Haines, G: 1978 UK, bound with dustwrap 144 blz. Nelson called the frigates of his day; the eyes of the fleet. In 1939 on the outbreak of war, the cruiser could be seen as the direct descendant of the Nelsonian frigate. Acting in her role of look-out, HMS Orion made the first-sighting report of the Italian battle-fleet on the morning of 28 March 1941 that was the prelude to the Battle of Matapan. Two and a half years later, HMS Norfolk made the first detection by radar of the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst that led to her being sunk off Bear Island. In both these cases cruisers lured enemy; forces on to the guns of the capital ships.In weight of armament, the World War II cruiser lay between the battleship and the destroyer and relied for its safety, like the latter, on speed and manoeuvrability rather than armoured protection. However their capacity to operate independently set them apart from the destroyer; their endurance was radically greater, their splacement sufficient to mount an effective barrage of anti-aircraft weapons, and a effective main armament. Cruiser at War tells this varied and exciting story and gives an insight into life on board a cruiser during World War II, not just for those few hectic minutes of action, but also in the periods of inaction that followed. Almost every major cruiser action is mentioned and many of the battles are enlivened by eyewitness accounts and over.
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