Minding the Helm: An Unlikely Career in the U.S. Coast Guard

Reviewed by CDR Brian Emory, USN Chief Warrant Officer Kevin P. Gilheany has done a wonderful job delivering a memoir of his service in the Coast Guard.  His writing style is easy to read and always engaging in a book that’s can be completed in one sitting or over a weekend.  His story begins in

Tower of Skulls; A History of the Asia-Pacific War, Vol. 1: May 1937-July 1945

Reviewed by Robert P. Largess.           Once, a much-esteemed young man, then in his all-knowing 20’s, asked me “How can you keep on reading books on WWII? Don’t you already know everything there is to know?” Now, decades later, the perfect answer has appeared in the form of Richard Frank’s immensely learned

Nightmare at Scapa Flow: The Truth About the Sinking of HMS Royal Oak

Reviewed by Mr. Walt Haskins.  The version reviewed is a 2019 paperback re-printing of the original, published in 1980. The author, some forty years ago, had access to many of the original sailors and witnesses, both British and German, and provides first-hand accounts of their recollections. He analyzes contemporary documentation from both British and German

Middle East 101: A Beginner’s Guide for Deployers, Travelers, And Concerned Citizens

Reviewed by Midshipman “Bo” Schrader, IV, USNA The Middle East is an undeniably complex region. Its unique ethnoreligious composition, political layout, and violent history make understanding the region a formidable task. In their book Middle East 101, Youssef Aboul-Enein and Joseph Stanik provide a digestible overview of the Middle East, spanning from ancient times to

Battleships of the III Reich. Vol. 1

Reviewed by Ed Calouro Witold Koszela, author of Battleships of the III Reich, Vol. 1, is a prolific writer who has penned many books about several nations’ warships.  Among these are histories of the British Nelson and King George V-class battleships, several books about American battlewagons, including the South Dakota and Iowa classes, and books

Six Victories: North Africa, Malta, and the Mediterranean Convoy War: November 1941 ̶ March 1942

Reviewed by Randall D. Fortson, MA Vincent P. O’Hara opens his newest work, Six Victories: North Africa, Malta, and the Mediterranean Convoy War: November 1941 ̶ March 1942, by stating that victory has a hundred fathers. The phrase originates from the diary of Mussolini’s son-in-law, Galeazzo Ciano but O’Hara intends it as a metaphor for

Why America Loses Wars: Limited War and US Strategy from the Korean War to the Present

Reviewed by Jon Middaugh, Ph.D.  Donald Stoker, a Professor of Strategy and Policy for the U.S. Naval War College’s Monterey Program at the Naval Postgraduate School from 1999-2017, has written a tightly argued case for improving the approach American leaders use for fighting wars. The recommendations and insights in Why America Loses Wars deserve widespread

Admiral John S. McCain and the Triumph of Naval Airpower

Reviewed by NHF Director of Membership Programs, ENS Sean Bland, USNR A professor of history at Auburn University in Alabama, William F. Trimble has written extensively on the history of Naval Aviation, including studies of Glenn Curtiss, Admiral William Moffett, and the Seaplane Striking Force program. Drawing from this in-depth knowledge of the history of naval

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