This is a difficult book to review by itself. This is because it has its origins in the classic 1985 book "Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell. Such was the success of the earlier work that a sequel was announced in the mid-'90s. Unfortunately, Campbell died shortly after getting started. Although, he had access to Campbell's research the present volume is very much a Friedman product.
The book is divided into four sections devoted to type of weapons. This is in contrast to Campbell who divides his book into nations. The four sections are guns, torpedoes, mines, and ASW weapons. The gun section is by far the longest at 306 pages. The torpedo section is 44 pages, 26 pages are devoted to mines, and ASW weapons have a mere 16 pages. Within each section the various nations are covered separately in the order, British, German, US, French, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Austrian, Spanish, Swedish, other.
Friedman does his typical thorough job, placing the various weapons in their historical, economic, technical, political, strategic, and tactical contexts. Compared to Campbell the book comes off less as a reference work than as one that can be read on its own for penetrating insights into naval weapons of the period.
The illustrations comprise a good selection of black and white photographs and very well reproduced contemporary drawings. There are also some more recent drawings (for example by Ian Buxton and WR Jurens) but they are from other sources and not especially commissioned for this book.
Friedman's coverage is not quite as extensive as that of Campbell. Friedman includes no guns smaller than the 1 pdr (37 mm) calibre although such guns were used by small craft. Aerial bombs are not covered either. Neither author covered air to air weapons although one might have wished for some coverage of anti Zeppelin weapons.
Campbell's tables are superior to Friedman's; indeed Campbell has a greater variety of tabular information than Friedman. There are a few minor differences in details when weapons (such as the British 15" Mark I) served in both wars. Perhaps specifications changed between the wars?
All in all, this book cannot be recommended highly enough to those with any interest in the subject. Just don't expect an identical format to Campbell's classic work. This is a Friedman book in the best sense of the word.