US Navy Aircraft Carriers 1922-45

ISBN: 1-84176-890-1
Review Date:

Full Title: US Navy Aircraft Carriers 1922-45: Prewar classes

Before World War II and despite the belief that battleships were still the decisive weapons of any naval battle, several nations including the United States had aircraft carriers at their disposal. Ironically, the United States had a late start despite the fact that an American had demonstrated the possibility of planes taking off from ships in 1910. In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the aircraft carriers were the only ships the US Navy had left to oppose the Japanese for the immediate term. In battles throughout 1942 and against the best that the Imperial Japanese Navy had to offer, the US would loose all but three of these ships. However, it cost the Japanese dearly and by the end of the year they were on the defensive and soon the remaining three prewar carriers would not be fighting alone anymore.

Written by Mark Stille, the 114th title in Osprey's New Vanguard series covers the eight aircraft carriers that the US had on hand before World War II.

Though it only has a limited number of pages, the book describes very well in concise detail the development of US carriers before the war, which included their air groups, weapons, and aircraft.

The main subject matter of the book is giving a profile of each the eight carriers with all of them organized by the carrier classes. Each carrier class section is broken into sub-categories: design and construction, armament, service modifications, and the operational history of each carrier in its respective carrier class. At the end of the book, there is a bibliography and then commentary of the color plate used by the eight prewar US carriers.

For those who want a concise and descriptive overview of US carriers during the early years of the war and as well as for modelers, this is an excellent book to reference.

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