Liberty’s War

Many histories of World War II have given short shrift to the U.S. Merchant Marine, and Herman Melton’s memoir Liberty’s War helps address this gap in history. The purpose of the book was to “recall the wartime experience of a youngster who served in four different Liberty ships.” Edited by his son, Melton’s book tells

The Golden Age of Piracy

Long before Walt Disney invited guests at Disneyland to “sail with the wildest crew that ever sacked the Spanish Main,” piracy has been a topic that has fascinated people – with a rather odd juxtaposition. While no one would want to encounter a real pirate, the aura of the pirate has captured the imagination to

This is No Drill

One might wonder, as it has been over 75 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, what new information could be presented on this event. The answer is quite a lot. All standard accounts of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor focus on the ships at Pearl Harbor and the Army Air Corps airfields

Progressives in Navy Blue

Progressives in Navy Blue: Maritime Strategy, American Empire, and the Transformation of U.S. Naval Identity, 1873-1898 By Scott Mobley, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD. (2017). Reviewed by CDR John T. Kuehn, USN (Ret.)   This book is part of a series edited by historians Chris Bell and Jim Bradford published by the Naval Institute. It

New Interpretations in Naval History

New Interpretations in Naval History: Selected Papers from the 18th McMullen Naval Symposium Edited by Lori Lyn Bogle and James C. Rentfrow, Naval War College, (2018). Reviewed by Stephen D. Regan, Ed.D.   This collection of papers is a wonderful surprise. Usually scholarly historical symposium papers are pedantic, boring, poorly written treatises about obscure and

The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn

The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution By Robert P. Watson, Da Capo Press, (2017). Reviewed by Chief Warrant Officer Darien J. Garland, United States Marine Corps   Under dark and gray skies, the HMS Jersey sits ominously off the coast of Brooklyn in the calm waters of Wallabout Bay.

US Flush-Deck Destroyers 1916-1945

US Flush-Deck Destroyers 1916-45: Caldwell, Wickes and Clemson Classes (New Vanguard #259) By Mark Lardas, illustrated by Johnny Shumate & Julian Baker, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, (2018). Reviewed by Jeffrey Schultz   Mark Lardas’s US Flush-Deck Destroyers 1916-45 sheds light on the typically overlooked story of the WWI-era US Navy distinctive four funnel (or “four-piper”) destroyers.

Gunboats on the Great Lakes

Gunboats on the Great Lakes 1866-68, The British Navy’s show of force at the time of Confederation By Cheryl MacDonald, James Lorimer and Company, Toronto, (2017). Reviewed by John Grady   Gunboats of the Great Lakes is a “what if” book; and the “if” is directly connected to the untimely death of the author, Cheryl

The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean

The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean: The Ancient World Economy and the Kingdoms of Africa, Arabia and India By Raoul McLaughlin, Pen and Sword Maritime Books, Yorkshire and Philadelphia, (2018) Reviewed by Janet Nolan, Ph. D.   A graduate of Lagan College, Northern Ireland’s first Integrated School, Raoul McLaughlin has written a remarkable book

White Water, Red Hot Lead

White Water Red Hot Lead: On Board U.S. Navy Swift Boats in Vietnam By Dan Daly, Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia, (2017) Reviewed by Diana L. Ahmad, Ph.D., Missouri University of Science and Technology   Approximately 3,500 men served in the Swift Boat units during the Vietnam War over a period of six years. Dan Daly’s excellent

Graf Zeppelin: The Only German Aircraft Carrier

Graf Zeppelin: The Only German Aircraft Carrier By Jürgen Prommersberger, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, (2017) Reviewed by Robert P. Largess   “Graf Zeppelin” is a name to conjure with. Most people know it as the name of the pioneering passenger dirigible which made 143 Atlantic crossings, most on commercial service. Less know of her successor,