USN Fleet Destroyer VS IJN Fleet Submarine; The Pacific 1941-42

For many years after WWII, discussion of the Japanese wartime submarine force focused on its apparent failure – certainly its failure to achieve anything like the US and German submarine campaigns. Writing in the USNI Proceedings in 1961, Japanese submarine officer and historian Kennosuke Torisu notes that Japanese subs sank only a total of 171

Winning a Future War: War Gaming and Victory in the Pacific War

Despite the vast numbers of books written on World War II in the last seventy years, there is still much we do not yet fully understand or appreciate. Prominent Naval Historian Norman Friedman fills yet another of these gaps in our knowledge with his book Winning a Future War. More specifically, Friedman helps us to

French Battleships 1914-1945

For more than two hundred years, from Louis XIV to the twentieth century, France had the second-greatest navy in the world. It was built to challenge England’s control of the seas and enabled the building of the world’s second-largest overseas colonial empire – and American independence into the bargain. France’s navy always built ships of

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

Captain McCrea’s War

Using his own phrase, John L. McCrea was a fly on the wall at the White House during the first months of the War in the Pacific when naval affairs dominated Franklin Roosevelt’s interest. Working under Admiral Harold “Betty” Stark in the office of Chief of Naval Operations, McCrea had a front row seat as

Lucky’s Life

Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs sent the telegram at 6:49 PM, 3 January 1944, informing Mr. and Mrs. Olaf Larson Hanks that their son William was missing “in the performance of his duties” in the Pacific. The Chief of Personnel expressed his “sincere sympathy” for their “great anxiety.” He told them, from the reports, that it

Graf Zeppelin: The Only German Aircraft Carrier

Graf Zeppelin: The Only German Aircraft Carrier By Jürgen Prommersberger, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, (2017) Reviewed by Robert P. Largess   “Graf Zeppelin” is a name to conjure with. Most people know it as the name of the pioneering passenger dirigible which made 143 Atlantic crossings, most on commercial service. Less know of her successor,

BOOK REVIEW – Big Guns, Brave Men: Mobile Artillery Observers and the Battle for Okinawa

By Rodney Earl Walton, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2013) Reviewed by Diana L. Ahmad, Ph.D. This well-researched and well-written book analyzed the role of forward artillery observers on Okinawa during the largest artillery battle in World War II’s Pacific Theater. Likely inspired by his father’s role as a forward observer for the 361st Field

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BOOK REVIEW – The History of Canada: War In The St. Lawrence – The Forgotten U-Boat Battles on Canada’s Shores

By Rodger Sarty; Allen Lane-Penguin Group, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (2012) Reviewed by Michael F. Solecki This book is the eighth installment to “The History of Canada” series. The War in the St. Lawrence is for the most part either forgotten or a printed glitch in the grander “Battle of the Atlantic.” The “Battle in the

BOOK REVIEW – Destroyerman

By John T. Pigott, (2006) Reviewed by Rear Admiral Peter B. Booth, U.S. Navy (Retired) The whaleboat was deep in the water, grossly overloaded with sailors hauled from the ocean. I grabbed the oil-soaked life jacket of the sailor who would have brought our total to thirty-five, and had started to heave him aboard when

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BOOK REVIEW – The Silent Service in World War II: The Story of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force in the Words of the Men Who Lived It

By Edward Monroe-Jones and Michael Green, eds., Havertown, PA, Casemate (2012). Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D. The editors have assembled an anthology of 46 oral histories of variable lengths that focus on stories of men as well as old S- and newer fleet-type boats that fought against the Japanese during World War II in

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BOOK REVIEW – Fatal Dive: Solving the World War II Mystery of the USS Grunion

By Peter F. Stevens, Regnery History, Washington, DC, (2012). Reviewed by Greg Stitz USS Grunion (SS 216) was already under construction when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor thrust America into World War II. Her keel had been laid at the Electric Boat Company shipyard in Groton, CT on 1 March 1941. Christened and launched

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Norman’s Corner: Edward Teller and the A-Bomb

By Norman Polmar (Editor’s note: This is the eleventh in a series of blogs by Norman Polmar, author, analyst, and consultant specializing in the naval, aviation, and intelligence fields. Follow the full series here.) I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Edward Teller, the “father” of the hydrogen bomb. Teller believed strongly that the United

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BOOK REVIEW – The Hunt for Hitler’s Warship

By Patrick Bishop, Regnery History, Washington, DC, (2013) Reviewed by Stephen Phillips The very presence of a capital ship can often create strategic importance. Today, aircraft carriers exert this influence, but prior to the Second World War, it was battleships that were known by name that caused concern or even fear. The Hunt for Hitler’s