Ditty Bag: Japanese Navy Minister Flag

Ditty Bag: Collections of the Naval Historical Foundation An Artifact and Collections Blog Series Imperial Japanese Navy Minister Flag The Meiji Restoration saw an end to the Tokugawa shogunate rule of the Edo period in favor of imperial rule in Japan. The implementation of new political structures drastically changed the methods of military decisions and

Ditty Bag: Vanguard Shoulder Boards

Ditty Bag: Collections of the Naval Historical Foundation An Artifact and Collections Blog Series From Dock to Deck: Vanguard Shoulder Boards Bernard Gershen, a Polish tailor, immigrated to the United States in 1903. Settling in New York City, the tailor stayed in southern Manhattan as he sought work in his trade. Gershen furthered his stitching

“FLIVVERS – THE FIRST STEAM TURBINE DRIVEN DESTROYERS

By George Stewart A “flivver” is an American slang term used in the early twentieth century to refer to any small car that gave a rough ride. These “flivvers” were primarily small, inexpensive and old. In the context of the United States Navy, “flivvers” refer to the two specific classes of destroyers that entered service

BOOK REVIEW – The Admirals’ Advantage: U.S. Navy Operational Intelligence in World War II and the Cold War

Written by Christopher Ford and David Rosenberg, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2014) Reviewed by John R. Satterfield, DBA This paperback reissue is the outgrowth of a series of operational intelligence (OPINTEL) “Lessons Learned” studies by Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) reserve units conducted between 1994 and 2004. It also includes as well as a

Born on the Seventh of December: The Significance of a Pearl Harbor Birthday

By Matthew T. Eng There are some things in life we cannot change. As hard as we try, time ceaselessly moves alongside absolutes such as the changing of seasons or the color of the sky. You can even set your watch to the inexorability of afternoon traffic on the DC beltway. Of all these constants

BOOK REVIEW – Attack on Pearl Harbor: Strategy, Combat, Myths, Deceptions

By Alan D. Zimm, Casemate Publishing, Havertown, PA (2011) Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. There seems to be no end to new publications on the subject of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. By September 2014, WorldCat (an international library catalog) listed 18,353 publications and other media on Pearl Harbor;

BOOK REVIEW – The Second Pearl Harbor: The West Loch Disaster, May 21, 1944

By Gene Eric Salecher University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK (2014) Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. Among the maritime accidents during World War II in the Pacific Theater is the 1944 Port Chicago disaster, a munitions explosion at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine located in Port Chicago, California near San Francisco. The 17 July

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 – Silent Strength: Remembering the Men of Genius and Adventure Lost in the World’s Worst Submarine Disaster

By D. Allen Kerr, Jetty House, Portsmouth, NH (2014) Reviewed by Greg Stitz Silent Strength: Remembering the Men of Genius and Adventure Lost in the World’s Worst Submarine Disaster can best be summed up using the title of one of its own chapters – “One Disaster, 129 Stories.” Silent Strength is the story of USS

BOOK REVIEW – MacArthur and Halsey’s “Pacific Island Hoppers”: The Forgotten Fleet of World War II

By David D. Bruhn, Heritage Books, Inc., Berwyn Heights, MD (2014) Reviewed By Christopher B. Havern Through well-executed strikes by its land and naval forces, the Japanese Empire conquered vast stretches of Southeast Asia, the Southwest Pacific, and the Central Pacific in the six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the process they

BOOK REVIEW – Axis Midget Submarines: 1939 – 1945

By Mark Stille and Jamie Prenatt, Osprey Press, Great Britain (2014) Reviewed by James H. McClelland Sr.          Senior Defense Department analyst Jamie E. Prenatt collaborated with retired Navy Commander and frequent Osprey author Mark E. Stille to research and write Axis Midget Submarines. Prenatt, who has taught military history, war gaming,

Bats Against the Axis PART IV: 11 Days in September

A Four-Part Blog Series By Matthew T. Eng Baseball in Norfolk radically changed the lives of the countless sailors stationed there during World War II. As a means of diversion, sailors at NTS Norfolk created their own private baseball utopia amidst the horrors of war waiting for them in the European and Pacific Theaters. The

Bats Against the Axis PART III: The Beginning of a Rivalry

A Four-Part Blog Series By Matthew T. Eng  Baseball in Norfolk radically changed the lives of the countless sailors stationed there during World War II. As a means of diversion, sailors at NTS Norfolk created their own private baseball utopia amidst the horrors of war waiting for them in the European and Pacific Theaters. Part