Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy


Reviewed by Rob Mackie

Title:Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy: 1939-1945
Author:Ken MacPherson, Marc Milner / Hardcover / Published 1993
Cost/Availability: US $39.95 suggested retail, but available from for US $27.97

The 173 page "Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy: 1939-1945" strikes the right balance between narrative, photographs, and technical data. The narrative portion describes the evolution and service history of Canadian corvettes. It is embellished with many illustrative photos. More importantly it paints a picture of the extemporized nature of these vessels and the suffering of the crewmen:

"Water dominated a corvette sailor’s life. It permeated his clothes, his food, his possessions and even his sleep….Although seaworthy enough to handle the weather, the corvettes had a violent motion in rough seas… rising and falling thirty to fifty feet at a time as the ship passed through each crest and trough. Water poured over the forecastle and surged inboard over the low gunwhale of the main deck and through the washports along the side. The main deck was wet even on calm days…. Sailors young and old had to find their sea legs in a hurry, and many could never adjust to the motion."

There are over 200 photos. Reproduction quality is excellent and they show both fittings and construction details as well as every corvette in Canadian service. The modeler could not ask for more. And if that isn’t enough, there are three large foldout plan sheets covering Flower class corvettes of both the 1939-40 program and the 1942-43 program.

It is unusual for a book to be a "must buy" for both students of naval history and modelers looking for pictorial references and plans. "Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939-1945" is that rare book that will appeal to both groups. Lushly produced on glossy 8 " x 11" stock, you will find yourself looking at this book just for the sheer pleasure of browsing through it.

Highly Recommended.