It was said they could roll on wet grass, and to the men who manned the Flower Class Corvettes that must have felt true. They were quite capable sea-boats, but they were designed for a different arena than that in which they were to be so widely used - the North Atlantic. Based on a pre-war whaler design, the Flowers were to eventually be used in numbers undreamt of when they were first proposed as a stop-gap anti-submarine and escort vessel. By war's end they had been replaced by the newer frigates and destroyer escorts, but it was with these little ships that the Battle of the Atlantic was won.
John Lambert has spent many years preparing drawings of the Flower Class corvettes, these are now collected in this volume of WR Press's Warship Perspective series. This volume follows the others in opening with a history of the design, and also in having numerous photographs of the ships. Unlike the previous two, it differs in the larger number of drawings included. Lambert has illustrated all aspects of the ships, with various fittings as well as modifications depicted in closeup detail. There are constant scale plans for the following Corvettes: HMS Alisma (February 1941, early 1943 & July 1943 - top and side views for all three periods); HMCS Forrest Hill (1944), HMCS Wetaskiwin (December 1940). A large foldout of HMS Anemone as modified for ocean-going tug duties is attached to the inner rear cover.
The 53 photographs in many cases are full page, others are half or quarter page size. All are interesting and in conjunction with the drawings will allow a modeler to superdetail a model in any scale. To get back to the drawings, these show the different bridge designs, side plating pattern, weapons, interior arrangement, depth charge racks & launchers, minsweeping gear, as well as a selection of funnel emblems. A valuable additon are 24 b/w drawings by Alan Raven showing camouflage patterns worn by the ships there are a further four in colour on the front cover.
For any fan of the Flower Class (and who isn't), this is a recommended addition to their library. The Revell-Germany 1/72 kit will benefit greatly with use of the drawings, as will any of the 1/350 or 1/700 kits from manufacturers such as WEM, L'Arsenal or Iron Shipwright. My only criticism is in the book format, I have never been a fan of the Squadron 'In Action' size of book, and this is no exception. The size of the pages precludes comfortably holding it for reading, table top reading is a must.
Flower Class Corvettes in World War Two is available from Warship Books, to whom I thank for the review sample.
Fullsize drawings of the Flower Class Corvette, as well as many others are available from the author, John Lambert. Contact him for further information