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

1545: Who Sank the Mary Rose?

Reviewed by Dr. John. R. Satterfield. In the early evening on July 19, 1545, as she turned away from a French fleet gathered in the Solent, the narrow channel between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland harbors of Portsmouth and Southampton, the Mary Rose, one of Henry VIII‘s largest and most powerful warships,

British Submarines in Two World Wars

Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. Defense expert Norman Friedman is one of America’s most prominent naval analysts, and the author of more than thirty books covering a range of naval subjects, especially American and British vessels (battleships, cruisers, destroyers and frigates, and submarines) from the Victorian era through two World Wars, and the Cold War,

Catastrophe at Spithead: The Sinking of the Royal George

Reviewed by C. Herbert Gilliland. How could a splendid 100-gun ship of the line, quietly anchored while preparing to deploy as flagship of one of Britain’s most admired admirals, suddenly capsize and go down? Yet that happened on August 29, 1782 at Spithead, the great roadstead of the British navy near Portsmouth.  In 1782 Great

British Cruiser Warfare: The Lessons of the Early War, 1939-1941

Alan Raven builds on his previous work on British battleships and cruisers to analyze the experience of British cruisers as a weapon system in the Second World War.[1] He emphasizes the operational and tactical employment of cruisers and focuses on the early war years since “most of the significant lessons of the naval fighting were