BOOK REVIEW – A Confederate Biography: The Cruise of the CSS Shenandoah

By Dwight Sturtevant Hughes, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2016) Reviewed by Diana L. Ahmad, Ph.D. A graduate of the Naval Academy in 1967, Dwight Hughes provides an excellent account of CSS Shenandoah that is easily understood by historians and lay audiences alike. Readers quickly come to feel the movement of the ship as she

BOOK REVIEW – Syren’s Song: A Connor Stark Novel

By Claude Berube, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2015) Reviewed by Nathan Albright Claude Berube wrote this fictional novel as a reward to students of naval history. Many of the elegant touches, including the name of the ship, spring from the author’s own vivid experience within the United States Navy, where he is currently an

BOOK REVIEW – Empire, Technology, and Seapower: Royal Navy Crisis in the Age of Palmerston

By Howard J. Fuller, Routledge, New York, NY (2013) Reviewed by John T. Kuehn, Ph.D. Howard Fuller’s work here has insights for naval thinkers and strategists today. It is a clearly revisionist work and he occasionally overstates his case particularly in the first “part” of the book. There are four parts encompassing an impressive thirty

BOOK REVIEW – Surprised at Being Alive: An Accidental Helicopter Pilot in Vietnam and Beyond

By Robert E. Curtis, Casemate Publishers, (2014) Reviewed by Thomas Ostrom In his 24 years in the service, Major Robert F. Curtis flew helicopters for the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Kentucky National Guard. Curtis flew in the United States, Britain (with the Royal Navy), Norway, and Vietnam from shore bases and the rolling decks

Ditty Bag: Uncle Sam’s Latest, Greatest, Shortest War

Ditty Bag: Collections of the Naval Historical Foundation An Artifact and Collections Blog Series Ditty Bag: Uncle Sam’s Latest, Greatest, Shortest War This 1898 magazine depicts some of the United States new steal navy’s successes during the Spanish-American War. Uncle Sam’s Latest, Greatest, Shortest War: Superbly Illustrated by Photographs and Drawings from Leslie’s Weekly includes images

Ditty Bag: Imperial Japanese Navy Collar Tabs

Ditty Bag: Collections of the Naval Historical Foundation An Artifact and Collections Blog Series Ditty Bag: Imperial Japanese Navy Collar Tabs The Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy shared rank titles during World War II. Ranks for the military ascended from Ensign (Shōi) to Sub-Lieutenant (Chūi) all the way through to Grand Marshal (Dai-gensui).

The Battleship Guns at NASA’s AMES Research Center

By Matthew T. Eng Battleship guns helped win the Second World War. What about the race to the moon? Bob Fish, author and USS Hornet Museum trustee, recently visited NASA’s AMES Research Center in Sunnyvale, CA, to investigate the possibility of cooperation and collaboration of STEM-related programming. While there, Bob visited the Hypervelocity Flight Test Facility

Ditty Bag: Vanguard Shoulder Boards

Ditty Bag: Collections of the Naval Historical Foundation An Artifact and Collections Blog Series From Dock to Deck: Vanguard Shoulder Boards Bernard Gershen, a Polish tailor, immigrated to the United States in 1903. Settling in New York City, the tailor stayed in southern Manhattan as he sought work in his trade. Gershen furthered his stitching

“FLIVVERS – THE FIRST STEAM TURBINE DRIVEN DESTROYERS

By George Stewart A “flivver” is an American slang term used in the early twentieth century to refer to any small car that gave a rough ride. These “flivvers” were primarily small, inexpensive and old. In the context of the United States Navy, “flivvers” refer to the two specific classes of destroyers that entered service

BOOK REVIEW – Sunk in Kula Gulf: The Final Voyage of USS Helena and the Incredible Story of Her Survivors in World War II

By John J. Domagalski, Potomac Books, Washington, DC (2012) Reviewed by John Grady The greatest strength of John Domagalski’s Sunk in Kula Gulf lies in the interviews he conducted with survivors of the cruiser Helena’s sinking after it was torpedoed early 6 July 1943. While I found the first few chapters’ routine, the story picks

BOOK REVIEW – MacArthur and Halsey’s “Pacific Island Hoppers”: The Forgotten Fleet of World War II

By David D. Bruhn, Heritage Books, Inc., Berwyn Heights, MD (2014) Reviewed By Christopher B. Havern Through well-executed strikes by its land and naval forces, the Japanese Empire conquered vast stretches of Southeast Asia, the Southwest Pacific, and the Central Pacific in the six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the process they

The New Naval History in the Digital Frontier

In September 2013, I presented a paper at the 2013 McMullen Naval History Symposium. My paper analyzed the Confederate Navy in public memory and commemoration. The panel my colleagues and I submitted to the conference discussed the various roles Confederate naval forces played during the American Civil War. Unlike my fellow panelists, the majority of

BOOK REVIEW – Legends in Sail

By Olaf T. Engvig, Themo Publishing, Los Angeles, CA (2013) Reviewed by Mark Lardas Norway has a long maritime tradition. While it is still among the world’s major shipping nations, it used sailing vessels much later than the rest of the world. Regardless, much of its recent maritime heritage is largely unknown outside Norway. Part