BOOK REVIEW – Thinking Wisely, Planning Boldly: The Higher Education and Training of Royal Navy Officers, 1919-39

By Joseph Moretz, Helion & Company, West Midlands, UK (2014) Reviewed by CDR Benjamin Armstrong, PhD The years following the Great War have become something of a favorite of modern day military analysts in search of historical analogy. The development of innovative doctrine, the introduction and assimilation of new technologies, and struggles with fluctuating fiscal

BOOK REVIEW – Very Special Intelligence: The Story of the Admiralty’s Operational Intelligence Centre, 1939-1945

By Patrick Beesly, Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, UK (2015) Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. In June 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Patrick Beesly joined the Royal Navy as a Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) officer, became a Sub-Lieutenant (Special Branch), and was appointed to the Naval Intelligence Division (NID 2) in

FDR’s Vision Fulfilled: A Visit to the National Museum of the Royal Navy

By David F. Winkler As the United States fought a two ocean war during World War II, the commander-in-chief had a post-war vision of a naval heritage complex with representative ships of the late 18th century, the Civil War era, the new Steel Navy, and World War I astride of an interpretive naval museum. To

BOOK REVIEW – The Zeebrugge and Ostend Raids, 1918

By Deborah Lake, Pen and Sword Military, Barnsley, UK (2015) Reviewed by Joseph Moretz, Ph.D. In a struggle of global proportions, minor acts at times achieve a resonance not measured by the ledger of gains and losses or the scale of their actual decisiveness. The Arab Revolt during the First World War may be cited

BOOK REVIEW – T.E. Lawrence and the Red Sea Patrol: The Royal Navy’s Role in Creating the Legend

By John Johnson-Allen, Pen & Sword Military, South Yorkshire, England (2015) Reviewed by Diana L. Ahmad, Ph.D. Thoughts about World War I often bring up images of trench warfare, Big Bertha, and the battles at Liège and Flanders Fields, but rarely does the conflict to protect the Suez Canal enter into the reader’s mind.  John

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 – Dreadnought: The Ship That Changed the World

By Roger Parkinson. I. B. Tauris and Co, England (2015) Reviewed by John V. Scholes, MD HMS Dreadnought and the history of the all big gun battleships and battlecruisers that became known collectively as dreadnoughts is a subject that has been addressed from several aspects. In works on the design and characteristics of battleships (and

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 – Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, Vol. II

By Arthur Marder, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2013) Reviewed by Captain Winn Price, U.S. Naval Reserve (Ret.) Of the first of five volumes that compose Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, this review addresses Volume II, subtitled “The War Years: To the Eve of Jutland 1914-1916.” These five books, which address World War I from the

BOOK REVIEW – A Coward? The Rise and Fall of the Silver King

By Steve R. Dunn, Book Guild Publishing, Sussex, England, (2014) Reviewed by Capt. John A. Rodgaard USN (Ret.) What is cowardice? Can cowardice be reinterpreted as an act of reasoned restraint or self-preservation? Is cowardice situational, or is it a character trait? Does it possess a moral dimension? That is, “Can a brave man also

BOOK REVIEW – THE ROYAL NAVY – A History Since 1900

By Duncan Redford and Philip D. Grove, I. B. Tauris, London, England (2014) Reviewed by Charles Bogart The book under review is the fourteenth book within the A History of the Royal Navy series sponsored by The National Museum, Royal Navy Section. The authors of this large book attempt to do the impossible: tell the

BOOK REVIEW – A History of the Royal Navy: The Napoleonic Wars

By Martin Robson, I. B. Tauris, London, England (2014) Reviewed by Mark Lardas Every century or so, the British write a quasi-official, multi-volume, comprehensive history of the Royal Navy. The turn of the twentieth century saw publication of the seven-volume The Royal Navy: A History from Earliest Times to the Present edited by the inimitable

BOOK REVIEW – Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, Vol. 1

Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, Vol. 1 By Arthur Marder, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD. (2013) (reprint) Reviewed by Winn Price Of the first of five volumes that compose Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, this review addresses Volume I, titled “the Road to War 1904-1914.” These books, which address the naval affairs in World War I, were

BOOK REVIEW – Gun Bay: A Tale of Shipwreck on Grand Cayman

Gun Bay: A Tale of Shipwreck on Grand Cayman — An Edward Ballantyne Novel By William H. White, Sea Fiction Press, Red Bank, NJ. (2013) Reviewed by Capt. Roger Jones, USN (Ret.) Gun Bay is a sea-going novel that incorporates the historic and powerful Caribbean hurricanes of October 1793 and January 1794. These caused significant

Call for Papers: National Museum of the Royal Navy Research Seminar

The National Museum of the Royal Navy runs a research seminar programme from October to June each academic year.  This seminar programme gives new and established scholars the opportunity to present their latest research to a research active and supportive audience.  All areas and aspects of naval history, British or foreign, strategic, technological, social or