BOOK REVIEW – United States Coast Guard Leaders and Missions 1790 to Present

By Thomas P. Ostrom and John J. Galluzo, McFarland, Jefferson, NC (2015) Reviewed by Charles H Bogart This is the third in an excellent series of books written by Thomas Ostrom on the United States Coast Guard. The first two books of the series, The United States Coast Guard and National Defense and The United

BOOK REVIEW – We are Sinking, Send Help!

By Commander David D. Bruhn, U.S.Navy (Retired), Heritage Books, Berwyn Heights, MD (2015) Reviewed by David Kronenfeld We are Sinking, Send Help! presents readers with a well laid out chronology of US Navy salvage vessels and their contributions to the African, Mediterranean and European theaters of battle during World War II. Commander Bruhn carries the

BOOK REVIEW – The Ship That Wouldn’t Die: The Saga of the USS Neosho and a World War II Story of Courage and Survival at Sea

By Don Keith, Penguin Group, New York, NY (2015) Reviewed by Michael F. Solecki During the Battle of Coral Sea in May 1942, the Japanese sank Neosho and her escort Sims. A sidebar of the battle until recently, the sinking of these two ships developed into a fascinating story of survival and heroism. I am

BOOK REVIEW – The U.S. Naval Institute On Naval Tactics

Edited By Captain Wayne P. Hughes Jr., USN (Ret.), Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2015) Reviewed by Nathan Albright According to the introduction of this book, wheel books were originally a highly individualized and abbreviated way for inexperienced officers to gain insight vicariously through the writings of others and for more seasoned officers to have

BOOK REVIEW – With Sails Whitening Every Sea

By Brian Rouleau Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY (2014)  Reviewed by Andrew C. A. Jampoler  In early June 1867 Samuel Clemens, together with some sixty-five other passengers, sailed in SS Quaker City (late USS Quaker City, during 1861-65 the paddle wheel steamer had participated in the Union’s blockade of the Confederacy) from New York City. 

BOOK REVIEW – Dreadnought: The Ship That Changed the World

By Roger Parkinson. I. B. Tauris and Co, England (2015) Reviewed by John V. Scholes, MD HMS Dreadnought and the history of the all big gun battleships and battlecruisers that became known collectively as dreadnoughts is a subject that has been addressed from several aspects. In works on the design and characteristics of battleships (and

BOOK REVIEW – The Battle for Britain: Interservice Rivalry between the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, 1909-40

By Anthony J. Cumming, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2015) Reviewed by Rear Admiral W. J. Holland, Jr. USN (Ret) Subtitled Interservice Rivalry between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, 1909-1940, Cumming takes up the cudgel he previously wielded in The Royal Navy and the Battle of Britain to beat Air Marshall Hugh

BOOK REVIEW – True Yankees: The South Seas and the Discovery of American Identity

By Dane Anthony Morrison, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD (2014) Reviewed by Michael A. Verney In True Yankees, Morrison chronicles how voyages in the old China trade and across the Indian and Pacific Oceans between 1783 and 1844 helped define what it meant to be an American, and clarified the nation’s hierarchical relationship with

BOOK REVIEW – Defiant: The American POWs Who Endured Hanoi’s Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned

By Alvin Townley, Thomas Dunne Books and St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY (2014) Reviewed by Captain Robert J. Naughton, U.S. Navy (Retired) Defiant is an extremely accurate depiction of the miserable existence prisoners of the North Viet Nam (NVN) endured during the US war in Viet Nam. I know his description is accurate because

BOOK REVIEW – Empire, Technology, and Seapower: Royal Navy Crisis in the Age of Palmerston

By Howard J. Fuller, Routledge, New York, NY (2013) Reviewed by John T. Kuehn, Ph.D. Howard Fuller’s work here has insights for naval thinkers and strategists today. It is a clearly revisionist work and he occasionally overstates his case particularly in the first “part” of the book. There are four parts encompassing an impressive thirty

BOOK REVIEW – 21st Century Sims

Edited by Benjamin F. Armstrong, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2015) Reviewed by Nathan D. Wells In the evolution of the United States Navy from a small regional force to a capable global power between the later nineteenth century and the First World War, there are two Naval strategists that rank at the top: Admirals

BOOK REVIEW – 21st Century Ellis

Edited By B.A. Friedman, Naval Institute Press. Annapolis, MD (2015) Reviewed by Nathan Albright As part of the Naval Institute Press’ 21st Century series on notable naval thinkers, this book provides much of the body of work written by Marine Lieutenant Colonel “Pete” Ellis. Shortly after the Spanish-American War, Ellis enlisted with the Marines, and

BOOK REVIEW – Surprised at Being Alive: An Accidental Helicopter Pilot in Vietnam and Beyond

By Robert E. Curtis, Casemate Publishers, (2014) Reviewed by Thomas Ostrom In his 24 years in the service, Major Robert F. Curtis flew helicopters for the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Kentucky National Guard. Curtis flew in the United States, Britain (with the Royal Navy), Norway, and Vietnam from shore bases and the rolling decks

BOOK REVIEW – Matthew Fontaine Maury, Father of Oceanography: A Biography, 1806-1873

By John Grady, McFarland, Jefferson, NC (2015) Reviewed by Ingo Heidbrink, Ph.D. While Matthew Fontaine Maury is without a doubt well known among historians of science and in particular historians of oceanography, the general public might not know his name. Many naval historians will not have a real idea about the man who is often

BOOK REVIEW – The Ship of the Line: A History in Ship Models

By Brian Lavery. Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, Yorkshire, U.K. (2014) Reviewed by John R. Satterfield, DBA This slim, nicely illustrated volume by Brian Lavery, Curator Emeritus of the U.K.’s National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and one of the world’s most respected naval historians, describes the evolution of the ship of the line in the age of