German Naval Camouflage Vol. 1 & 2
Authors John Asmussen & Eric Leon
Reviewed May 2016
by Steve Wiper
Noted author and historian John Asmussen has teamed up with Illustrator Eric Leon to produce what is the most extensive work on this topic yet to date. Both books are hard bound and well printed.  Volume One covers the years 1939 to 1941, with Volume Two covering 1942 to 1945. Topics covered in both volumes are the capital ships, on down through the destroyers.  Unfortunately, it does not cover auxiliaries, old battleships and cruisers retained from WWI, or smaller craft such as the pre-war and war-time built torpedo boats, R-boats, S-boats, submarines, etc. In Volume Two, the torpedo boats are covered. Maybe there is a third volume in the works to cover those other vessels?

Each vessel covered is illustrated with incredibly detailed drawings, in color and are very well done.  Almost too well, as the publisher has reduced them to a size that some of the finer details are very difficult to see.  None the less, the illustrations are outstanding. Every known camouflage pattern on each vessel is covered, and where some camouflage information is unknown, the author states so. Both a side, sometimes both sides when necessary, and top view are provided.  Aerial recognition markings are covered and illustrated. Another great detail about these illustrations, is the alterations to the warships over their career are correctly drawn. That also makes this work something more than just a history on the camouflage painting of these warships. I have only one real criticism.  I would have liked to have seen each and every color called out on each and every drawing, as some of the grays are very close to one another in their tone, making it difficult to determine which color you are looking at.  Some black and white, and a few color photographs are also provided to back up the work of the illustrations, to show that they are not just fanciful illusions.

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In short, this is the best work on the Camouflage of the German Navy of the Second World War that has ever been done. Volume Two has an appendix covering additions and corrections to Volume One. While some controversy still exist with a few of the camouflage patterns, this author has done his best and his best is quite is quite good. Some alterations, additions and corrections to each volume can be found on the authors own website, which I think is a great idea and shows his dedication to the work. If you have a keen interest in the Kriegsmarine and it's warships, then these two volumes are a "must have" for you library.  I highly recommend both volumes.