What I spent more time on were the astonishingly detailed diagrams. Two of the pages fold out, giving two three-page spreads bookending one four-page spread. One could easily spend hours upon hours examining them. The many images run the entire gamut, detailing just about everything, and include plan, profile and sectional views. The combination of aesthetic pleasure and awe at the engineering (not to mention admin, etc.) that I derive from studying these surprises me. What prodigious feats of construction/destruction we, the human animal, are capable of!
Whilst I'm morally confused about my fascination with war machines and war in general, I know that I'm totally blown away (wah-waah!) by the 'pure' engineering/tech aspects. Guns are great examples of this. Tanks are even better. But battleships? They have to be the ultimate, surely? Or maybe that'd be aircraft carriers... hmmm!?
Books like this often presume a certain degree of knowledge on the part of the reader. This one certainly does. Nevertheless, I feel such specialist publications really ought to include glossaries and the like, regardless. It'd be a great help to those readers of such works who, like me, might not yet know their binnacles from their bilge pumps.
However, that one gripe aside, the print quality and the number and detail of the schematic draughts used here are all very high. This level of detail is not, perhaps, for the mildly interested (or fainthearted). But I would imagine that for the nautical buff - and given how much a landlubber like me has enjoyed this - will love this.
Reading/perusing this has me determined to turn my hand to some form of naval modelling at some point soon. My only nautical kits are a 1/300 Dutch gunboat by Rod Langton, a U-Boat and the Bismarck (I forget yet make and scale if the latter; and poss you could also include my Arado AR-196 and Catalina flying boat models?), all currently in the attic I think. Anyway, back to the book: I'm no expert in this area, but I'd say this is an excellent book.
* As well as the lack of a glossary, there are no archival photos of Helgoland, which is a pity. Pictures of her under construction and in action would have made a terrific addition.