BOOK REVIEW – The Admiral and the Ambassador: One Man’s Obsessive Search for the Body of John Paul Jones

By Scott Martelle, Chicago Review Press, Chicago, IL (2014) Reviewed by John R. Satterfield, DBA The Continental Navy had negligible impact on the American Revolution’s outcome. Its handful of little ships served almost entirely as commerce raiders, attacking and capturing defenseless merchantmen and occasionally engaging with small British warships of comparable or lesser capability. The

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 – Deadly PT Boat Patrols, A History: Task Group 50.1 New Guinea 1942-43

By Allan L. Lawrence, Self-Published with assistance from the Ellington Printery, Ellington, CT (2014) Reviewed by Nathan D. Wells The strategic impact that the U.S. Navy exercised during the Second World War, especially in the Pacific Theater of Operations, is well known. The combination of aircraft carrier battle groups and amphibious task forces proved a

BOOK REVIEW – Sting of the Drone

By Richard A. Clarke, Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY (2014) Reviewed by Stephen Phillips Unmanned vehicles represent the most recent revolution in military technology, especially those capable of launching weapons. Like any paradigm shift, their entry onto the battlefield has been followed by controversy as to the appropriate means to employ

BOOK REVIEW – Commerce Raiding: Historical Case Studies, 1755-2009

Edited by Bruce A. Elleman and S. C. M. Paine, Naval War College Press, Newport, RI (2013) Reviewed by Joseph James Ahern Authors Bruce A. Elleman and S. C. M. Paine have gathered sixteen case studies examining the use and development of guerre de course from the eighteenth to twenty-first centuries in the recent addition

BOOK REVIEW – Images of Aviation: Naval Air Station Atlantic City

By Richard V. Porcelli, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina, (2012) Reviewed by John Galluzzo Authors choosing to work with Arcadia Publishing set themselves up with a challenge. With strict word counts accompanying each image size (small and large portraits and landscapes, and double page spreads), brevity becomes more than an issue, it becomes a ritual.

BOOK REVIEW – The Lucky Few: The Fall of Saigon and the Rescue Mission of the USS Kirk

By Jan K. Herman, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2013) Reviewed by Nathan D. Wells The role that the United States Navy played in the Vietnam Conflict is well known, especially with regard to the beginning and escalation of the conflict. The role played by the US Navy in the war’s final days is less

BOOK REVIEW – The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World

By Lincoln Paine, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY (2013) Reviewed by Sam Craghead This book could easily be titled, “The Greatest Sea Story Ever Told.”  The subtitle proffers the scope of the work, which Lincoln Paine delivers in grand style.  With 599 pages of text, 48 pages of bibliography, 17 maps, 26 pages of

So Proudly We Hail: The History of the United States Flag

By Aaron McDougal, 2014 NHF Summer Intern Today marks the annual Flag Day celebration commemorating the adoption of the Star Spangled Banner as the national flag in 1777. The importance of the flag as the symbol of our country cannot be stressed enough. In light of this, it seems appropriate to draw attention to a

BOOK REVIEW – Destiny in the Pacific

By John Schork, Jupiter-Pixel Press, Jupiter, FL (2008) Reviewed by Paul W. Murphey, Ph.D., CDR, CHC, USN (Retired) I was utterly surprised by this novel of naval aviation in the Pacific during World War II. It was a radical departure from the way I knew the author to approach any task. His creativity astounded me.

BOOK REVIEW – The Secret War for the Middle East: The Influence of Axis and Allied Intelligence Operations during World War II

By Youssef Aboul-Enein and Basil Aboul-Enein, Naval Institute Pree, Annapolis, MD (2013) Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. The Secret War for the Middle East: The Influence of Axis and Allied Intelligence Operations during World War II should not be confused with Andrew Rathmell’s Secret War in the Middle East: The Covert Struggle for Syria,

BOOK REVIEW – Behind the Lines: A Critical Survey of Special Operations in World War II

By Michael F. Dilley, Casemate, Philadelphia, PA and Oxford, England (2013) Reviewed by Stephen K. Stein, Ph.D. Since the 9/11 attacks, U.S. Special Forces have received a growing amount of media attention. Numerous books describe and analyze their recent operations. Michael F. Dilley, a writer and editor for Behind the Lines magazine, returns to the modern

BOOK REVIEW – Billy Mitchell’s War with the Navy: The Interwar Rivalry Over Air Power

By Thomas Wildenberg, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2013) Reviewed by Captain J. F. “Bookie” Boland, U.S. Navy (Retired) Colonel Billy Mitchell, an iconic and controversial figure in United States aviation history, is the subject of an important new book by independent historian Thomas Wildenberg. Although Mitchell’s life and military service is examined in innumerable

BOOK REVIEW – 21st Century Mahan: Sound Military Conclusions for a Modern Era

By Benjamin F. Armstrong, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2013) Reviewed by Capt. Scott Mobley, USN (Ret.) Despite Alfred Thayer Mahan‘s tremendous influence upon naval policy, national security affairs, and international politics during the early 20th century, many people today regard his ideas as curious artifacts of a bygone era.  In his time, Mahan achieved

BOOK REVIEW – At the Crossroads Between Peace and War: The London Naval Conference of 1930

At the Crossroads Between Peace and War:  The London Naval Conference of 1930 By John H. Maurer and Christopher M. Bell, Eds., Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD. (2014) Reviewed by Joseph Moretz The naval conference that met in London from January to April 1930 is instructive to the modern observer for the light it shines