Preservation, Education, and Commemoration of Naval History
On 21 November 1918 the German High Seas fleet surrendered to U.S. and British fleets at Rosyth, Firth of Forth, Scotland. Most of the fleet was sunk in 1919 when German crews intentionally scuttled their own ships in the harbor at Scapa Flow.
Call for Papers: Historic Naval Ships Association 2013
The Historic Naval Ships Association 2013 Annual Conference will be held in Camden, NJ/Philadelphia. The Battleship New Jersey and Independence Seaport Museum will be co-hosting.
On 20 November 1943 during Operation Galvanic (under command of Vice Admiral Raymond Spruance) United States Navy, Marine, and Army forces landed on Tarawa and Makin. In this image, the battleship USS Colorado (BB 45) bombards Tarawa during the invasion. National Archives photo 80-G-56232, photographed from USS Maryland (BB 46).
BOOK REVIEW – Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942
By Ian W. Toll, W.W. Norton Company, New York, London, (2011).
Reviewed by Rear Adm. Richard Gentz, USN (Ret.)
Do not expect an objective review to follow! I was an immediate fan of Ian Toll when I found his first book Six Frigates in a gift shop on the Newport, Rhode Island waterfront.
The Midway story has been told and retold. Toll does take another slice off the layer cake which is well worth reading, but the true value of this book is that the context of the battle is better established. Incidentally, this reviewer continues to believe the actions of the USS Nautilus (SS 168) were the key to the success at Midway. Toll obliquely references Nautilus on pages 415 and 427.
In summary, even readers who consider themselves students of the first six months of the war will come away with a better understanding and perspective of the background, and context of how close we came to losing.
BOOK REVIEW – A Bridge of Ships: Canadian Shipbuilding during the Second World War
By James Pritchard, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal & Kingston, (2011)
Reviewed by Phillip G. Pattee, Ph.D.
Prize winning scholar James Pritchard, professor emeritus of history, Queens University, has published his third book. His previous works, Anatomy of a Naval Disaster: The 1746 French Expedition to North America, and Louis XV’s Navy, 1748-1762, both deal with sixteenth century French naval history. In A Bridge of Ships: Canadian Shipbuilding during the Second World War, Pritchard moves into a new era and direction. In this book, he describes how Canada responded to the wartime demand for ships by rapidly expanding it ship building capacity.
BOOK REVIEW – The War at Sea, A Naval Atlas, 1939-1945
By Marcus Faulkner, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD. (2012).
Reviewed by Mitchell Yockelson, Ph.D.
The War At Sea: A Naval Atlas, 1939-1945, is a mammoth undertaking. Within its 275 pages author Marcus Faulkner covers most of the naval engagements of the Second World War, as well as amphibious landings, convoys, sieges, skirmishes and sinking’s with detailed color maps and a brief narrative within each entry. Naval historian Andrew Lambert introduces the atlas with a lengthy essay on the impact of sea power prior to and during World War II and suggests that “for all of the fighting on land, the extensive bombing objectives, and even the use of atomic weapons in 1945, the outcome of the Second World War was settled by allied control of global oceanic communications.”
BOOK REVIEW: China Clipper – The Age of the Great Flying Boats
By Robert Gandt, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2010).
Reviewed by Jan Churchill, USCG (Auxiliary)
China Clipper was first published in 1991, and then republished in 2010 on the 75th anniversary of the China Clipper’s maiden Pacific flight from California to the Orient on 22 November 1935. The inauguration of airmail and commercial air service across the Pacific was recognized as one of the most significant events in aviation history. Author Robert Gandt was a naval aviator and later an international airline pilot. His long association with Pan Am inspired China Clipper, a book that relives the mystique of the great commercial flying boats. Gandt’s background made him well qualified to relate the rich legacy of the China Clippers. He examined the political, military and economic forces that drove the flying boats’ development and how aeronautical advances made the aircraft possible.
BOOK REVIEW: Float Planes & Flying Boats: The U.S. Coast Guard and Early Naval Aviation
By Captain Robert B. Workman, Jr., USCG (Ret.), Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2012).
Reviewed by Jan Churchill, USCG (Auxiliary)
Frustrated by a lack of information specifically about the Coast Guard’s aviation heritage, Captain Robert B. Workman, a retired Coast Guard aviator flying helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, has researched this often overlooked history. The result was Float Planes & Flying Boats, a balanced work that gives full credit to the important contributions made by Coast Guardsmen. It was thanks to their creativity, skill, and determination, along with efforts by the other sea services, that great strides were possible in a short time. This book sheds new light on the invention of the float plane and flying boat as they became more seaworthy and reliable.