21st Century Knox

The Naval Institute’s 21st Century series on important military and naval figures seeks to review articles and writings of these figures and examine their relevance to the 21st Century.  Past volumes have examined the careers of Mahan, Patton, Soviet Admiral Gorshkov, Sims, Ellis, General Thomas Power, and Corbett. This latest book in the series examines

Natural Genius

The American Civil War saw a number of innovations in naval warfare among which was the development of the submarine. Most authors focus on the Confederate Navy’s endeavor within this field, however, the U.S. Navy also explored the development of a submarine. In charge of the U.S. Navy’s design and construction of “Submarine propeller,” better

French Battleships 1914-1945

For more than two hundred years, from Louis XIV to the twentieth century, France had the second-greatest navy in the world. It was built to challenge England’s control of the seas and enabled the building of the world’s second-largest overseas colonial empire – and American independence into the bargain. France’s navy always built ships of

The Battle of the Atlantic

World War II histories that focus on numbers of planes lost, bombs dropped, ships sunk, and tons of supplies delivered are superb at getting to the operations analysis of what turned the war in the Allies favor—but suffer from an objective dullness. The Battle of the Atlantic: How the Allies Won the War is quite

The Millionaires’ Unit

The Millionaires’ Unit tells the story of several Yale undergraduates in the early 1900s whose foresight helped open the United States Navy up to the utility of aerial operations.  American military aviation was woefully behind that of the European militaries when the US entered World War I. The Yale Unit was one of the critical

All at Sea in Arctic Waters

All at Sea in Arctic Waters: What Life Was Really Like On Naval Ships in WW2 by Dennis McDonald, “Telegraphist (S), Bletchley U-Boat Interceptor,” is both a memoir and autobiography of a young man who volunteered for the Royal Navy during World War II and chose telegraphy as his duty. During this war, the British

Ungentle Goodnights

Christopher McKee’s latest work is a beautifully drawn elegy of the sailors and Marines who were admitted to the “refuge on the Schuylkill” in the 19th century. When first opened it was in bucolic setting removed from Philadelphia, with all the best intentions for men who had given years to honorable naval service. But as

Captain McCrea’s War

Using his own phrase, John L. McCrea was a fly on the wall at the White House during the first months of the War in the Pacific when naval affairs dominated Franklin Roosevelt’s interest. Working under Admiral Harold “Betty” Stark in the office of Chief of Naval Operations, McCrea had a front row seat as

Top Gun: An American Story

This is a powerful insider’s account of an important and uniquely American institution, Top Gun, the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School. The author, Captain Dan Pedersen (USN) was the first officer in charge of Top Gun, establishing it with his hand selected eight naval aviators and naval flight officers—the “Bros.” What makes this an American

Fight Fight

This is the third Raven One book the author has written on contemporary international relationship issues facing the United States. Central to the fictional story the author tells is how quickly incidents can spin out of control even with the best intentions by all to contain the incident. People hear and see what they want

Lucky’s Life

Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs sent the telegram at 6:49 PM, 3 January 1944, informing Mr. and Mrs. Olaf Larson Hanks that their son William was missing “in the performance of his duties” in the Pacific. The Chief of Personnel expressed his “sincere sympathy” for their “great anxiety.” He told them, from the reports, that it

Treaty Cruisers

This is a paperback edition of a book first published in 2005. The book has stood the test of time and is still the finest book covering the Washington Navy Treaty Cruisers. These cruisers, built during the 1920s and 1930s by the United States, Britain, France, Japan, Italy, and Germany, were the ships that fought

1941: Fighting the Shadow War

As someone interested for nearly seven decades on the Pearl Harbor attack, I am always interested in books that describe the social, political, and economic history of the 1930s and 1940s focusing on the United States and our soon-to-be Allies as well as the Axis powers. Hence, I elected to review Marc Wortman’s 1941: Fighting

Barons of the Sea

If you, as a young adult, were fascinated with Howard I. Chapelle’s book The Search for Speed Under Sail, you will enjoy Barons of the Sea. The focus of this book is examining the lives of some of the robber barons who built their fortune operating clipper ships. The term “clipper ship” still has the