French Battleships
An Illustrated Technical Reference
Second Edition
by Wayne Scarpaci

Reviewed by Sean Hert

Wayne Scarpaci has released another in his series of Technical References, this time focusing on French battleships. Like his earlier volumes, author makes use of photos, drawings, and his own paintings to illustrate the different classes, and individual ships. This book is a soft cover with 98 pages. There are 32 original color paintings, 58 line drawings, and over 230 photographs. The book is well planned, from the introduction, chronology of French Naval Operations, and specific entries for individual classes, arranged chronologically. The book ends with detailed sections on various systems (Fire Control, protection, etc), then a short glossary and bibliography.

I liked the author's look at the influnces of the various naval treaties on capital ship construction and design, as well as the evolution of ship design across what he calls "1st, 2nd, and 3rd generations." The layout can be a bit confusing at times; Scarpaci has done his best to wring as much as he can from every page, so many of the pages in this book are cram-packed with picutures and captions. I found the sections on "never-built" variations and proposed conversion projects interesting and enlightening; if you like "What Ifs", check out this book!


If you have any interest in French Battleships, or in the evolution of battleships, this book would make for a great reference. I only wish the book, and the pictures, were larger!

You can purchase this book from here. Check Wayne's blog for the latest updates. You can also order a signed copy direct from the author using paypal, check or money order at his website.

Other planned volumes:

  • Vol 6 German Battleships 1939-1945 including the 'H's series designs
  • Vol 7 Japanese Battleships 1941-1947 including the B64/65 class ships
  • Vol 8 British Battleships 1939-1963.
Check Wayne's website for details and to purchase copies of his art. Not only is the art work in this book available, but many other ships from all nations and all eras. He also does custom commission artwork.