The Battleship Scharnhorst is a new title from Osprey Publishing LTD in the series Anatomy of the Ship. Authored by author, researcher and 3D modeler Stefan Draminski, this remarkable hardcover book boasts 336 pages featuring over 600 scale drawings, more than 400 color 3D views, and dozens of photographs! Curiously, while Osprey catalogued the series flagship title as ANT 1, this book is simply listed in their General Military range with its Short code: GNM. The book carries ISBN 9781472840233 . It is also available in eBook (PDF) and ePUB formats.
Osprey' describes this book thus:
- The Kriegsmarine‘s Scharnhorst was a German capital ship, described either as a battleship or battlecruiser, and the lead ship of her class, which included one other ship, Gneisenau. She was launched on 3 October 1936 and completed in January 1939, armed with nine 28cm C/34 guns in three triple turrets. She operated with Gneisenau for much of the early portion of World War II, including sorties into the Atlantic to raid British merchant shipping. They took part in Operation Weserübung (April-June 1940), the German invasion of Norway, during which they sank the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious and her escort destroyers Acasta and Ardent. Scharnhorst also sank HMS Rawalpindi in November 1939. In early 1943, Scharnhorst joined the Tirpitz in Norway to intercept Allied convoys to the Soviet Union. On a sortie from Norway to attack a convoy, the German force was intercepted by British ships and during the Battle of the North Cape (26 December 1943), HMS Duke of York and her escorts sank Scharnhorst. Most of her crew was lost.
This is the most comprehensive examination of Scharnhorst ever published, drawing on new research and technology to tell the full story of the ship. It includes a complete set of detailed line drawings with fully descriptive keys and full-colour 3D artwork, supported by technical details, photographs, and text on the building of the ship, as well as a record of her service history.
The Battleship Scharnhorst is one of over a dozen similar publications by Stefan Draminski. This book follows the format and organization of the first book of the series, The Battleship Bismarck, with 336 pages presented through several chapters and subsections:
- SECTION 1
The battleship Scharnhorst - Technical description
History of the battleship Scharnhorst
- Primary Views
- The drawings
- A General arrangements
B Hull structure
F Fire Control
Although author Draminski expressed a passion for Bismarck, this chronicle of Scharnhorst features almost twice the number of detail and history pages . Described in detail are the main components of the ship:
- Hull structure
- Main artillery
Heavy anti-aircraft artillery
Medium anti-aircraft artillery
Light anti-aircraft artillery
Main and secondary artillery
Aircraft, catapults and cranes
Boats (eight types)
Other equipment (sonar, paravanes, magnetic protection, etc.)
Camouflage (11 colors and how they were applied)
Wreck of the Scharnhorst
Scharnhorst history is presented through narratives of scores of significant days, from awarding the contract to build the ship, through the October 2000 expedition to find the wreck. The author fills the book with impressive technical descriptions, i.e., number of transverse bulkheads, numbering designations, frame marker numbers, distance between components, and types of armor plate with tensile strength values, to name a few. Electrical generating equipment and output data are listed. Main battery anti-dispersion information is noted. If the text was described as a model kit, the level of detail is super-detailed.
Hundreds of following pages are technical illustrations and 3D artwork. Now we will explore that aspect of the book.
Photographs, Artwork, Graphics
Photographic support for the text is limited. However, the photos provided are remarkable. Most show Scharnhorst in port or at sea.
Principal characteristics of Scharnhorst: 19 technical categories with characteristics and data
Boilers: described with 13 technical features
Turbines: described with 5 technical features
Liquids: 5 types and capacity
28cm SK C/34 gun: 25 characteristics with data
15cm SK C/28 gun: 24 characteristics with data
10.5cm SK C/33 gun: 24 characteristics with data
3.7cm C/30 gun: 20 characteristics with data
2cm C/30 and 2cm C/38 guns: 19 characteristics with data
G7a TI torpedo: 16 technical features and characteristics
Radars and radar detectors: 7 types by:
- * Period aboard
Arado Ar-196 A: specifications of the two-seat floatplane with 10 subjects of data
Artwork is the meat of this book - over 1,000 images. The level of effort that went into creating this incredible gallery is extraordinary. While the author did not state how much effort went into these illustrations, his book about the Bismarck featured 40 million (40,000,000) individual polygons! To my eyes, at least that many were created for this book.
Those tens of millions of polygons first meld together in Primary Views, 29 pages of color two-page profiles, planforms, and 3-quarter views of Scharnhorst:
- January 1939, Commissioning, Wilhelmshaven: profile; planform; upper starboard quarter; bridge superstructure; aft superstructure; bow-on; stern view
August 1939, Wilhelmshaven: profile and planform after refit
November 1939: planform of bow and stern air recognition markings
1940 April, May and June: planforms showing color changes for Operations Weserübung and Juno
June 1940, Operation Juno: aerial views of bridge and amidship
December 1940, Kiel: depicting "Baltic camouflage" in profile; planform; waterline starboard bow; waterline port quarter; bow and stern planforms
March 1941, Operation Berlin: port and starboard profiles; bow and stern decks; port and stern 3-quarters
February 1942, Operation Cerberus: "water pattern" camouflage as viewed from profile, planform, amidship close-up 3-quarter views
March 1943, Operation Paderborn: profile and planform
December 1943, Operation Ostfront: planform; profile; 3-quarter views of bow and stern; bow-on; stern view
Following those images are a series of engineering and technical drawings in line art, partial and full color line art, and cutaways that show all manner of characteristics such as:
- Hull plates and curvature per bulkhead
Auxiliary boats and launches and dinghies
Deck plans with compartments (keyed with hundreds of components)
Fire control posts
Floatplane stowage trolleys
Shipyard construction plate
Spare gun barrel canisters
Turrets and gun mounts
Remember, those are just a sample of over 1,000 3D color renderings and technical images.
Each image has captions and many are keyed with individual components. This is an incredible gallery of artwork.
The Battleship Scharnhorst from Osprey is an exceptional presentation of one Germany's main warships of WW2. Scharnhorst led a active service life and her physical attributes are exceptionally recreated with obvious passion by the author-artist. This book boasts an incredible gallery of high quality artwork, over 1,000 amazing images!
I have nothing meaningful to criticize.
This book should be a valuable addition to the library of modelers of Scharnhorst, Kriegsmarine, battleships, and WWII naval actions. Highly recommended.
Please remember to mention to Osprey and retailers that you saw this book here - on Model Shipwrights.
Highs: An incredible gallery of high quality artwork. Over 1,000 amazing images.
Lows: De minimis.
Verdict: This book should be a valuable addition to the library of modelers of Scharnhorst, Kriegsmarine, battleships, and WWII naval actions.