According to a reader of
Iowa Class Battleships: Their Design, Weapons and Equipment, “An authoritative monograph of
such a quality is a real gem. The volume is simply stunning for the high standard it sets. The first chapter deals with the
evolution of battleship design, beginning with the frame imposed by the Washington treaty and the never ending erosion of
its limits. Consequently the concessions to opposing countries triggered a naval race that shaped the operational requirements
for the Iowa class. This comprehensive preamble is instrumental to the chapter dedicated to narrate ships design backgrounds,
development stages and construction phases.
Superbly completed by snapshots at building yards and drydocks, the author delivers outstandigly
all the historical details of class birth, in particular the amazing incompatibility of barbette and turret design due to
different dimensions in the Service Bureaus' drawings. Armament, Fire Controls and Protection are thoroughly described;
many illustrations and design sketches are available, an useful insight of project complexity and of the inner strength of
the class, true reason of its longevity.
A nice feature is printed in appendix. Many general arrangement drawings are printed full page,
showing different outfits during ship career. Paintings and camouflages are very handy, since modelers can study many assembly
details. For the technicalities enthusiast, internal general layouts, decks configuration, sheer, body and half breadth are
carefully depicted. As a naval book, this one is unrivalled for the specific warship design and history, a true masterpiece
and a pleasant reading for the scholar and for the general public alike.”
Robert F. Sumrall
has an extensive background in naval architecture and marine engineering. He is the author of Sumner-Gearing Class Destroyers
and Iowa Class Battleships published by the U.S. Naval Institute Press. His other writings include over twenty technical/historical
monographs of U.S. Naval vessels for three other publishers and articles for the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Conway's
History of the Ship, Conway's Warship, and other similar journals. Robert Sumarll served in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve
from 1947 until his retirement, as a Chief Petty Officer, from the USS Iowa in 1990. In addition to the Iowa, he served in
eight destroyers, two destroyer escorts, two submarine tenders, one minesweeper, and two patrol craft.
Robert Sumrall is the assistant
Director and Curator of Ship Models at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum. He is responsible for the Academy's world renown
Henry Huddleston Rogers Collection of 17th and 18th century dockyard models. Except for various periods of active duty he
has been with the museum since 1970.Robert Sumrall has been a member of the board of directors of Tin Can Sailors the National
Association of Destroyer Veterans since 1996. As a board member he serves on the Destroyer Museum Grant Committee, as the
Archivist, and manages the association's technical library.
Robert Sumrall is the author of Sumner-Gearing-Class Destroyers:
Their Design, Weapons, and Equipment; USS Yorktown; USS Intrepid; USS Missouri; USS Kidd; and, USS Bowfin.
He is also the co-author of USS Massachusetts; Iowa Class Battleships: Their Design, Weapons
and Equipment; Pearl Harbor Attack; and, USS Arizona.
According to the book description of Sumner-Gearing-Class Destroyers:
Their Design, Weapons, and Equipment, “In this handsomely illustrated work, the well-known ship expert
Robert Sumrall traces the origins of the U.S. Navy's Sumner-Gearing class destroyers through half a century of changing
naval technology. He shows the great advances made in ordnance, fire control, and steam engineering in a destroyer class that
served as a standard for post-World War II destroyer design and development. Nearly three hundred illustrations, many in color,
enhance the authoritative text.