Preservation, Education, and Commemoration of Naval History
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 Warship by Patrick Bishop describes the impact of one German battleship in disrupting Allied shipping in World War II and the unrelenting effort Great Britain exerted to sink her.(read the full review)
BOOK REVIEW – Blackett’s War: The Men Who Defeated the Nazi U-Boats and Brought Science to the Art of Warfare
By Stephen Budiansky. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, (2013)
Reviewed by John R. Satterfield, DBA.
September 1, 2013 will mark the 74th anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the start of World War II. Just two percent of the U.S. population is old enough to remember the war’s early years, so most Americans know about the war and its impact only through popular media, leaving them with an incomplete and distorted understanding of the 20th century’s most important event. D-Day and Iwo Jima may figure prominently in America’s historical consciousness, but other campaigns and other war theaters go unnoticed.
BOOK REVIEW – Isaiah’s Eagles Rising: A Generation of Airmen (Second Edition)
By Bernard Thomas Nolan, Xlibris Corporation, Bloomington, IN (2012).
Reviewed by Richard P. Hallion, Ph.D.
Privately published memoirs constitute a mixed-bag of literature, with many generally offering more opinion than substance. However, bomber pilot Bernard Thomas Nolan’s Isaiah’s Eagles Rising constitutes a very definite exception to this “rule.” It is at times a gripping account of one young American’s preparation for air war, and then his experience in combat.
BOOK REVIEW – Battle of North Cape, the Death Ride of the Scharnhorst, 1943
By Angust Konstam, Pen and Sword, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England (2008)
Reviewed by Alberto R Savoretti MD
Angus Konstam’s Battle of North Cape brings to light this forgotten engagement with balance and flair. The lack of primary sources of the German side of which there were only a few dozen survivors has made it difficult for historians to create a fair assessment, and the Barents’ Sea Murmansk convoy campaign has always been overshadowed by the Battle of the Atlantic. Comparatively speaking, the Bismarck saga spawned many fine volumes of naval literature, from Baron von Mullenheim Rechberg’s A Survivor’s Story to Ludovic Kennedy’s Pursuit to Konstam’s own installment, Hunt the Bismarck. Sadly, the Scharnhorst‘s story has remained largely overlooked and misunderstood.
BOOK REVIEW – E-BOAT vs. MTB: The English Channel 1941-45
By Gordon Williamson, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, (2011).
Reviewed by Captain John A. Rodgaard, U.S.Navy (Retired)
E-BOAT vs. MTB is Gordon Williamson’s latest contribution to Osprey Publishing Company’s Osprey’s “Duel” series of short works that emphasize the “…account of machines of war pitted against each other and the combatants who operate them.”
BOOK REVIEW – Hitler’s Ghost Ships: Graf Spee, Scharnhorst, and Disguised German Raiders
By G. H. Bennett (editor), Britannia Naval Histories of World War II, University of Plymouth Press, Plymouth, UK (2012).
Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D.
This volume is one of the first in a new series of books on Royal Navy engagements with the Axis Powers during World War II. Battle Summaries from the archives Britannia Royal Naval College’s Library have never been published in a monographic format. These are documents once stamped “Secret,” previously restricted, classified reports and plans drawn up by serving Royal Navy officers during and immediately after the war. The books in the series also contain Germany’s recorded view of Kriegsmarine actions against the British, with Hitler’s comments (Der Fuehrer Conferences) as they were typed and filed at the time. Hitler’s Ghost Ships demonstrate how the Royal Navy dealt with the threat of German raiders more than 70 years ago.
BOOK REVIEW: Tirpitz– The Life and Death of Germany’s Last Super Battleship
By Niklas Zetterling & Michael Tamelander, CASEMATE, USA 2009.
Reviewed by Capt. John A. Rodgaard, USN (Ret.)
Zetterling and Tamelander tell the story of the Tirpitz, Germany’s last super battleship, and the desperate, if not obsessive, efforts by the British to destroy her with a comprehensively different perspective from their previous work about the battleship’s sister, Bismarck: The Final Days of Germany’s Greatest Battleship. In their introduction to the book, the two Swedish scholars admit that it was impossible not to compare Tirpitz‘s fate with that of her sister, whose pursuit and destruction occurred during a single week in May 1941, 70 years ago.