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Reviewed by Rob Mackie

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Beautiful picture of Littorio


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Color Chart

Click  thumbnail to view full size picture

This 74 page softbound book is a "must have" for modelers of Italian capital ships. It covers the Littorio, Cavour and Duilio battleship classes with over 80 photos, informative text, paint schemes, colour chips, and line drawings.  Production values are exceptionally high.  The photos, many of which are from private collections, are stunning.   Italian capital ships are among the most graceful of warships and this book does them justice.  Page after page of stunning profile shots makes one want to run out and build one of these beauties.

Modelers especially will appreciate the 11 pages of camouflage schemes.  Each one shows both port and starboard patterns and is keyed to colour paint chips reproduced elsewhere in the book. There is a 3 page center spread with colour line drawings of each class and the textual material is uniformly well written and informative.  Erminio Bagnasco, one of the co-authors, is a well known naval author with some impressive titles to his credit.  It shows in this book.  It is head and shoulders above the usual Squadron type publications.

Originally published in 1986 by Pictorial Histories Publishing, Bill Gruner of Pacific Front tells me that it is once again available at $9.95.  Both modelers and naval enthusiasts will enjoy this one.  I highly recommend it.

Chapter Headings
Italian Battleships after World War One
Design of the Littorio Class
Rebuilding the Cavour and Duilio Classes
Italian Battleships at War, 1940-43
The Armistice and the Period of Cobelligerency
Italian Battleships after World War Two
Italian Battleships Color and Camouflage Schemes
Ships' Profiles
Bibliography
Appendix 1: Ships' data
Appendix 2: Activity of Italian Battleships June 10, 1940 though September 8, 1943
Appendix 3: Italian Battleships Ordnance 1939/1945
Appendix 4: Battle Damage Chart / Italian Battleships During World War Two
Color Chart