dovkants combat of devils

BOOK REVIEW – A Combat of Devils

By Keith Dovkants, Matador, Troubador Publishing, Ltd. Leicestershire, UK (2012) Reviewed by James C. Quinn A Combat of Devils takes place during the First World War in the English Channel between a Royal Navy officer and his crew and a German U-boat, but I find it hard to call it a war novel. It opens

stewart orr love first flight

BOOK REVIEW – Love at First Flight

By W. Stewart and Fran E. Orr, Astor and Blue Editions, New York, NY (2012). Reviewed by Captain Roger F. Jones, U,S, Navy (Retired) “Bud” and Fran Orr, husband and wife, write alternating sections in this book, telling the story of their lives – his as a naval aviator, starting in the Viet Nam era

bicheno elizabeths sea dogs

BOOK REVIEW – Elizabeth’s Sea Dogs: How the English Became the Scourge of the Sea

By Hugh Bicheno, Conway Press, United Kingdom, (2012). Reviewed by Mark Lardas Up to the last 50 years or so Britannia ruled the waves.  It remains able to project naval power. Many assume it was always that way, yet reality is different.  Britain’s naval dominance dates only to early modern times. From Roman times to

vogel perilous fight

BOOK REVIEW – Through the Perilous Fight: Six Weeks that Saved the Nation

By Steve Vogel, Random House, New York, NY, (2013). Reviewed by John Grady Through the Perilous Fight is a wonderful and most welcome addition to the books commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Steve Vogel, veteran defense reporter for the Washington Post and author of The Pentagon: A History several years ago, tells the story of

budiansky blacketts war

BOOK REVIEW – Blackett’s War: The Men Who Defeated the Nazi U-Boats and Brought Science to the Art of Warfare

By Stephen Budiansky.  Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, (2013) Reviewed by John R. Satterfield, DBA. September 1, 2013 will mark the 74th anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the start of World War II. Just two percent of the U.S. population is old enough to remember the war’s early years, so most Americans know

rigby allied master strategists

BOOK REVIEW – Allied Master Strategists: The Combined Chiefs of Staff in World War II

By David Rigby, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD: (2012). Reviewed by Joseph Moretz, Ph.D. Though the historiography of the Second World War is vast, it is remarkable how few works have examined the actual higher direction of war as practiced by the Anglo-American alliance. That partnership at a political level is reflected in the close

satterfield saving big ben

BOOK REVIEW – Saving Big Ben: the USS Franklin and Father Joseph T. O’Callahan

By John R. Satterfield, Naval Institute Press: Annapolis, MD (2011) Reviewed by Commander Paul W. Murphey, CHC, USNR (Ret.) Appearance wise, Saving Big Ben is an impressive book. Beautifully bound with an appealing jacket, featuring a pleasant type and format, and having enticing blurbs on the back cover, the book brings a sense of anticipation

stearman american adventure

BOOK REVIEW – An American Adventure: From Early Aviation Through Three Wars to the White House

By William Lloyd Stearman, Naval Institute Press: Annapolis, MD (2012) Reviewed by Dr. Richard P. Hallion Mention “Stearman” among any group of aviation aficionados and an instant image of one of history’s most influential and appealing aircraft comes to mind. The Stearman biplane occupies a unique place in the pantheon of American aviation, having produced,

harris-nimitz-pacific

BOOK REVIEW – Admiral Nimitz: The Commander of the Pacific Ocean Theater

By Brayton Harris, Palgrave Macmillan: New York, (2012) Reviewed by Captain Scott Mobley, U.S. Navy (Retired) Brayton Harris begins his narrative by pledging to give the reader a “guided tour” of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz’s life.  Harris delivers on this promise, tracing Nimitz’s rise from a small-town Texas boyhood to the apex of naval

daughan 1812 navys war

BOOK REVIEW – 1812: The Navy’s War

By George C. Daughan, Basic Books, New York, (2011). Reviewed by Rear Admiral William J. Holland, Jr. U.S. Navy (Retired) This is a splendid history. While documenting the courage, skill and luck of the tiny American Navy, Professor Daughan describes the machinations of the then principle players on a world stage in vastly greater breadth

bingham seabees oil alaska

BOOK REVIEW – The U.S. Navy Seabee Alaskan Oil Expedition 1944, With Additional WWII Alaskan History

By Kenneth E. Bingham., Seabee Books, Binghamus Press, (2011). Reviewed by Charles H. Bogart The author has divided this book into six sections. Over half of the book is a reprint of Construction Battalion Detachment 1058’s cruise book covering its tour of duty at Barrow, Alaska, during 1944-1945. The author provides a 5-page introduction into

bingham black hell seabees iwo jima

BOOK REVIEW – Black Hell: The Story of the 133rd Navy Seabees at Iwo Jima

By Kenneth E. Bingham., Seabee Book (2011). Reviewed by Charles H. Bogart This book is, in reality, three books in one, with the book divided into thirds. The first third of the book gives background information on Iwo Jima, the formation of the Seabees and, in particular, the activation and training of the 133rd Naval

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BOOK REVIEW – American Women Artists in Wartime, 1776-2010

By Paula E. Calvin and Deborah A. Deacon, McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC & London (2011) Reviewed by Diana L. Ahmad, Ph.D. Art historians Paula Calvin and Deborah Deacon take readers on a journey through two and a half centuries of American military art as depicted by female artists. They demonstrated that war impacted

InTheirOwnWords1812Emery

In Their Own Words: A New Look at the Naval War of 1812

  The emotions captured by the War of 1812: patriotic fervor, anxiety, the immediacy of the moment, the joy of peace… all and more abound in In Their Own Words. Whether encouraging peers, issuing orders to subordinates, lamenting a hero’s death or reporting a glorious frigate action, these emotions spring from the stirring contemporary letters,

BOOK REVIEW – Warships of the Ancient World, 3000 – 500 BC

Written by Adrian K. Wood and Illustrated by Giuseppe Rava.  Osprey Publishing, Ltd., Long Island City, NY. (2012) Reviewed by John R. Satterfield, DBA. Writing about human activities in the Bronze and early Iron Ages is a daunting task. Evidence from these eras is fragmentary at best, like a jigsaw puzzle with far more pieces