Anatomy of The Ship The Battleship Scharnhorst Book Review

Anatomy of The Ship The Battleship Scharnhorst

By Stefan Draminski

Hardcover, 336 pages, bibliography

Published by Osprey Publishing, January, 2021

Language: English

ISBN-10: ‎1472840232

ISBN-13: 978-1472840-23-3

Dimensions: ‎9.98 x 1.16 x 9.83 inches

A battlecruiser is a ship designed with heavy guns, light armor, and high speed.  Their intended niche is generally understood to be as a commerce raider, or as a “cruiser-killer” to counter commerce raiders.  The philosophy is be able to out-run battleships with heavier armament and to out-gun everything else.  Scharnhorst (and her sister Gneisenau) don’t fit neatly into this classification, being both fast and well-armored, but only having a main battery of nine 28 cm (11 inch) guns.  Long described as battlecruisers, it has more recently become common to refer to them as battleships.

Regardless of the semantics, Scharnhorst was a handsome ship, as is ably demonstrated by this book.  The opening chapter is a technical description of the design, which is followed by a chronology of her service history.  Both of these sections are well illustrated with photographs.  The remainder of the book is comprised of line drawings and full-color computer rendered perspectives of the ship and her component systems.  The cover indicates there over 600 drawings and 400 “colour 3D views”.  These are a treasure-trove for the modeler.  Given that several of the details are of equipment common to other Kriegsmarine vessels, they will be of use for anyone studying German surface combatants of the Second World War.

The sheer volume of the information makes these books a bargain, each page contains several line drawings and/or renders of specific details.  The renders are beautifully done and quite intricate.  The one criticism I would offer is more of the 3D views should have a full page to themselves – only a dozen are reproduced on their own pages.  A very nice touch is the artist has accounted for several of the various camouflage and marking schemes in the renders, so it is possible to see the paint evolve along with the equipment changes over time.

This book contains loads of detail and is presented well, in keeping with the standards of the Anatomy of the Ship series.  It is an indispensable reference for the ship modeler, a cornucopia of information for the naval enthusiast, and a great value considering the volume of content.  Recommended for any naval history collection.

3 thoughts on “Anatomy of The Ship The Battleship Scharnhorst Book Review

  1. Looks good, Jeff! 🙂 I have a feeling that the plan was always to arm them with three twin 15 inch turrets (same as Bismarck and Tirpitz) but these weren’t available when they were being built, so they got three triple 11 inch turrets. Re-arming them with 15 inch guns was considered during WW2 but I think the aftermath of the Battle of the Barents Sea put paid to that plan! Having said all that, I could just as easily be mistaken!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right John, there were plans to re-arm them with three 35 cm twin turrets. They had started re-building Gneisenau in that configuration after she was bombed. Still a relatively weak armament though, considering what other navies were doing with their 35,000 ton designs.

      Liked by 1 person

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