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New Vanguard 41
Confederate Ironclad
1861 – 65

by Angus Konstam
illustrated by Tony Bryann


S u m m a r y

Publishers Details: Published by Osprey Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 1-84176-307-1
Contents: 48 pages, colour plates.
Price: £7.99/US$12.95.
Review Type: Book Review
Advantages: Interesting read; detailed drawings; nice colour platesmaps; photos.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for wargamers and ship modellers


Reviewed by John Prigent



Osprey’s new direction to the New Vanguard series means that it now covers all types of war machinery through out the ages, and is accompanied by a stylish new look to the book covers.

This title follows earlier ventures into the American Civil War with a look at the ironclad warships of the Confederacy, and starts with the well-known CSS Virginia. Her origins in the cut-down hull of the burnt and captured USS Merrimac are thoroughly covered, as is her fight with the USS Monitor. No surprises there, but readers with no specialised reading behind them in the naval side of the ACW will be surprised by the number of Confederate ironclads which followed her.

Only 22 of the 50-plus laid down were ever completed, but all of them are mentioned here and as much information as possible is given about each. Potted histories, colour plates with plan and draught views of eight of them, plates of the battles of New Orleans and Mobile Bay, and the trademark cutaway showing CSS Virginia are accompanied by chapters on shipbuilding, naval gunnery, the guns themselves, the role of the ironclad, the officers and men, life on board and the tactics used.

This is all quite fascinating to read, and good contemporary drawings are accompanied by some rare photographs to boot. The plates and illustrations give quite enough to allow the ships to be modelled in small scale, so all we need is the anticipated companion book on USS Monitor and the other US ironclads, and then wargamers can enjoy refighting some of the Civil war naval actions.

Highly Recommended.


Review Copyright © 2001 by John Prigent
Page Created 23 August, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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