Reviewed April 2017
by Dan Kaplan
|Navires & Histoire is a highly regarded French naval
history magazine that was first issued in 1999. It is a large format magazine
covering a wide range of naval and maritime topics, with exceptionally
high quality photographs, with text in French. Each issue runs approximately
100 pages. While the language barrier can leave one deprived of some information,
I find that the text and captioning well matched to the placement of the
photographs, so itís not particularly difficult to get the gist of the
This particular issue covers, in order (article names are a rough translation):
The Ise class battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy. This article focuses on their final fate as converted battleship carriers. This was one of the steps taken by the Japanese to make up for their carrier losses at Midway, by the partial conversion of existing ships to allow for some aircraft capability. There are many clear, large photographs (some in color), maps, and well done 3DCG renderings.
The strange shipwreck of the whaling ship Essex. This was an unexpected treat, as I was completed enamored of whaling ships and the Golden Age of Whaling as a kid. (Iím the only person I know who has read ďMoby DickĒ more than once. In fact, five times over the years. A little odd, I know.) Plus, Iíve read the utterly fascinating book ďHeart of the SeaĒ, which covers the sinking of the Essex in 1820 by a rogue sperm whale and the ensuing three month ordeal of the survivors in three open whale boats. The twenty crewmen ultimately resorted to cannibalism among themselves in order to survive. Eight men were eventually rescued. A large number of illustrations and paintings accompany the article, but there is also a nice photo of whaling ships at New Bedford, a photo of a model of the Essex, a cutaway view of a whale ship, some maps, and some sketches done by two of the survivors. No gruesome examples of cannibalism are included, however.
|The dramatic end of the Andrea Doria. This appears to be the second installment of the tragic sinking of the Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria in 1956 after colliding with the Swedish liner MV Stockholm off Nantucket Island. This article focuses on the actual events, rescue(s) and timeline of the sinking itself. There are many dramatic photos and illustrations of all the vessel participants, but the Andrea Doriaís sinking and the damage to Stockholm predominate. This was another saga of fascination from my childhood, so I was particularly happy with the article.|
Finally, there is a magnificent 1/350 scale build and dockside diorama of the ex-small freighter and now river cruise ship, Bou El Mogdad, located on the Quai Roume in St. Louis, Senegal (west coast of Africa). The build is by MW member Pierre Marchal, with text by Jacques Druel. Itís another of Mr. Marchalís exquisite scratch builds, and of an atypical topic. The photography is on a par with its subject.
The issue ends with a couple of one page kit reviews, including a photo etch bending tool, a resin 1500T French submarine in 1/400 scale from LíArsenal, and the 1/700 Niko kit of USS Boise CL-47.
I would encourage you to go to their website LELA Presse and peruse their many publications, as well as this magazine..