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German Capital Ships of the Second World War
by Siegfried Breyer and Miroslaw Skwiot

Reviewed by Sean Hert
September 2012
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Both Siegfried Breyer and Miroslaw Skwiot are two authors who should be familiar to most ship modelers and World War Two naval enthusiasts. They have each contributed much to the published works on naval topics, and united their efforts to release these large photo reference work. Sadly, Mr. Breyer did not live to see the final product.

This large hardback has over 400 pages filled with B&W photos from a variety of sources, including museums and archive and various personal collections. These photos cover the following ships:

  • The Deutschlands
    • Deutschland/Lützow
    • Admiral Scheer
    • Admiral Graf Spee
  • Battleships D & E
    • Scharnhorst
    • Gneisenau
  • Battleships F & G
    • Bismarck
    • Tirpitz

Additionally, there is an appendex with information and photos of the aborted German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin.

Scans are reduced quality and size.

This book is subtitled "The Ultimate Photograph Album," which clearly illustrates the book is focused on pictures; the text is minimal, and even the captions are inconsistent. If you are looking for coverage of the design, development and career of these ships, this book will disappoint.


The large format of many of these images, in a hardback volume, should appeal to many modellers. The photos themselves are a variety of new and rare images and those that have been published many times. If you don't already have a large collection of references of these major German ships, this one book can act as a replacement of many volumes- with some new images to boot!

German Capital Ships of the Second World War by Siegfried Breyer and Miroslaw Skwiot is available from Seaforth Publishing (an imprint of Pen and Sword books) US and UK, and the Naval Institute Press (800-233-8764). List Price is 85.00; actual prices vary. Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.