Chinese Battleship vs Japanese Cruiser...

...Yalu River 1894, from Osprey Publishing

Title: Chinese Battleship vs Japanese Cruiser

Author: Benjamin Lai

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-2840-8

Number 92 in their Dual series from Osprey is this new title looking at the opposing sides at the Yalu River battle in 1894. A Japanese victory which came as a surprise to the Chinese. The book starts with some background information leading to the events of the First Sino-Japanese war, a conflict which only lasted for 9 months.  It leads into a helpful Chronology reference point.

Into the main body of the book we get the Design and Development detail in the preceding years and the warships coming into service with both the Chinese and Japanese navies. This leads nicely into the Strategic Situation before tackling the Technical Specifications of elements of both sides with regard to Firepower, Ammunition, Range-finding and Aiming, Protection, Mobility and Communications. This is followed by a chapter on the Combatants, and this has the commanders and both sides, and the use of Foreign Advisors on both sides. At this point we see the details of the Combat, the sea battle itself, including good clear diagrams of the movement and formations of the ships during the battle. Then we get Statistics and Analysis of what happened, considering the factors of both sides which influenced the result. The main story is then rounded off with a look at the Aftermath.

I have mentioned the diagrams of the battle itself, while the book is also well illustrated in the usual Osprey style with some excellent artwork, maps and archive photographs. A little out of my usual period of study but it did make me wish I could have had a book like this available when I was studying the period when I was a school all those years ago. This style of study must be a great benefit for students and possibly the kind of book which could encourage youngsters to find an interest in history which can be a hobby for a lifetime.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.

Robin