Book Review: Fletcher-Class Destroyers by Alan Raven

Alan Raven is well-known for many of his line drawings of naval vessels. This book provides 13 pages of text on the design and development of the Fletcher-class. Owing to the fact that this is a design history, there’s nothing on the history of any particular ships of the class, nor on their operations or qualities in terms of combat effectiveness. It’s obviously meant as more of an overview of the Fletcher-class design and not as an evaluation of their operational history. There are some interesting details, but as a text, it’s not really on par with, say, Norman Friedman’s design history on U.S. Destroyers. Also, there’s no bibliography!

The majority of the book is composed of photographs and line drawings. Around 40 pages of relatively clear photographs are provided which show numerous Fletcher destroyers in various configurations from WWII up to the last survivors of the class in the 1970s (a few even made it to the 1980s). The remainder of the book are 97 pages of line drawings of various components of the ships and different variants of the Fletcher design. Some pages in the line drawings section also contain the occasional photograph.

That’s pretty much it for such a short book.

Overall, this is definitely a better source for a model-maker. Strangely, no scale is provided for the line drawings to indicate proportions. This isn’t a bad book if you’re looking for some nice line drawings of these ships. However, as an informative history on the design and development of this class of warship, it’s rather skimpy and underwhelming.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (if only for the good line drawings)

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