German and Italian Aircraft Carriers of World War II

...New Vanguard 306 from Osprey Publishing

Title: German and Italian Aircraft Carriers of World War II
Author: Douglas C. Dildy & Ryan K. Noppen
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4728-4676-1

New Vanguard No. 306 is a new addition to this series from Osprey Publishing, a 48-page soft-cover book in the usual New Vanguard style. Informative text coupled with archive images and some first class artwork by illustrator Paul Wright.
The book is divided into 2 main elements, one for the German ships and the other for the Italian. Each of these is sub-divided into a few sub-sections. They cover the early designs, seaplane carriers, designs from WW1 and the inter-war period before getting to the WW2 designs. I suspect there are many like me who are familiar with the German Graf Zeppelin and the Italian Aquila, both of which came very close to completion but neither of which were ever completed and put into service. I hadn't know about others that are included in the book though, such as the German conversion of the captured French light cruiser De Grasse and the Italian conversions of the liner Sparviero and of the heavy cruiser Bolzano. Added to the details of the ships themselves, it also includes coverage of the German and Italian aircraft types that would have equipped these carriers had they entered service.
Both the Royal Navy and US Navy made widespread use of aircraft carriers throughout WW2 and I still feel it is somewhat surprising that neither Germany or Italy managed to get even 1 carrier into service. It makes for some interesting reading and of course opens up a variety of 'what if' questions.
Thanks to Osprey Publishing for our review copy.

Robin