BOOK REVIEW – Going Deep: John Philip Holland and the Invention of the Submarine

By Lawrence Goldstone, Pegasus Books Ltd., New York, NY (2017) Reviewed by Louis Arthur Norton Lawrence Goldstone’s Going Deep is a complex tale of competitive inventiveness, ruthless commercial subterfuge, naval dithering, governmental corruption, foreign intrigue and occasional shenanigans. The author opens the book with the stunning wartime success of the German U-9 (Unterseeboot 9), an

BOOK REVIEW – Henry Foxall: Methodist, Industrialist, American

By Jane B. Donovan, New Room Books, Nashville, TN (2017) Reviewed by Suzanne Geissler, Ph.D. Henry Foxall (1758-1823) was a transplanted Englishman, a devout Methodist, and an industrialist who could rightly be considered America’s first defense contractor.  This is the first biography of Foxall and is long overdue considering the significant role he played, not

BOOK REVIEW – Airpower Applied: U.S., NATO, and Israeli Combat Experience

Edited by John Andreas Olsen, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2017) Reviewed by Cdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) This proved to be one of the most difficult book I have reviewed over the years. It is not the usual historical survey of war, or of a nation’s air force in a war or period. No

BOOK REVIEW – Storm of Eagles: The Greatest Aviation Photographs of World War II

By John Dibbs and Kent Ramsey, Osprey Publishing, UK (2017) Reviewed by Cdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) This new coffee-table-size book is the result of an ambitious project. The end product is a collection of many excellent photographs, a few of which are fairly well known, but for the most part are new and are

BOOK REVIEW – Jutland: The Unfinished Battle

By Nicholas Jellicoe, Seaforth, South Yorkshire, UK (2016) Reviewed by Stephen Phillips, USNR (Ret.) In the second decade of this century, many in the United States commemorated the War of 1812. Similarly, many in the United Kingdom are seeking to understand the First World War. Author Nicholas Jellicoe, the grandson of the First Lord of

BOOK REVIEW – Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans

By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), Penguin Press, New York (2017) Reviewed by John R. Satterfield, DBA Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans is a companion to The Accidental Admiral, Admiral Stavridis’ earlier best seller that provided many Americans with a basic education in national and global security. Stavridis, the first

BOOK REVIEW – Heligoland: Britain, Germany, and the Struggle for the North Sea

By Jan Rüger. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK (2017) Reviewed by Alan M. Anderson, Ph.D. Heligoland rises abruptly and unexpectedly in the southeastern corner of the North Sea.  Featuring dramatic cliffs rising more than 160 feet, it is a small, triangular island less than four-tenths of a square mile in area. Along with the nearby

BOOK REVIEW – Predicting Pearl Harbor: Billy Mitchell and the Path to War

By Ronald J. Drez, Pelican Press, New York, NY (2017) Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. In my assessment of Attack on Pearl Harbor: Strategy, Combat, Myths, Deceptions (Alan D. Zimm, Philadelphia and Oxford: Casemate Publishers, 2014), I pointed out that “WorldCat (an international library catalog) listed 18,353 publications and other media on the Japanese

BOOK REVIEW – Churchill and the Dardanelles

Christopher M. Bell. Oxford University Press, New York, NY (2017) Reviewed by Larry Grant Winston Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty in Herbert Asquith’s Liberal government from 1911 to 1915. Among the many initiatives he undertook as wartime First Lord was his advocacy for a naval assault on the Dardanelles, a narrow strategic strait

BOOK REVIEW – Soldiers and Civilization: How the Profession of Arms Thought and Fought the Modern World into Existence

By Reed Robert Bonadonna, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2017) Reviewed by John R. Satterfield, DBA No one disputes that the growth and development of warfare have been functions of the advance of civilization, but the contributions of war to human progress may be less obvious.  Many argue that violent conflict reflects little more than

BOOK REVIEW – Knickerbocker Commodore: The Life and Times of John Drake Sloat 1781-1867

By Bruce A. Castleman, State University Press, Albany, NY (2016) Reviewed by Charles Bogart The reviewer doubts that today even one in a million Americans could identify Commodore John David Sloat; however, there was a time when he was well-known across the country. Depending on one’s political views, Commodore Sloat was praised or damned. This

BOOK REVIEW – Margaret Thatcher: A Life and Legacy

By David Cannadine, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK (2017) Reviewed by John Grady This to-the-point, short biography of Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom’s longest-serving prime minister, provides some interesting political parallels to today’s United States — the rise of populism to give voice to those left behind, cries to scale back government, demands to unleash

BOOK REVIEW – Solitary: The Crash, Captivity and Comeback of an Ace Fighter Pilot

By Giora Romm, Black Irish Entertainment LLC, New York, NY (2014) Reviewed by Cdr. Peter Mersky USNR (Ret.) Most combat veterans of any country have one great fear, something that sometimes occurs, no matter how they prepare to defend against it: namely, capture by the enemy and imprisonment for an extended duration. In the mid-to-late

BOOK REVIEW – A-6 Intruder Units, 1974-96

By Rick Morgan, Osprey Publishing, Ltd. Oxford, UK (2017) Reviewed by Cdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) A sequel to the author’s earlier Combat Aircraft No. 93 covering the Intruder’s Vietnam service, this new book describes the A-6’s new, often little-known history after Southeast Asia with insider knowledge and style. His introduction is one of the

BOOK REVIEW – A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War

Rick Morgan Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK (2012) Reviewed by Cdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) Grumman’s big, ugly carrier-based bomber has generated only a few books, including one done by this author and his brother Mark for Schiffer in 2004, a good book in a much larger format. A couple of wartime memoirs have also appeared