The Battleships of Iowa Class

A Design and Operational History

  • Subject: Battleships, Destroyers and More | World of Warships Booklist
  • Format:
  • Pages:
  • Illustrations:
    35 3D drawings, 6 maps, 300 color photos, 466 b/w photos, 35 tables, 54 b/w line drawings
  • Published:
    October 1, 2019
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Product Dimensions:
    11 × 8.5 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    70 oz
Hardcover $125.00
Member Price $100.00 Save 20%
Book: Cover Type


Available for sale only in the U.S. and Canada. Exceptions made for USNI Members.

The four battleships of the Iowa class, the crowning achievement of U.S. battleship construction, had exceptionally long careers and each in their way left a distinctive mark not only on the U.S. Navy but on naval history at large. Built as the ultimate American battleship and designed to engage the major units of the Japanese and German fleets, the vessels were commissioned in the closing stages of World War II, the beginning of half a century of service during which individual units saw action in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Lebanese Civil War and finally the Persian Gulf War. As such, these ships are symbolic of the primacy of U.S. seapower during the Cold War, and the preservation of all four members of this mighty class as museums is testament not only to their enduring fascination for successive generations of Americans, but also to the immense technical, financial, military, and political resources wielded by the United States during the second half of the twentieth century.

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

“This is a magnificent production. The technical and operational level of detail will delight the most demanding rivet-counter, but the nine hundred high quality illustrations--3D renderings, color and B&W photos, and line drawings--elevate Battleships of the Iowa Class into a class of its own.  The translation from the French original is excellent. Highly recommended.” --Vincent P. O’Hara, author of U.S. Navy against the Axis, Struggle for the Middle Sea, and Torch.
“A book that … will please most Iowa enthusiasts.” —Sea Classics
Battleships of the Iowa Class, can be enjoyed both as a coffee table book and as a penetrating examination of the design, construction, and operational history of the Iowa Class…. While the book has numerous standard black and white photos of the four ships, it is the pages of color photos which sets this book apart. Some of these photos are worthy of display in an art gallery. In total, the photo coverage provided in this book of the four Iowa Class ships leaves very little of their internal and external spaces not illustrated. This book is sure to become the benchmark by which all other books on the Iowa Class will be judged.” —Naval Historical Foundation

“If books were classified as ships, thenThe Battleships of the ‘Iowa’ Class: A Design and Operational History, by Philippe Caresse, would be a battleship. It’s hardcover, glossy, and heavy, and will displace a bit of space on your desk. It has an impressive array of informative firepower, and there’s enough imagery to entertain someone casually flipping pages, as well as serious naval enthusiasts and professionals…. Battleships of the Iowa Class will provide hours of enjoyable reading and browsing. It’s the kind of book that buyers will be proud to own, and should have a long shelf-life in any library.” —The Strategy Page

“The book is easy to read, without many technical terms, but with beautiful photographs of the exterior and interior…. The photos are often from various periods of the forty and plus years of life of the ships so that we can draw a comparison. One of the strengths of the book are the beautiful 3D schemes as well as the various photos of details that can be useful to model makers. There is a good balance between black and white and color photos, all of the highest quality. The book can not miss on the shelves of fans of naval history and modeling, because it represents a fantastic approach to know the history of the most powerful battleships ever created. The most fascinating aspect is the photographic one supported by a passionate technical and historical description of these real ‘floating cities’.” —On The Old Barbed Wire

“This comprehensive, lushly illustrated work belongs on every battleship aficionado’s bookshelf, but it holds more than antiquarian interest. Perusing Battleships of the Iowa Class could help mold fleets for the age of great-power strategic competition now upon us…. Strongly recommended for any individual or library harbouring an interest in maritime affairs.” —The Northern Mariner / Le marin du nord
“Mister Caresse has an excellent track record with histories of French capital ships. This time round he has given us another visually stunning book rich in of glorious archive photographs. It is a book to take your time over, because there is so much to take in. Bruce Taylor’s translation from the original French is first class. All-in-all this is an eye-popping treat of a book that works on many levels. There is more than enough for serious devotees of warship history, while it will also appeal to general readers looking for something different. Highly recommended.” —War History Online
“This lavishly illustrated celebration of the U.S. Navy’s — and the world’s — last operational battleships is a fitting tribute to the four ships of the Iowa class, which entered service midway through the Pacific War in World War II and variously served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, off Lebanon, and in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm.” —Seapower

“This is a highly technical book, jam-packed with details, facts and figures, but the original French text is translated into an easy-to-understand and very readable format…. If you are looking for a single comprehensive source of information on these ships, you should seriously consider this volume. This has to be one of the best books about the Iowas I have ever seen, and I am proud to have it in my nautical library! Very highly recommended!” —Nautical Research Journal

“A serious book ... beautifully produced and presented. It is a must for every military professional, historian and military history enthusiast. Most highly recommended.” —FIRE Reviews
The Battleships of the Iowa Class is a well-written (ably translated by Bruce Taylor), lavishly illustrated book…. It will appeal to all those with a particular interest in battleships, as well as those with a general interest in naval history. It will also provide a valuable resource to researchers…. For anyone with a particular interest in, for example, the history of the U.S. Navy, its battleships or battleships in general, this book will greatly appeal and is strongly recommended. The Battleships of the Iowa Class would be a worthy addition to any bookshelf, or coffee table, and will provide an engaging and enjoyable read.” —The Naval Review
“....The most spectacular and comprehensive account of … legendary battleships ever produced. It contains a staggering number of photographs, laying out the battleships’ story right up until the present day as preserved/museum ships.” —Warships: International Fleet Review