Few warship types have had as much written about them as the Kriegsmarine s capital ships Deutschland, Admiral Scheer, Graf Spee, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Bismarck and Tirpitz continue to generate intense interest among warship enthusiasts, despite the fact that no new source of information has been unearthed in decades. What has come to light, however, is a growing number of photographs, many from private albums and some that lay forgotten in obscure archives. These include many close-ups and onboard shots, of great value to modelmakers, and rare action photos taken during wartime operations. This book is a careful selection of the best of these, but on a grand scale, with around 100 images devoted to each ship, allowing in-depth coverage of its whole career, from launching and fitting out to whatever fate the war had waiting for it. For sake of completeness, there are even sections reproducing the various design studies that led to each class, while an appendix covers the uncompleted Graf Zeppelin, Germany s only attempt to build an aircraft carrier, the type that during the war clearly displaced the battleship as the capital ship of the world s navies. Essays on the technical background and design origins by the well-known expert Siegfried Breyer and explanatory captions by Miroslaw Skwiot draw out the full significance of this magnificent collection of photos.