BOOK REVIEW – Fabled Fifteen: The Pacific War Saga of Carrier Air Group 15

By Thomas McKelvey Cleaver, Philadelphia: Casemate Publishers, 2014 Reviewed by Jason McHale While thousands of pilots served in the United States Navy during the Second World War, perhaps no group had as much luck at being in the right places at the right times than Carrier Air Group 15 (CAG-15).  They first deployed on USS

BOOK REVIEW – Gumption: My Life – My Words

By Rear Adm. William Thompson, USN, (Ret.), Self-Published (2010) Reviewed by Cdr. Eric Dietrich-Berryman, USN (Ret.) “Billy, you will never amount to anything unless you get some gumption and some business in your head,” Bill Thompson’s grandfather admonished the 13-year old boy. But the old man had utterly failed to read the true measure of

BOOK REVIEW – Britain’s War: Into Battle, 1937-1941

By Daniel Todman, Oxford University Press, New York, NY (2016) Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. This massive volume represents a unique piece of research and chronologically covers a period of history that is of great interest to your reviewer: the background to and initial stages of World War II.  My own particular interests focus

BOOK REVIEW – Rough Waters: Sovereignty and the American Merchant Flag

By Rodney P. Carlisle, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, (2017) Reviewed by Nathan Albright I was very impressed with the new content the author brought to my attention coming into this book. The author takes a deep look into the often arcane aspects of maritime law and practice to uncover the largely unknown origin of

BOOK REVIEW – “Execute Against Japan:” The U.S. Decision to Conduct Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

By Joel Ira Holwitt, A&M University Press, College Station, TX (2009) Reviewed by Richard Ector Joel Ira Holwitt’s Execute Against Japan adds to a growing body of scholarship on the development of U.S. naval doctrine between the First and Second World Wars. It joins Edward Miller’s War Plan Orange (1991) and Bankrupting the Enemy (2007),

BOOK REVIEW – Eleven Months to Freedom: A German POW’s Unlikely Escape from Siberia in 1915

By Dwight R. Messimer, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2016) Reviewed by Timothy Heck The 1915 escape of Fähnrich zur See (Midshipman) Erich Killinger from Imperial Russian captivity is a fascinating tale of survival, adventure, and luck.  Dwight Messimer, a prolific author who has previously written on World War I aviation and prisoners of war,

BOOK REVIEW – Force 12 in German Bight

By James Boschert, www.PenmorePress.com (2014) Reviewed by Charles H. Bogart This is a well-written work of adventure/mystery fiction that revolves around the oil and gas industry’s offshore operations in the North Sea. The author tells the story in straight and simple words. The heart of the story takes place on board the pipe dredging barge

BOOK REVIEW – Eyes of the Fleet: The US Navy’s Seaplane Tenders and Patrol Aircraft in WWII

By Cdr. David D. Bruhn, USN (Ret.), Heritage Books, Inc. Berwyn Heights, MD (2016) Reviewed by Robert P. Largess Cdr. Bruhn is the historian of many of the Navy’s forgotten warships: ocean and coastal minesweepers, coastal transports (APc’s), tugs and salvage vessels, YP’s and converted yachts, as well as seaplane tenders – in WWII, Vietnam,

BOOK REVIEW – Declared Hostile

By Kevin Miller, Pelican Press, Pensacola, FL (2016) Reviewed by Charles Bogart Those who read Kevin Miller’s book Raven One will find that he has once again authored a fascinating and believable book. This time the story centers on a contemporary but fictitious U.S. Naval action in the Caribbean. The naval action within this book revolves around Cdr. Jim “Flip” Wilson who the reader

BOOK REVIEW – Ironclad: The Monitor and the Merrimac

By Arthur Mokin, Amazon Digital Services LLC, Original Publisher, Presidio Press, Novato CA, (1991) Reviewed by Robert P. Largess Searching “Monitor and Merrimac” on Amazon brought up twenty-five books of popular history or historical fiction, seventeen of which were in print or available on Kindle, including Arthur Mokin’s 1991 novel, Ironclad. Why so many? Obviously,

BOOK REVIEW – Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou

By Steven Burgauer,  Battleground Press, Oxford, FL, (2016) Reviewed by John Bud Cunnally, Chief Electronics Technician Submarines, U.S. Navy (Retired) In 1941, the United States was in a “let’s stay out of the European and Asia Wars” mindset; Fortress America will protect us from conflicts continents away. This attitude changed on 7 December 1941.  The

BOOK REVIEW – Battle Stars for the “Cactus Navy”: America’s Fishing Vessels and Yachts in World War II

By David D. Bruhn, Heritage Books, Inc., Berwyn Heights, MD (2014) Reviewed by Cdr. Larry Grant USN (Ret.) The title advertises David Bruhn’s Battle Stars as a history of the yachts and fishing boats commandeered by the U.S. Navy to plug the holes in American sea defenses at the start of World War II. In

BOOK REVIEW – China’s Quest For Great Power: Ships, Oil, and Foreign Policy

By Bernard D. Cole, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2016) Reviewed by Nathan Albright China’s Quest for Great Power, the latest from Bernard D. Cole, is a combination of a high degree of knowledge about Chinese military and political strategy with some implicit recommendations for how the United States can deal with China’s ambitions. As

BOOK REVIEW – The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945

By James D. Hornfischer, Bantam, New York, (2016) Reviewed by Rear Admiral W. J. Holland, Jr. USN (Retired) Hornfischer has done it again! Crafting a historical narrative that is a “page turner” featuring personalities and decisions as well as crisp commentary that is not always complimentary to his subjects, he brings the scenes of battle

BOOK REVIEW – U.S. Navy Codebreakers, Linguists, and Intelligence Officers Against Japan 1910-1941: A Biographical Dictionary

By Captain Steven E. Maffeo, USNR, (Ret.), Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, MD (2016) Reviewed by Michael F. Solecki Any leader worth his salt will tell you that the acquisition, interpretation, and proper dissemination of intelligence is arguably the most important key to solving any problem; from identifying what is in front of you to winning