Saturday, August 29, 2009

Leander Class Cruisers

Leander Class Cruisers by Zvonimir Freivogel
Wydawca 2004
ISBN 8391565335
Hard cover, three fold outs with 6 plans in 1:400 scale, two inserts with 4 color drawings, 64 black and white photographs, 42 drawings, technical data tables

Although the text is in Polish, this book is a valuable source for high quality ship photographs and drawings. 
The Leander-class cruisers served the navies of Great Britain (all), New Zealand (Leander, Neptune & Achilles) and India (Achilles.) Perhaps the most famous action was the Battle of the River Plate of 1939 that saw HMS Achilles (although New Zealand manned, the HMNZS acronym would not come into being until 1942) and HMS Ajax joined with larger cruiser HMS Exeter in the action against pocket battleship Graf Spee.
The whole class served with distinction in the Mediterranean and other theaters. Achilles was the only member of the class to see postwar service albeit as a training ship in India. Like most of the Royal Navy in the late 1940s, most of the ships were worn out from strenuous war service.
It is hoped that the publisher will come out with an English language version of this fine book. (DS)

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