Dorwart’s History of the Office of Naval Intelligence, 1865–1945

Reviewed by William A. Taylor, Ph.D. In Dorwart’s History of the Office of Naval Intelligence, 1865–1945, Jeffery M. Dorwart, professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University, has provided the most complete yet highly concise history of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) available. A consolidation of two of Dorwart’s excellent earlier works, The Office of

From Texas to Tinian and Tokyo Bay: The Memoirs of Captain J. R. Ritter, Seabee Commander during the Pacific War, 1942-1945

Reviewed by Diana Ahmad James “Rex” Ritter joined the United States Navy’s Seabee Battalions at the start of World War II, as well as the birth of the Seabee units.  From Texas to Tinian and Tokyo Bay looks at the contributions of the editor’s grandfather and his men during World War II Alaska and the

Stanley Johnston’s Blunder: The Reporter Who Spilled the Secret Behind the U.S. Navy’s Victory at Midway

Reviewed by Paul W. Murphey, Ph.D., CDR, CHC, USN (Ret). Elliott Carlson has written an exceptionally fine book. It is well worth reading more than once. The only caveat I have is the title: Stanley Johnston’s Blunder. The book is not so much about a reporter’s miscalculation, as about the extraordinary life and times of

1545: Who Sank the Mary Rose?

Reviewed by Dr. John. R. Satterfield. In the early evening on July 19, 1545, as she turned away from a French fleet gathered in the Solent, the narrow channel between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland harbors of Portsmouth and Southampton, the Mary Rose, one of Henry VIII‘s largest and most powerful warships,

Battleship Bismarck: A Design and Operational History

Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. The battleship Bismarck is one of the most-written about World War II Nazi German capital ships (Admiral Graf Spee and Tirpitz are close seconds). Eliminating USNS City of Bismarck (JHSV-9), often cited as Bismarck (and named after Bismarck, North Dakota, USA) and other specious references in WorldCat, there are

The Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Age: Senior Service 1800 – 1815

Reviewed by Dr. John R. Satterfield. Maritime historians divide their discipline into eras, and the Age of Sail is undoubtedly studied most widely.  Sailing ships dominated trade and naval warfare for about three centuries, from the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, the last large engagement involving rowed galleys to the Battle of Hampton Roads in

Sighted Sub, Sank Same: The United States Navy’s Air Campaign against the U-Boat

Reviewed by LT Brian Hayes, USNR This book tells the story of World War II U.S. naval aviation operations against the German U-Boat arm.  It’s an interesting and important story, but other books tell it better.  Aircraft were essential to the Allied victory in the Battle of the Atlantic.  Unlike modern submarines, early U-Boats operated

British Submarines in Two World Wars

Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. Defense expert Norman Friedman is one of America’s most prominent naval analysts, and the author of more than thirty books covering a range of naval subjects, especially American and British vessels (battleships, cruisers, destroyers and frigates, and submarines) from the Victorian era through two World Wars, and the Cold War,

The Boys Next Door: A Marine Returns to Vietnam

Reviewed by Diana L. Ahmad In 1968-1969, R. L. Tecklenburg, the author, served as a U.S. Marine in a Combined Action Team (CAP) unit in the rural Phu Loc District.  Tecklenburg provided a brief autobiographical look at his year in Vietnam.  Since leaving Vietnam, the author searched for meaning in his experiences during the conflict. 

The USS Swordfish, The World War II Patrols of the First American Submarine to Sink a Japanese Ship

Reviewed by Commander James G. Zoulias, USN. The tale of USS Swordfish provides a comprehensive look at its operational history within the context of the broader maritime campaign in the Pacific during World War II.  Because George J. Billy had an uncle who served aboard USS Swordfish, he wrote this book to document the notable

The Silver Waterfall: A Novel of the Battle of Midway

Reviewed by David F, Winkler, Ph.D. Since its inception, the Naval Historical Foundation book review program has welcomed historical fiction submissions, recognizing that fictional writers, released from the constraints of demonstrating documented sources, can sometimes convey a better sense of what actually happened to a broader audience. Such is the case with The Silver Waterfall,

Catastrophe at Spithead: The Sinking of the Royal George

Reviewed by C. Herbert Gilliland. How could a splendid 100-gun ship of the line, quietly anchored while preparing to deploy as flagship of one of Britain’s most admired admirals, suddenly capsize and go down? Yet that happened on August 29, 1782 at Spithead, the great roadstead of the British navy near Portsmouth.  In 1782 Great

Images of War: United States Navy Submarines 1900-2019

Reviewed by Jeff Schultz. Michael Green’s United States Navy Submarines 1900-2019 provides a succinct look at the evolution of American submarines from early to modern designs, heavily supported with images, particularly wartime archival sources. It spans designs from the turn of the 20th century across the World Wars, the Cold War and the post-Cold War