By Dwight R. Messimer, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2016) Reviewed by Timothy Heck The 1915 escape of Fähnrich zur See (Midshipman) Erich Killinger from Imperial Russian captivity is a fascinating tale of survival, adventure, and luck. Dwight Messimer, a prolific author who has previously written on World War I aviation and prisoners of war,
By Matthew Dallek, Oxford, New York, NY (2016) Reviewed by Capt. Jourden Travis Moger, CHC, USN Matthew Dallek tells the fascinating story of the rise and fall of the Office of Civilian Defense (OCD), America’s first federal office of homeland security. FDR created the OCD less than six months before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
By Ian W. Toll, W.W. Norton, New York, NY (2016) Reviewed by John Grady Ian Toll’s Conquering Tide is the middle piece of his Pacific War history, and it is a superb fit with the first volume, Pacific Crucible. Now available in paperback, Conquering Tide tells the story of the fight after the Battle of
By Philip Kaplan, Pen & Sword Maritime, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England (2015) Reviewed by Ed Calouro Devotees of big-gun battleships apparently cannot get their fill. In Battleships: WWII Evolution of the Big Guns, prolific author Philip Kaplan has completed his third volume in the “Images of War” series about these warships. In 2004, Kaplan wrote
Books have always been popular gifts to present to deserving individuals during the holiday season, birthdays, and events such as retirements and changes of command. However, when those books are inscribed to that individual – well that’s way cool and very meaningful! The Naval Historical Foundation is providing the opportunity for employees at the Washington
By Senior Chief George J. Chambers, U.S. Navy (Retired), Heritage Books, Berwyn Heights (2015) Reviewed by Captain Howard R. Portnoy, U.S. Navy (Retired) George J. Chambers, the author of this book, served twenty years in the US Navy, retiring as a Senior Chief Firecontrolman in 1970. During his naval career, he served aboard five destroyer
By Jonathan Dimbleby, Oxford University Press, New York, NY (2016) Reviewed by Captain J. F. “Bookie” Boland, U.S. Navy (Ret.) The long campaign between the Western Allies and Germany’s U-boat force during the Second World War is the subject of Jonathan Dimbleby’s new book, The Battle of the Atlantic: How the Allies Won the War.
Reviewed by Stephen Phillips Read PART I review HERE Read PART II review HERE Read PART III review HERE Read PART IV review HERE Read PART V review HERE The Smithsonian Channel ‘s Hell Below series provides an important look at World War II submarine warfare in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters with emphasis on actions
Reviewed by Dr. Chuck Steele Read PART I review HERE Read PART II review HERE Read PART III review HERE Read PART IV review HERE Episode five of the Smithsonian Channel’s World War II submarine saga, Hell Below, is the series’ second installment showcasing American efforts during the war in the Pacific. Titled the “Destroyer Killer,” this
By George Stewart A major factor in the determination of the feasibility of conversion from the original Cleveland-class cruisers to the Independence-class aircraft carriers was the fact that the propulsion plants could meet the needs of both ship types, without major modifications. The cruisers had a design speed of 32.5 knots while the carriers which
Reviewed by Dr. David Winkler Read our PART I review here. The second episode of the new Smithsonian series on undersea warfare during World War II continued with the devastating efforts of the Kriegsmarine U-boat fleet as the United States entered the war following the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. Growing up in Northern New
By Captain George Stewart, USN (Ret.) r>Destroyer Escort (DE) was the original US Navy classification for ships designed with endurance to escort mid-ocean convoys of merchant ships. During World War II their missions evolved into vital parts of hunter-killer groups where in combination with escort carriers (CVE) they were to play a significant role in
Reviewed by Matthew T. Eng If war is hell, then undersea warfare during the Second World War must be at its centermost point. Smithsonian Channel’s new series Hell Below bring viewers an up-close look at the grit, stale air, and darkness characteristic of undersea warfare during the Second World War. Submariners on both sides of
BOOK REVIEW – Into the Lion’s Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov: World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond
By Larry Loftus, Penquin, New York, NY, (2016) Reviewed by Martin J. Bollinger Lawyer and author Larry Loftis accomplishes three things in his new book Into the Lion’s Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov: World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond. He does an excellent job in documenting –
By David F. Winkler The Naval Historical Foundation is saddened to hear of the loss of a friend of naval history last Saturday with news of the passing of Jack Taylor in St. Louis, MO. He was 94. One of the legendary and tragic stories to arise from the Battle of Midway was the plight