The Glorious First of June 1794

Reviewed by James P. Rife, M.A. Amateur historian, ship modeler, and rocket scientist Mark Lardas packs much into Osprey’s latest addition to its excellent ‘Campaign Series’ of reference books, The Glorious First of June 1794. This was the British name for the first major fleet action against the French Navy since the Battle of the

Crisis at the Chesapeake: The Royal Navy and the Struggle for America 1775-1783

Reviewed by Joseph Moretz, PhD The story of the American War of Independence has oft been told but rather less has been said of the maritime portion of that story and less still has been told from the perspective of the Royal Navy. It is to this end that Quintin Barry, a retired solicitor and

“Go Find Him and Bring Me Back his Hat”: The Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Campaign in the Falklands/Malvinas War

Reviewed by Jeff Schultz Mariano Sciaroni and Andy Smith’s “Go Find Him and Bring Me Back His Hat”: The Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Campaign in the Falklands/Malvinas War is an important look at the relatively obscure rivalry between a few Argentine diesel submarines and the Royal Navy’s anti-submarine defenses such as helicopters, warships and the Royal

Bletchley Park’s Secret Source: Churchill’s Wrens and the Y Service in World War II

Reviewed by Anton K. Smith Too little is written about the roles and sacrifices of professional women contributing to the war effort in World War II. An established author, renowned historian, and former British sailor, Peter Hore works to correct the deficit in this new book about Britain’s Women’s Royal Navy Service, whose members quickly became

Turret Versus Broadside: An Anatomy of British Naval Prestige, Revolution and Disaster, 1860-1870

Reviewed by Dr. Joseph Moretz In Turret Versus Broadside, Howard J. Fuller, a Reader in War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton in Great Britain, relates the history of the Royal Navy’s struggle to retain maritime supremacy in the face of ironclad warships innovated by the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. The engagement between

Breaking Seas, Broken Ships: People, Shipwrecks & Britain, 1854-2007

Reviewed by Rory McAlevy How do you explore the last 150 years of British seafaring history in just one book? One shipwreck at a time, according to the author of Breaking Seas, Broken Ships: People, Shipwrecks & Britain, 1854-2007. Ian Friel followed Britain and the Ocean Road, a deft and historically sound coverage of the

Britain and the Ocean Road: Shipwrecks and People, 1297-1825

Reviewed by Rory McAlevy To study history is to study people, and Ian Friel captures that exquisitely in “Britain and the Ocean Road.” His work centers on the individual human experiences that illustrate the story of Britain’s ascendency to a dominant ocean power. Armed with this poignant narrative lens, Friel traces a national heritage of

Heroes of the RNLI: The Storm Warriors

Reviewed by Ingo Heidbrink Martyn R. Beardsley’s new book Heroes of the RNLI: The Storm Warriors tells the stories of the men of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), an institution that is not only one of the better-known maritime rescue services but also a national icon in the United Kingdom. From the 1820s up

British Naval Intelligence Through the Twentieth Century

Reviewed by Joseph Moretz, PhD That navies require intelligence to operate effectively may pass largely without comment. So too that they acquire and assess raw data and then disseminate an end-product for their own needs no less than for the nation served. That the formal organizational underpinnings of this process are only of relatively recent

Battlecrusier Repulse: Detailed in the Original Builders’ Plans

Reviewed by Ed Calouro John Roberts, a leading expert on British capital ships and warships of World War II, is the author of a technical history of the battle cruiser HMS Repulse. The title of his latest book is Battlecruiser Repulse: Detailed in the Original Builders’ Plans. It is not the typical warship biography – normally a narrative

Churchill’s Pirates: The Royal Naval Patrol Service in World War II

Reviewed by Ingo Heidbrink With more than 1500 craft operating during World War II the Royal Naval Patrol Service (RNPS) was a fleet of substantial size, but as these craft were mainly converted trawlers, fuel carriers, and motor launches with some corvettes and sea plane tenders it is also a fleet often overlooked by naval

Naval Warfare in the English Channel 1939-1945

Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, PhD Peter Charles Horstead Smith is Professor of Health Policy at the Imperial College Business School and, since 1982, resides in the small Bedfordshire village of Riseley. He was both a book and a magazine editor but has been a full-time historian and author since 1968. Specializing in maritime and

The British Carrier Strike Fleet After 1945

Reviewed by Charles H. Bogart Do not confuse this book with the author’s British Aircraft Carriers: Design, Development & Service Histories. This book concerns itself with the policy decisions that charted the Royal Navy’s carrier strike force decline from being the second largest in the world to non-existent. It is the story of a service

British Naval Weapons of World War Two: The John Lambert Collection – Volume I: Destroyer Weapons

Reviewed by Charles H. Bogart This book consists of two sections, a 52-page introduction written by Norman Friedman and 173 pages of line drawings executed by the late John Lambert. These line drawings show both the profiles of World War II Royal Navy destroyers and the weapon systems they carried. With the death of John