Fighting the Great War at Sea: Strategy, Tactics and Technology

Reviewed by Joseph Moretz, PhD. Members of this forum will know and appreciate the many previous offerings of Dr. Norman Friedman in the field of naval technology and strategy. With several serving as standard reference works, readers of Friedman are invariably treated to a reasoned discourse anchored in primary research that never fails to inform.

British Town Class Cruisers: Design, Development & Performance; Southampton & Belfast Classes

Reviewed by Charles Bogart.  The ten ships that formed the Town Class of light cruisers were the epitome of Royal Navy all gun cruiser development. Armed with twelve 6-inch guns mounted in four turrets, they participated in every European Theater naval campaign of World War II and two of the class also saw action during

Six Victories: North Africa, Malta, and the Mediterranean Convoy War: November 1941 ̶ March 1942

Reviewed by Randall D. Fortson, MA Vincent P. O’Hara opens his newest work, Six Victories: North Africa, Malta, and the Mediterranean Convoy War: November 1941 ̶ March 1942, by stating that victory has a hundred fathers. The phrase originates from the diary of Mussolini’s son-in-law, Galeazzo Ciano but O’Hara intends it as a metaphor for

Sand and Steel: The D-Day Invasion and the Liberation of France

Review by LtCol Jack Harris, USMC (Ret.) The invasion of Normandy in June of 1944 was possibly the greatest endeavor in the history of mankind and Peter Caddick-Adams’s new book is possibly the best book written on the subject.  Caddick-Adams’s fourth book follows in the pattern set by Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell, Snow

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

NHF’s 2nd Annual Five-Star Mess Night

After the overwhelming success of the Naval Historical Foundation’s inaugural mess night last year, NHF hosted its second annual Five-Star Mess Night on June 8th. Guests joined the Foundation in the National Museum of the U. S. Navy in celebration of the pivotal historical milestone of the 75th anniversary of World War II’s Allied invasion

The King George V Class Battleships

The story of the Royal Navy during World War II often centers around one of the five battleships of the King George V Class (KGV): HMS King George V, HMS Prince of Wales, HMS Duke of York, HMS Anson, and HMS Howe. The author of this book has crafted a tour de force that examines

The War with Hitler’s Navy

Adrian Stewart was educated at Rugby School before taking First Class Honours at Caius College, Cambridge. Caius is also the alma mater of the broadcaster David Frost, physicist Stephen Hawking, and historian Simon Sebag Montefiore. Stewart lives near Rugby a market town in Warwickshire, West Midlands, England, close to the River Avon. He is a

All at Sea in Arctic Waters

All at Sea in Arctic Waters: What Life Was Really Like On Naval Ships in WW2 by Dennis McDonald, “Telegraphist (S), Bletchley U-Boat Interceptor,” is both a memoir and autobiography of a young man who volunteered for the Royal Navy during World War II and chose telegraphy as his duty. During this war, the British

BOOK REVIEW – Thinking Wisely, Planning Boldly: The Higher Education and Training of Royal Navy Officers, 1919-39

By Joseph Moretz, Helion & Company, West Midlands, UK (2014) Reviewed by CDR Benjamin Armstrong, PhD The years following the Great War have become something of a favorite of modern day military analysts in search of historical analogy. The development of innovative doctrine, the introduction and assimilation of new technologies, and struggles with fluctuating fiscal

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

FDR’s Vision Fulfilled: A Visit to the National Museum of the Royal Navy

By David F. Winkler As the United States fought a two ocean war during World War II, the commander-in-chief had a post-war vision of a naval heritage complex with representative ships of the late 18th century, the Civil War era, the new Steel Navy, and World War I astride of an interpretive naval museum. To

BOOK REVIEW – The Zeebrugge and Ostend Raids, 1918

By Deborah Lake, Pen and Sword Military, Barnsley, UK (2015) Reviewed by Joseph Moretz, Ph.D. In a struggle of global proportions, minor acts at times achieve a resonance not measured by the ledger of gains and losses or the scale of their actual decisiveness. The Arab Revolt during the First World War may be cited

BOOK REVIEW – T.E. Lawrence and the Red Sea Patrol: The Royal Navy’s Role in Creating the Legend

By John Johnson-Allen, Pen & Sword Military, South Yorkshire, England (2015) Reviewed by Diana L. Ahmad, Ph.D. Thoughts about World War I often bring up images of trench warfare, Big Bertha, and the battles at Liège and Flanders Fields, but rarely does the conflict to protect the Suez Canal enter into the reader’s mind.  John

BOOK REVIEW – The Myth of the Press Gang: Volunteers, Impressment, and the Naval Manpower Problem in the Eighteenth Century

By J. Ross Dancy, Boydell Press Woodbridge, Suffolk, England (2015) Reviewed by Mark Lardas If you rely on nautical fiction or even some histories (John Masefield’a among them), you might believe the Royal Navy of the Age of Fighting Sail was mainly composed of impressed men, with many – if not most – conscripts being