and features three classes;the Kaiser Class (Battleships Kaiser, Friedrich der Grosse, Kaiserin, Prinzregent Luitpold, and König Albert), the König Class (Battleships König, Großer Kurfürst, Markgraf, and Kronprinz), and the Bayern Class (Battleships Bayern, Baden, Sachsen, and Württemberg).

The layout of the book is very logical with the book being divided into three sections, one for each battleship class.Details are given for the armaments, armored protection, stability (sea keeping), power plant configurations, design characteristics and modifications.  The history of each battleship is told which lays down a great foundation of knowledge for further research.  It has been said that English speaking peoples are separated by a common language.  Some of the terminology used in this book may not be familiar to American readers however it’s easy to understand the authors meaning from the context.In addition, the range data for the primary and secondary armaments is given in hm (hectometers) instead of the more common meter or yard measurements.  Simply take the figure given and multiply it by 100 to convert to meters.

The book has a lot of visual appeal.  The cover is gorgeous with artwork of SMS Kaiser firing away at the HMS Warspite at Jutland.  There are also three pictures on the cover front that are a sampling of the many black and white period photos all throughout the book.  There are several nice diagrams which show the layout and thickness of the armored protection of each battleship class side by side with their British counterparts for comparison purposes.  Large tables list key dates, costs, characteristics and performance data for each battleship within each class which makes it very easy to find information at a glance.

There are several color profiles with both side and overhead views of the Kaiser, König and Bayern.  There are several pages dedicated to artwork featuring: the Kaiser at Jutland firing on the Warspite, the König pounding the Slava at Moon Sound October 1917 and the König at Jutland right as a shell ricocheted off the conning tower.  There is a cut-away profile of Friedrich der Grosse from a side stern angle with labels for key areas and components of the ship.  The text that accompanies the diagram refers to the bow and broadside torpedo rooms “as can be seen from the cutaway drawing” however they are nowhere to be seen.Mistakes like that should not make it to print.

In conclusion, this is an excellent reference for the Kaiser, König and Bayern classes of German World War I Battleships.  There is a lot of great information here that is well organized and will be of use to those researching these ships.  The history of each ship is thorough and provides for a great foundation for further research on these ships.

Rating 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Review sample provided by the reviewer.

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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