Crusoe, Castaways and Shipwrecks in the Perilous Age of Sail

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the publication of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Mike Rendell’s monograph explains the influences that inspired Defoe’s novel, as well as the hazards that the early European seafaring community encountered while sailing the seas.  The author looks into the real-life stories and adventures of men and women who had

Heroes of Coastal Command: The RAF’s Maritime War 1939-1945

During the Interwar Years, the leaders of the Royal Air Force preached that the next war would be a short war. The war would be won by bombers which, in a matter of days, would inflict so much damage on the enemy’s urban centers that the civilian outcry would force the country’s leaders to surrender.

The New Battle for the Atlantic

In this fast paced and well researched volume, the author assesses the challenges arising from a revanchist Russia following the annexation of the Crimea by Russia in 2014. It examines the causes and possible course of what he sees as the “fourth battle of the Atlantic”. The United States and their allies, including NATO, are

Uncommon Valour: The Story of the Victoria Cross

The Crimean War Battle of Inkerman, fought November 5, 1854, took place in such foggy obscurity that it was won by the initiative of soldiers and noncoms in relatively small units, and came to be called “The Soldiers’ Battle.” But while officers could be (and were) rewarded by field promotions and knightly orders, no such

Battleships: The War at Sea

This 8 by 5-inch paperback book is part of the Casemate Short History series. The book traces the rise and decline of the big gun armored warships from USS Monitor to USS Missouri. The period covered by the author is 1862, the battle between USS Monitor and CSS Virginia, to 1992, with the decommissioning of

Heroes of Annapolis

The title and subtitle sum up this book nicely. Regular readers of Shipmate will be familiar with the contents, as these stories originally appeared there as separate articles. Dave Poyer will be very familiar to many as a leading writer of naval fiction, especially the Dan Lenson series of novels, now up to 18 volumes.

Combat at Close Quarters: An Illustrated History of the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam War

This well-written and superbly illustrated collection of four essays provides an easy to read and understand explanation of the U.S. Navy’s role in the Vietnam War. Four chapters focusing on the Rolling Thunder campaign, warfare on the rivers and canals, naval power in Southeast Asia, and naval intelligence in Southeast Asia provide readers with an

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

Dunkirk: Nine Days that Saved an Army

Dunkirk – the port city of northern France calls to mind many different images and descriptions from the Second World War, e.g., the greatest evacuation of all time, a miracle, a methodical retreat, a tactical disaster, an allied defeat, and on and on. It was an exceptional withdrawal from an untenable battle front, and a

U.S. Navy Auxiliary Vessels: A History and Directory from World War I to Today

U.S. Navy Auxiliary Vessels: A History and Directory from World War I to Today by Ken Sayers provides a detailed and devoted look at the myriad vessels which have served the United States Navy in varying capacities from World War I to the present. Sayers, a former USN officer on a Pacific Fleet destroyer and

Treason: A Novel

With a provocative title, the fast-paced novel captures the reader from the first page and offers an elaborate plot, capitalizing on relevant NATO concerns over Russian ambitions toward the Baltic States. The novel unfolds scene-by-scene, like a novel ready-made screenplay. The chapters are short and driven by character and plot development. There is just enough

USS Tunny: A History, Tribute, and Memoir

This massive book is obviously a labor of love on the part of the author. Much of it is formatted like a scrapbook, covering almost thirty years of naval history. The book covers: Tunny’s operations in World War II, where the boat was honored by earning two Presidential Unit Citations, making it one of the

Pirate Hunter: The Life of Captain Woodes Rogers

Many people find reading about pirates in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries exciting and romantic. Pirate Hunter takes a different approach with Captain Woodes Rogers challenging those buccaneers for profit and fame, as well as efforts to enhance Great Britain’s power. Most people likely know Rogers as the captain who rescued Alexander Selkirk in 1709

The History of Navigation

Anybody that needs to move themselves or some object, are required by nature to navigate to some degree. The early true history of navigation, however, is conjecture at best. Since navigation gives the appearance of an inherent trait to humans, we tend to take it for granted as it is just something they do. As

The Greene Papers

In his influential 1997 book Dereliction of Duty, H.R. McMaster described the Joint Chiefs of Staff as “Five Silent Men” who acquiesced to a gradual escalation of the conflict in Vietnam without a clear vision of how military action would secure American policy aims. The Greene Papers, Nicholas Schlosser’s carefully curated selection of General Wallace