BOOK REVIEW – Very Special Intelligence: The Story of the Admiralty’s Operational Intelligence Centre, 1939-1945

By Patrick Beesly, Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, UK (2015) Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. In June 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Patrick Beesly joined the Royal Navy as a Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) officer, became a Sub-Lieutenant (Special Branch), and was appointed to the Naval Intelligence Division (NID 2) in

BOOK REVIEW – THE PIRATE KING: The Incredible Story of the Real Captain Morgan

By Graham A. Thomas, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY (2015) Reviewed by William H. White Henry Morgan was a “pirate” (the author used “pirate,” “buccaneer,” and “privateer” virtually interchangeably) whose rampages in the Caribbean and on the Spanish Main were the stuff of legends. Many authors, both contemporary to Morgan and modern, have written copious

BOOK REVIEW – The Path to War – U.S. Marine Corps Operations in Southeast Asia 1961 to 1965

By Col. George R. Hofmann Jr. USMC (Ret.), Marine Corps History Division, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (2014) Reviewed by Charles Bogart The title of this publication is somewhat misleading, as the author actually covers the period 1954 to 1965 within the pages of this book. It covers both political and military matters of that

BOOK REVIEW – The Great Siege of Malta: The Epic Battle between the Ottoman Empire and the Knights of St. John

By Bruce Ware Allen, ForeEdge: An Imprint of the University Press of New England, NH, (2015) Reviewed by Robert P. Largess On May 18, 1565, a Turkish fleet of 193 ships arrived off the arid, searing hot island of Malta, at the crossroads of the Mediterranean between Africa and Sicily. Its target was the Knights

BOOK REVIEW – The Battle of Lake Champlain: A “Brilliant and Extraordinary Victory”

By John H. Schroeder, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK (2015) Reviewed by Diana L. Ahmad, Ph.D. Like the Korean Conflict, the War of 1812 is often glanced over in many American history survey courses, which is too bad because one of the most significant naval battles in American history occurred near the end of

BOOK REVIEW – Operation Neptune

By Craig L. Symonds, Oxford University Press, New York (2014) Reviewed by Rear Admiral William J. Holland, Jr. USN (Ret.) Professor Symonds has done it again! This splendid book starts with the assertion, “During World War II, a dearth of shipping was the key logistical constraint in Allied decision making and because of it, the

BOOK REVIEW – Into the Lion’s Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov: World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond

By Larry Loftus, Penquin, New York, NY, (2016) Reviewed by Martin J. Bollinger Lawyer and author Larry Loftis accomplishes three things in his new book Into the Lion’s Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov: World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond. He does an excellent job in documenting –

BOOK REVIEW – Discovering the North-West Passage: The Four-Year Arctic Odyssey of H.M.S. Investigator and the McClure Expedition

By Glenn M. Stein, McFarland, Jefferson, NC (2015) Reviewed by Ingo Heidbrink, Ph.D. Most people who are only slightly familiar with the history of the high-latitudes will know the story of John Franklin’s Lost Expedition searching for the North-West Passage (1845), as well as of Roald Amundsen’s first transit through the passage during his 1903-1906

World War II Fighter Pilot Jack Taylor Dies: Founded World’s Largest Car Leasing Company

By David F. Winkler The Naval Historical Foundation is saddened to hear of the loss of a friend of naval history last Saturday with news of the passing of Jack Taylor in St. Louis, MO. He was 94. One of the legendary and tragic stories to arise from the Battle of Midway was the plight

Shouldering Incident Reminiscent of Sea of Japan Bumpings

UPDATE: 1 July 2016 On Friday June 17, the destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) passed in front of the Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry (FF 727) in the Eastern Mediterranean. Video from the Russian frigate shown on Russian Television (RT) captured the aggressive maneuvering of the American missile destroyer which an RT newswire claimed “neglected Rule

Life on a Naval Vessel During the Vietnam War in the 1960s

By Captain George Stewart, USN (Ret.) This episode starts when I was a student at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. I was due to graduate in September, 1967. Our Detailer from BUPERS was due to visit with us to discuss orders. When I went in to see him, I was pleasantly surprised when

Blood, Bravery, and Intrepid Ships: 5 Epic Naval Battles (PART II)

Blood, Bravery, and Intrepid Ships is a new limited, 5-part blog series exploring 5 epic naval battles throughout the history of the United States Navy. DISCLAIMER: This post is related to the 6th Season, 9th episode of the HBO series Game of Thrones titled “Battle of the Bastards.” Although the historical content of the five

Blood, Bravery, and Intrepid Ships: 5 Epic Naval Battles (PART I)

Blood, Bravery, and Intrepid Ships is a new limited, 5-part blog series exploring 5 epic naval battles throughout the history of the United States Navy. DISCLAIMER: This post is related to the 6th Season, 9th episode of the HBO series Game of Thrones titled “Battle of the Bastards.” Although the historical content of the five

The First U.S. Naval Electric Propulsion Plant

By Captain George Stewart, USN (Ret.) This post provides a basic description of the turboelectric propulsion plant aboard the collier USS Jupiter (AC 3) in its original configuration. Much of this information was obtained from the textbook Practical Marine Engineering (1917) by Captain C.W. Dyson, USN. Additional information was obtained from an article in the