BOOK REVIEW – A-6 Intruder Units, 1974-96

By Rick Morgan, Osprey Publishing, Ltd. Oxford, UK (2017) Reviewed by Cdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) A sequel to the author’s earlier Combat Aircraft No. 93 covering the Intruder’s Vietnam service, this new book describes the A-6’s new, often little-known history after Southeast Asia with insider knowledge and style. His introduction is one of the

BOOK REVIEW – A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War

Rick Morgan Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK (2012) Reviewed by Cdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) Grumman’s big, ugly carrier-based bomber has generated only a few books, including one done by this author and his brother Mark for Schiffer in 2004, a good book in a much larger format. A couple of wartime memoirs have also appeared

BOOK REVIEW – Bloody Paralyser: The Giant Handley Page Bombers of the First World War

By Rob Langham, Fonthill Media Limited and Casemate Publishers, Havertown, PA (2016) Reviewed by Cdr. Peter Mersky, USNR (Ret.) Senior British military author Owen Thetford wrote in his 1958 book British Naval Aircraft 1912-58 (Putnam, UK): It is not always appreciated that the Admiralty was the first of the British Service Departments to recognize the

BOOK REVIEW – BLACKMAIL

By Rick Campbell, St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY (2017) Reviewed by William H. White Having read and reviewed one or two of his previous tales, Cdr. Rick Campbell’s latest, BLACKMAIL is in my opinion, his best by a long shot. And unfortunately, it is, in large part, the most credible. While Campbell’s background is

BOOK REVIEW – The Battleship Texas

By Mark Lardas. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC (2016) Reviewed by Ed Calouro Author Mark Lardas has written a short, succinct, and largely successful illustrated history of the second generation dreadnought battleship Texas. Though not on par with Paul Stillwell’s longer and more detailed biographies of New Jersey, Arizona, and Missouri, this book nevertheless serves as

BOOK REVIEW – Interpreting Naval History at Museums and Historic Sites

By Benjamin J. Hruska. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD (2016) Reviewed by Heather M. Haley Over the past three decades, debates over the professionalization of public historians have raged between academic historians and those who involve themselves in archival management, museum curation, and the digital humanities. Benjamin Hruska, former director of the Block Island Historical

BOOK REVIEW – Admiral Frank H. Schofield: A Portrait in Letters of an American Navy Family (1886-1942)

By Richard S. MacAlpine, Infinity Press (2016) Reviewed by Charles H. Bogart This amazing book allows the reader to enter the heart and soul of Frank H. Schofield who entered the Naval Academy in 1886 and retired in 1933 as Commander of the U.S. Navy’s Battle Fleet. Admiral Schofield saw service during the Spanish-American War

BOOK REVIEW – Faces of the Civil War Navies: An Album of Union and Confederate Sailors

By Ronald S. Coddington, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD (2016) Review by Thomas P. Ostrom Ronald S. Coddington has chronicled the lives of dozens of Confederate and Union sailors in the War of the Rebellion (1861-1865) in his magnificent photographic and narrative history. In the Foreword, Professor Craig L. Symonds traced the general backgrounds

BOOK REVIEW – Implacable Foes, War in The Pacific, 1944-1945

By Waldo Heinrichs and Marc Gallicchio, Oxford University Press, New York, NY (2017) Reviewed by Capt. Howard R. Portnoy, USN (Ret.) With the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II approaching, it seems an appropriate time to reexamine our perceptions of the war to determine if revisions are necessary. It appears reasonable to

BOOK REVIEW – The First Fight: U.S. Marines in Operation Starlite, August 1965

By Rod Andrew Jr., Marine Corps University, History Division, Quantico, VA (2015) Reviewed by Timothy Heck Colonel Rod Andrew’s The First Fight is part of a larger official commemorative effort dedicated to the Marine Corps’ involvement in Southeast Asia from the early 1960s until 1975.  This pamphlet history by Marine Corps University is a concise

BOOK REVIEW – The U.S. Naval Institute on Marine Corps Aviation

Thomas J. Cutler, Series Ed., Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2016) Reviewed by: Robert P. Largess The U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings has been a pillar of intelligent discourse on naval science, events, technology and history since its first issue in 1874. Always imaginative, open, thoughtful, Proceedings is a goldmine of high-quality material for the naval

BOOK REVIEW – Choosing War: Presidential Decisions in the Maine, Lusitania, and Panay Incidents

By Douglas Carl Peifer, Oxford University Press, New York, (2016) By Kenneth J. Hagan, Ph.D This remarkable book by a professor at the Air University was motivated by his concerns about how policymakers and strategists cope with the multifaceted aspects of contemporary naval incidents. He is convinced that the study of history is far more

BOOK REVIEW – The Royal Navy in the Age of Austerity 1919-22: Naval and Foreign Policy under Lloyd George

By G. H. Bennett, Bloomsbury, London, UK (2016) Reviewed by Joseph Moretz, Ph.D. Having successfully met the greatest threat to British maritime dominance since the Napoleonic era, the Royal Navy emerging victorious from the World War still faced an uncertain future. The building programs of formal and informal allies, Japan and the United States, respectively,

BOOK REVIEW – End of Empire – 100 Days in 1945 that Changed Asia and the World

By David P. Chandler, Robert Cribb and Li Narangoa, NIAS Press, Copenhagen, Denmark (2016) Reviewed by Charles H Bogart The hundred days that this book is concerned with are the days between 5 August and 12 November 1945. The book begins on 5 August 1945, as this is the day the U.S. dropped the A-bomb

BOOK REVIEW – Very Special Intelligence: The Story of the Admiralty’s Operational Intelligence Centre, 1939-1945

By Patrick Beesly, Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, UK (2015) Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. In June 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Patrick Beesly joined the Royal Navy as a Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) officer, became a Sub-Lieutenant (Special Branch), and was appointed to the Naval Intelligence Division (NID 2) in