BOOK REVIEW – Seablindness, How Political Neglect Is Choking American Seapower and What To Do About It

By Seth Cropsey, Encounter Books, New York, NY (2017) Reviewed by John Grady Seth Cropsey’s latest book is an excellent primer on the state of today’s weakened American naval forces and some ways that he thinks can right them now and strengthen them in the longer run to meet the future changing challenges from Moscow,

BOOK REVIEW – A WWI Soldier and His Camera: Army 19th Engineers Seen Through Pvt. Emil Rezek’s Camera and His Duty with the 14-inch Naval Railway Gun

By William J. Brown. Self-Published (2017) Reviewed by Charles H. Bogart This book was written by the son-in-law of Emil Rezek who, in 1917 at the age of 18, joined the U.S. Navy. Not finding the Navy to his liking, Emil left his ship, changed into civilian clothes and joined the U.S. Army. In August

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 – 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 – 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

BOOK REVIEW – Bloody Paralyser: The Giant Handley Page Bombers of the First World War

By Rob Langham, Fonthill Media Limited and Casemate Publishers, Havertown, PA (2016) Reviewed by Cdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) Senior British military author Owen Thetford wrote in his 1958 book British Naval Aircraft 1912-58 (Putnam, UK): It is not always appreciated that the Admiralty was the first of the British Service Departments to recognize the

BOOK REVIEW – BLACKMAIL

By Rick Campbell, St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY (2017) Reviewed by William H. White Having read and reviewed one or two of his previous tales, Cdr. Rick Campbell’s latest, BLACKMAIL is in my opinion, his best by a long shot. And unfortunately, it is, in large part, the most credible. While Campbell’s background is

BOOK REVIEW – The Battleship Texas

By Mark Lardas. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC (2016) Reviewed by Ed Calouro Author Mark Lardas has written a short, succinct, and largely successful illustrated history of the second generation dreadnought battleship Texas. Though not on par with Paul Stillwell’s longer and more detailed biographies of New Jersey, Arizona, and Missouri, this book nevertheless serves as