The latest offering from Squadron Signal Publications brings to us one of the best know names in Naval history, USS Arizona. At the time of her building she was labeled as the largest battleship in the world. It was rumored her name would be North Carolina. She actually began her life as Battleship 39. She was to be a duplicate copy of Pennsylvania, however these plans were dropped.
The cover front and back covers offer two different views of the Arizona. The front features her cruising off the Hawaiian coast in August 1941. The back cover shows the Arizona as she looked in 1929 prior to her modernization.
The book is 120 pages long and measures 8” x 11”. It is loaded with black and white photos covering construction, early service, modernization, later service and air operations. There are also many illustrations of the ship in her different configurations.
Yes, the December 7th color question is mentioned, but the book does not give a definite answer.
The photographic record starts with the keel laying ceremony of Battleship 39. Photos follow the ship all the way through her life and end with a color aerial shot of the memorial. The photos are well captioned and explained. What I liked the most about the photographic record were the everyday shots of sailors around the ship. Many people forget the hum drum everyday life that takes place on a warship. Warships are designed to fight, but they are also designed to prevent a fight.
Images of the construction and modernization are also a nice touch. Once again these parts of a ships life cycle are forgotten. How she was built to survive and how she was changed to meet new threats at just part of a ships life. It is interesting to see how her inner workings are built from the keel up. Then seeing how drastically she was changed during her modernization is also very nice.
Then a section dedicated to her salvage and memorial round out the life of this fine lady. Her surviving parts were salvaged to help out any way they could. Turrets were dismantled and reused for protect Oahu from the threat of invasion. Other parts were simply turned in for scrap and remelted for use in other war time needs. The remainder of the hulk is used as a tomb for members of her crew still on patrol for their country.
When I saw the release about this book I thought to myself, “Oh great another Arizona book.” I actually bought this copy for a friend. Well, that was the total wrong attitude. This is a book people will want to add to their collection. It is a great record of the Arizona and holds a vast amount of information for the modeler and Naval enthusiasts.
The book is available in both soft and hard cover. If you have not ordered one, do so, you will enjoy this one a good deal. If you are working on a build this will help you out with some good shots of the ship after her upgrades in 1929.
As mentioned before it does not put to rest the color question. But is does provide some great photos and history of this great ship.
Highs: Great subject.Lows: None Noted.Verdict: Must have for any fan of the USS Arizona. Heck must have for ANY Naval enthusiasts.