Book Review

Pancerniki Typu Bismarck cz. 1 - Tirpitz by John Asmussen
Encyklopedia Okrętów Wojennych
Encyclopedia of Warships
Book Title
EOW 15 - Pancerniki Typu Bismarck cz. 1 - Tirpitz
E. T. Prusinowska, M. Skwiot
AJ-Press, Poland
ISBN Number
Retail Price
14.40 Euro (AJ-Press) / £12.50 GBP (White Ensign Models)
Pancerniki Typu Bismarck cz. 1 - Tirpitz - Book Review

Many of you might not be that familiar with Polish books. But let me asure you that there are some very highly skilled people in Poland that produce high quality books you wont find similar elsewhere. Some of you might be familiar with the book "Anatomy of the Ship - The Battleship Yamato" made by Polish Janusz Skulski. This is just one example of what Poland can offer to aircraft, tank and naval enthusiasts. Poland is a superpower when it comes to military related books. One of the leading publishers is AJ-Press. Some highly skilled authors, illustrators and 3D artists work hard in making some fantastic books from AJ-Press that I strongly recommend to you. Here I will tell you about a book in a series dealing with the Bismarck Class battleships.

EOW 15 - Pancerniki Typu Bismarck cz. 1 - Tirpitz is the first book in a series of five about the Bismarck Class battleships. The book is wrapped in plastic and comes with two folded 2-sided sheets. The book describes the development of the Bismarck Class battleships and the building of Tirpitz. It also describes the first period of Tirpitz's career, until 1942.

Book contents:

o Format is A4 size

o 56 pages + cover.

o 42 B/W pictures, with Polish/English captions

o 1 map

o Shipyard drawings (small versions inside the book)

o 7 pages of scale plans

o Drawings of projects

o 3 tables

o 3 colour plates (paint schemes) by Zbigniew Kolacha

o Extensive English summary

o 4 sheets of A1 size plans (by Miroslaw Skwiot and based on information from shipyard drawings)

Sheet I/II: 1:400 and 1:200 line-drawings by Miroslaw Skwiot, 2-sided sheet 58,5 cm x 83,0 cm

o Body Plan

o Hull

o Main Deck

o 01 Deck (Aufbaudeck) top - and side view details

Sheet III/IV: 1:400 line-drawings by Miroslaw Skwiot, 2-sided sheet 58,5 cm x 83,0 cm

o Top - and Side View Drawings of Tirpitz during her career (1941 to 1944)

The text in the book is mainly written in Polish which I sadly don't understand. But the 9 last pages in the book are written in English and is a quite comprehensive summary of the design period of the Bismarck Class as well as the early career of Tirpitz, until March 1942.

The book is richly illustrated with many photos of high quality, drawings, schemes and scans from Tirpitz logbook.

Three pages shows excellent camouflage schemes of Tirpitz. It should be recognised that AJ-Press was the first to seriously dealing with camouflage on German warships and the result is amazing. For Tirpitz the paint schemes are quite accurate. One thing I disagree with is especially the green colours that is used. But it wont change the fact that it is very, very well done indeed.

Not only will the buyer get a very good book, but he will also get some very well made drawings of Tirpitz. They are some of the best I know of ever made of Tirpitz. They also show illustrations you can't find anywhere else, unless you have access to the original drawings. These drawings are well worth the book-price alone.


I highly recommend this book for ship modellers and Bismarck and Tirpitz enthusiasts. It is an excellent and very useful book. One important thing is that this book is almost sold out from the publisher. So if you want to secure a copy you really need to act fast (status: March-April 2004).

John Asmussen

Pancerniki Typu Bismarck cz. 1 - Tirpitz - Scans from the Book
One of the big photos of Tirpitz of very good quality. Some of the original shipyard drawings illustrated.
Excellent high quality photo of Tirpitz. Generally the photos in books from AJ-Press has a high quality. One of the three pages with excellent paint schemes of Tirpitz. Be careful with the colours though.
Sheet I: 1:400 scale drawings of the body plan, hull and main deck.
Sheet II: Mainly 1:200 scale drawings of the 01 deck (aufbaudeck) and superstructure details. Excellent.
Sheet III: 1:400 scale drawings illustrating how Tirpitz looked in 1941.
Sheet IV: 1:400 scale drawings illustrating how Tirpitz looked in 1942 and 1944.

Contact the publisher:
Ul.Chrobrego 32
80-432 GDANSK

Tel./fax: (+48-58) 3449973
Tel. kom: 0-601311877

WWW: http://www.aj-press.home.pl

E-mail: aj-press@home.pl