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Italian Heavy Cruisers

...from Seaforth Publications

Title: Italian Heavy Cruisers
Author: Maurizio Brescia and Augusto de Toro
Publisher: Seaforth
ISBN: 978-1-3990-9885-4

'From Trento to Bolzano', another lovely hardback book from Seaforth Publishing, an imprint of Pen & Sword. A 232-page large format book, which is also available in e-book formats.
This book is the translation of a combination of 2 articles originally published in Italian, and tells us the story of the 7 heavy cruisers built for the Italian Navy which were made in line with the limitations stipulated by the Washington Treaty of 1922. This put a displacement limit of 10,000 tons and a maximum main armament of 8in guns. All the major naval nations faced the same challenge and it was a question of how they would implement it. The answer came across 7 vessels, starting with Trento and Trieste, through the Zara class and finally the Bolzano. A fascinating story as they juggled speed and protection both before the war and then wartime experience. The story is split into separate topics of Technical details, Weapons & Fire Control and Aviation Facilities along with one chapter devoted to their Camouflage scheme which has colour artwork and some patterns that will attract modellers I am sure. It goes on to give details of the pre-war activity of the cruisers before getting to their wartime careers. Rounded off with a Conclusion and Comparisons there is even more detail contained in 6 appendices.
The detail is first class and coupled to plenty of archive photos, copies of original plans as well as the colour artwork, I found this a fascinating read, covering these attractive looking ships. Just to mention one example of a photo which stood out for me was the trial of a Cierva autogyro from a wooden flightdeck on the quarterdeck of the Fiume as early as January 1935.
Thanks to Seaforth & Pen & Sword for the review copy.


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