Ships of WW2 era: United States, U.K., Japan, Germany, Italy
By Stephen Sherman, June, 2007. Updated March 1, 2012.
My Dad found a stack of these official US Navy Recognition Manuals on a pier in Naples in 1944. He grabbed a few, and I still have one. It's a top secret document, as of September, 1943 when it was published. I have scanned all the pages, which covered the five major naval powers of the era.
Here on this page the introductory pages are shown.
Cover letter from General Marshall
The basic principle of Surface Vessel recognition as with aircraft is familiarity with the total form of the object observed. The true character of a ship is not determined by a single featureof features, but by the familiarity we may have with the total mass of the hull and the superstructure, when viewed from great distances.
Terminology - 1
ABAFT through CONNING TOWER
Terminology - 2
COUNTER through WELL