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

Mediterranean Naval Battles that Changed the World

Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. This unique volume is a compilation focusing on seven major naval engagements from ancient times to the modern era that illustrates the significance of controlling the Mediterranean Sea. The author, Quentin Russell, earned a doctorate in 19th Century Anglo-Greek relations from Royal Holloway, University of London, and co-authored Ali Pasha:

Pearl Harbor Tactical Studies Series

Reviewed by Dr. Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. This innovative series of well-researched, highly-illustrated hardcover volumes provides detailed combat narratives of the 7 December 1941 Japanese attacks on United States military bases in Hawaii which would, within days, lead to American declarations of war against Axis powers and entry into both the Pacific and European Theaters

Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness

Reviewed by Col Jody Owens. The Allied forces began Operation Overlord on June 6, 1944. The battle continued until late August with the escape of German forces through the Falaise Gap. This roughly three-month clash became one of military history’s most famous battles. In the 76 years since the pitched battle occurred, countless historians, military

Fleet Air Arm Legends: Supermarine Seafire

Reviewed by Jeff Schultz. Matthew Willis’s Supermarine Seafire offers a brief yet discerning look at the Supermarine Seafire in Fleet Air Arm service from 1942-1950.  Meant to fulfil a desperate need for a modern fighter aboard the Royal Navy’s carrier decks in the chaotic early days of World War II, the Seafire rose doggedly to

From Texas to Tinian and Tokyo Bay: The Memoirs of Captain J. R. Ritter, Seabee Commander during the Pacific War, 1942-1945

Reviewed by Diana Ahmad James “Rex” Ritter joined the United States Navy’s Seabee Battalions at the start of World War II, as well as the birth of the Seabee units.  From Texas to Tinian and Tokyo Bay looks at the contributions of the editor’s grandfather and his men during World War II Alaska and the

Stanley Johnston’s Blunder: The Reporter Who Spilled the Secret Behind the U.S. Navy’s Victory at Midway

Reviewed by Paul W. Murphey, Ph.D., CDR, CHC, USN (Ret). Elliott Carlson has written an exceptionally fine book. It is well worth reading more than once. The only caveat I have is the title: Stanley Johnston’s Blunder. The book is not so much about a reporter’s miscalculation, as about the extraordinary life and times of

The USS Swordfish, The World War II Patrols of the First American Submarine to Sink a Japanese Ship

Reviewed by Commander James G. Zoulias, USN. The tale of USS Swordfish provides a comprehensive look at its operational history within the context of the broader maritime campaign in the Pacific during World War II.  Because George J. Billy had an uncle who served aboard USS Swordfish, he wrote this book to document the notable

Target, Hiroshima: Witnesses to the Dawn of the Nuclear Age

By Kyle Nappi Sporting a brown jacket and a light checkered dress shirt, the bespectacled grey-haired gentleman shuffled several books and photos while seated in his electric wheelchair. Then sixteen years old, I approached the fellow Buckeye State resident who, at ninety-one years of age, spoke rather succinctly but with the trademark gruff of a

Images of War: MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Offensive 1942-1943

Review By Lynne Marie Marx A kidney specialist and author, Jon Diamond penned Images of War: MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Offensive 1942-1943, and he has had several military history books published, such as Stilwell and the Chindits, War in the South Pacific, and The Rhine River Valley Crossing.  His love of history and collection of

The Battalion Artist: A Navy Seabee’s Sketchbook of War in the South Pacific, 1943–1945

Reviewed by CAPT Charles “Herb” Gilliland, USN (Ret.) For any artist—perhaps for any human being–life and art are inseparable. That was certainly the case for Natale (“Nat”) Bellantoni. This strikingly attractive book filled with fine watercolors offers his story as a young artist serving in the 78th Naval Construction Battalion in World War II. Two

Unconditional: The Japanese Surrender in World War II

Reviewed by Jeff Schultz. Marc Gallicchio’s Unconditional: The Japanese Surrender in World War II focuses on the late-war period leading up to the September 1945 Japanese surrender. This important monograph digs deeper than most into the complicated chain of events which resulted in the memorable Tokyo Bay ceremony, using American and Japanese archival sources to

Die letzten Wölfe: Veterans of the Kriegsmarine’s U-Boat Force

By: Kyle Nappi For years, blockbuster movies have illuminated the feats of the warring sailors from World War II’s European Theater of Operations: The Enemy Below (1957), Das Boot (1981), and U-571 (2000) to name a few. This year –pending COVID-19 – Tom Hanks will unveil Greyhound, a war epic set during the Battle of