

The book begins with a brief introduction about the ships including discussion of Battleship developments and technological improvements during the early 1900s.Both the Queen Elizabeth and Royal Sovereign Classes are discussed in detail to include their construction, armament and both pre-war and wartime modifications.  The characteristics for each ship at the beginning of World War II are listed along with a list of modifications and when they were done.  This is great information for those wanting to accurately build one of these ships at a specific point in its lifetime.  There are several tables which give key dates for each ship, including each ship’s fate.  There is another table with the specifications of the 15 inch Mark I main guns including range, angle of decent, strike velocity and flight time.

The book is visually appealing with artwork of the HMS Valiant on the cover and many excellent black and white photos throughout.  Many diagrams from wartime editions of Jane’s Fighting Ships are included which show the layout of the armament and armored protection.  Several schematic drawings feature the internal structures of the ships to give the reader an understanding of their design and layout.  There are a couple of pages dedicated to artwork featuring the HMS Valiant supporting the British landings at Salerno, and another of HMS Royal Oak anchored in Scapa Flow right as a torpedo fired from Günther Prien’s U-47 struck the starboard bow.  There are many beautiful color profiles featuring many of the interesting British Paint schemes of; HMS Queen Elizabeth 1944, HMS Barham 1941, HMS Malaya 1943, HMS Resolution 1940, HMS Archangelsk 1944 (formerly Royal Sovereign), HMS Revenge 1940, and HMS Ramillies 1941.  There is a detailed 2 page cutaway profile of HMS Warspite as it appeared in 1943 with many of the key areas and components labeled.

This is a great reference for the Queen Elizabeth and Royal Sovereign Class Battleships.  There is a great deal of information here that is well organized and nicely displayed.  The history of each ship, while brief, will give a good foundation for further research.This will a great addition to your reference library.

Rating 4.5 Stars

Review sample provided by reviewer

The Osprey Publishing Name, Logo, and Photos are copyright of Osprey Publishing.

Scott Espin – Model Builder International – 


Categories: MBI REVIEWS

Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.


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