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

BOOK REVIEW – The Blockade-Runner Denbigh and the Union Navy: Including Glover’s Analysis of the West Gulf Blockade and Archival Materials and Notes

By J. Barto Arnold III and Robert W. Glover, Denbigh Shipwreck Project Publication, Institute of Nautical Archaeology, College Station, TX (2015) Reviewed by Mark Lardas In May 1865, a month after Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia, the blockade runner Denbigh ran aground attempting to enter Galveston Harbor, and was subsequently destroyed by Union

BOOK REVIEW – A History of the Royal Danish Navy 1510-2010

By Hans Christian Bjerg, The Royal Danish Navy, Copenhagen, Denmark (2015) Reviewed by Mark Lardas Hans Christian Berg’s A History of the Royal Danish Navy 1510-2010 offers a brief yet comprehensive account of the Royal Danish Navy’s rich heritage in a new English language translation. The Royal Danish Navy, as it was formally established in

BOOK REVIEW – The Sailor’s Homer: The Life and Times of Richard McKenna, Author of The Sand Pebbles

By Dennis L. Noble, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2015) Reviewed by Mark Lardas Richard McKenna was a forecastle sailor who wrote with skill. His literary career was short – two dozen short stories, a half-dozen essays, one completed novel and one novel left unfinished by death. That short published corpus made him the voice

BOOK REVIEW – The Myth of the Press Gang: Volunteers, Impressment, and the Naval Manpower Problem in the Eighteenth Century

By J. Ross Dancy, Boydell Press Woodbridge, Suffolk, England (2015) Reviewed by Mark Lardas If you rely on nautical fiction or even some histories (John Masefield’a among them), you might believe the Royal Navy of the Age of Fighting Sail was mainly composed of impressed men, with many – if not most – conscripts being

BOOK REVIEW – Nelson’s Victory: 250 Years of War and Peace

By Brian Lavery, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis MD (2015) Reviewed by Mark Lardas Dozens of books have been written about HMS Victory. Why another one? Nelson’s Victory: 250 Years of War and Peace, by Brian Lavery, offers two very good reasons. The first is the author. If any historian could be described as the dean

BOOK REVIEW – The Supercarriers: The Forrestal and Kitty Hawk Classes

By Andrew Faltum, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2014) Reviewed by Mark Lardas They were the first aircraft carriers designed from the keel up to operate jet aircraft. When they appeared, they were so big a jump over their World War II predecessors; they were considered not just aircraft carriers, but rather supercarriers. And now

BOOK REVIEW – Fighting the War at Sea: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology

By Norman Friedman, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2014) Reviewed by Mark Lardas The centennial of World War I has renewed focus on the conflict, including a slew of new books about the war. Norman Friedman’s Fighting the War at Sea: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology, examines the naval aspects of World War I. Friedman attacks

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