The warships of the World War II German Navy are among the most popular subjects in naval history, and one of the best collections is the concise but authoritative six volume series written by Gerhard Koop and illustrated by Klaus-Peter Schmolke. Each book contains an account of the development of a particular class, a detailed description of the ships, with full technical details, and an outline of their service, and are heavily illustrated with plans, battle maps and a substantial collection of photographs. The first five volumes of this much sought after series are now available in paperback, with the sixth volume German Light Cruisers of World War II, planned for release in the fall of 2014.
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were the products of a long, involved, and politically-determined design process that witnessed this class of battleships develop from an improved Pocket Battleship to what many described as a battlecruiser. These ships were the most active, and successful, of the Kriegesmarine’s major warships, took part in numerous famous operations, including the infamous ‘Channel Dash.” and played a key part of Germany’s struggle to wrest control of the sea at the outbreak of World War II. Each was superbly equipped and armed, and designed to cause maximum disruption to Allied shipping. This reference book traces their history, accompanied by outstanding technical drawings and precise specifications.