They Were Soldiers: The Sacrifices and Contributions of Our Vietnam Veterans

Reviewed by Captain William H. Peerenboom, USN (Ret.) Many Americans, perhaps including the authors, look back on the Viet Nam war as a misguided and mis managed effort. Not only that, these Americans believe that the disdain for the war  caused those who fought there – ordinary soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen to suffer loss

The Battalion Artist: A Navy Seabee’s Sketchbook of War in the South Pacific, 1943–1945

Reviewed by CAPT Charles “Herb” Gilliland, USN (Ret.) For any artist—perhaps for any human being–life and art are inseparable. That was certainly the case for Natale (“Nat”) Bellantoni. This strikingly attractive book filled with fine watercolors offers his story as a young artist serving in the 78th Naval Construction Battalion in World War II. Two

Chosin: Heroic Ordeal of the Korean War

Reviewed by LTC Heiva H. Kelley, USA. In Chosin: Heroic Ordeal of the Korean War, Eric Hammel, a meticulous military historian and accomplished writer of over 50 books and 70 articles, revisits the Battle of Chosin based on extensive primary source material collected by the author through hundreds of personal interviews with survivors. This book,

Unconditional: The Japanese Surrender in World War II

Reviewed by Jeff Schultz. Marc Gallicchio’s Unconditional: The Japanese Surrender in World War II focuses on the late-war period leading up to the September 1945 Japanese surrender. This important monograph digs deeper than most into the complicated chain of events which resulted in the memorable Tokyo Bay ceremony, using American and Japanese archival sources to

British Town Class Cruisers: Design, Development & Performance; Southampton & Belfast Classes

Reviewed by Charles Bogart.  The ten ships that formed the Town Class of light cruisers were the epitome of Royal Navy all gun cruiser development. Armed with twelve 6-inch guns mounted in four turrets, they participated in every European Theater naval campaign of World War II and two of the class also saw action during

Hill Fights: The First Battle of Khe Sanh, 1967

Reviewed by Diana Ahmad, PhD.  The legendary siege at Khe Sanh occurred in 1968, but during the spring of 1967, the United States Marines fought in northwestern Quang Tri Province in what became the first stage of the Khe Sanh battles.  Rod Andrew, Jr., a history professor at Clemson University and colonel in the Marine

Britain’s Island Fortresses: Defence of the Empire 1756-1956

Reviewed by CDR Derek R. Fix, USN. In Britain’s Island Fortresses, Bill Clements, a former British Army officer and Defense Attaché, provides a detailed account of the evolution of the defenses of the British empire’s strategic overseas island bases.  Clements is well-suited to the task, having written two previous books on British fortifications.  This book

Operation Chariot: the St Nazaire Raid, 1942

Reviewed by Jeff Schultz Jean-Charles Stasi’s Operation Chariot: the St Nazaire Raid, 1942 explores the audacious World War II British commando raid that disabled the only suitable drydock on the French coast, thereby preventing the German battleship Tirpitz from harassing Allied convoys. In particular, the book provides a concise, well-illustrated overview of the memorable raid

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