Kangaroo Squadron: American Courage in the Darkest Days of World War II

Reviewed by CWO Darien Garland On December 6th 1941, in the days of celestial navigation, there were flying boats in the sky over the Pacific Ocean, heading towards the Hawaiian island of Oahu. As the sun appeared above the horizon, the pilots of the approaching B-17 Bombers were ready for their island-time crew rest and

The Lusitania Sinking: Eyewitness Accounts from Survivors

Reviewed by Kenneth J. Blume, Ph.D. The torpedoing and then sinking of the Cunard liner Lusitania on 7 May 1915 is of course one of the iconic events of World War I—with broad military/naval and diplomatic consequences.  Anthony Richards tells the story from a human perspective, with the bulk of the book drawing upon contemporary

The Washington Navy Yard: An Illustrated History. Special Commemorative Memorial Edition

Reviewed by Kenneth J. Blume, Ph.D. The original edition of this volume was published in 1999 to commemorate the bicentennial of the Washington Navy Yard. This slightly revised edition has been published to honor those workers killed in the infamous September 2013 mass shooting at NAVSEA Building 197. The main changes in this edition include

The Battleships of the Iowa Class – A Design and Operational History

Reviewed by Mr. Charles Bogart Philippe Caresse is a former French naval officer and author of two books on French warships of the World War I, both of which were published by the Naval Institute Press. The book under review, Battleships of the Iowa Class, can be enjoyed both as a coffee table book and

The Navy’s First Enlisted Women: Patriotic Pioneers

Reviewed by Mary S. Bell, PhD. Women have volunteered to serve during every war or conflict since the U.S. fought for its independence in the 18th century. However, there is little written on women’s roles in winning the nation’s wars relative to the amount written on men’s roles. The contributions of women and other minorities

Launching The Navy Family Support Program: A Heartfelt Blend of History and Memoir

Reviewed by David F. Winkler, Ph.D. Class of 1957 Chair of Naval Heritage, U.S. Naval Academy. The 1970s were tumultuous years for the U.S. Navy, a transitional period from the war in Vietnam where a draft kept the sea service fully-manned with young single Sailors who readily enlisted in the Navy rather than serve “In

The Sound Toll at Elsinore: Politics, Shipping and the Collection of Duties 1429-1857

Reviewed by CDR Daniel Orchard-Hays, USN. As the title suggests, this anthology provides varying perspectives on the tariff collected in the sound that runs between Denmark and Sweden thus joining the North Sea to the Baltic Sea at Elsinore.  For over 400 years beginning in the mid-15th century, the Sound Toll played a significant role

Sand and Steel: The D-Day Invasion and the Liberation of France

Review by LtCol Jack Harris, USMC (Ret.) The invasion of Normandy in June of 1944 was possibly the greatest endeavor in the history of mankind and Peter Caddick-Adams’s new book is possibly the best book written on the subject.  Caddick-Adams’s fourth book follows in the pattern set by Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell, Snow

French Armoured Cruisers 1887-1932

Review by Mr. Charles Bogart Between 1887 and 1910, France built 26 armoured cruisers. These ships were built as single units or as part of a class of ships that numbered between two and five units. Despite the homely looks of French warships during this period, French naval architectural design, at this time, was in

The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans

Review by Mr. John Grady Make no mistake about David Abulafia’s The Boundless Sea, it is a monumental work, tackling the largest subject on the planet, the seas, and having as an overlay of that story the planet’s most perplexing creature — humans. At almost 1,000 pages of text, The Boundless Sea is not a

Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time

History is full of mysteries and the fate of HMS Erebus and her sister ship HMS Terror remained among these mysteries until only a few years ago.  With the discovery of the ships remains, Michael Palin, tells the biography of the Terror from her success in the Antarctic to her fate in the Canadian Arctic

Russian Battleships and Cruisers of the Russo-Japanese War

Mark Lardas’s Russian Battleships and Cruisers of the Russo-Japanese War (New Vanguard #275) delves into the little discussed Russo-Japanese War. In particular, the Imperial Russian capital ships that fought in the losing effort against an unexpectedly tough opponent in the first defeat of a European power by an Asian foe, with strong repercussions for all

Polaris: The Chief Scientist’s Recollection of the American North Pole Expedition

During the second half of the 19th century the North Pole became the ultimate goal of polar research and various nations stepped up to organize expeditions to reach 90-degree North. After expeditions like the First and Second German North Polar Expedition failed to reach this goal, it was the US to give it another try.

Crusoe, Castaways and Shipwrecks in the Perilous Age of Sail

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the publication of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Mike Rendell’s monograph explains the influences that inspired Defoe’s novel, as well as the hazards that the early European seafaring community encountered while sailing the seas.  The author looks into the real-life stories and adventures of men and women who had

The Russian Destroyer Spravedlivyy 1956

The Russian Destroyer Spravedlivyy 1956 [Super Drawings in 3D Series] by Oleg Pomoshnikov and Jan Radziemski provides a stunningly detailed look at the 1950s-era warship Spravedlivyy, later the Polish destroyer Warszawa. This series by Kagero is a treat to readers, regardless of which ship profile they purchase. Many exist, ranging from the 1940 Japanese battleship