While bookshelves groan with works on the capital ships of the German Third Reich, there is little in English devoted to their predecessors of the Second Reich, so new book will fill a clear gap in its study of German cruisers of the period, from wooden-hulled corvettes, through the fusion of 'overseas' and 'home' vessels into the modern small cruisers that evolved and fought in the First World War. The book covers the full range of cruising vessels operated or ordered by the Imperial German Navy between 1871 and 1918, excluding the large cruisers, previously covered by the author's companion volume _The Kaiser's Battlefleet_. These include corvettes, avisos, sloops, torpedo cruisers, III- and IV-class cruisers and small cruisers, and are described and arranged in a chronological narrative.
This includes both design and operational histories, the latter continuing down to the end of ships' service after the fall of Imperial Germany, and it is accompanied by an extensive selection of many rare photographs. The ships' technical details are tabulated in the second half of the book which also includes sketches of ships' internal layouts and armour and changes in appearance over time. The authors have made extensive use of archival material, particularly relating to the political and technical background to design and procurement, and present a developmental history of this ship class which is unique in the English language.
It will have huge appeal to all those with an interest in the German navy and to those who have been waiting avidly for the sequel to The Kaiser's Battlefleet.
Author(s): Aidan Dodson & Dirk Nottelmann
First Publishment Date: 16 November 2021