Saturday, October 26, 2013
By Barry Gough 9781550176179 Harbour Publishing Paperback and maps 288 pp August 2013
I was looking forward to reading this book, having read some of Dr Gough's earlier works. The text starts well recounting the lives and feats of the seafarers, merchants, naval officers and explorers who searched for the fabled passage from Pacific to Atlantic which of course never existed. About halfway through the whole gist of the book seems to shift to a political correctness theme and thus causes the book to fall apart. This caused me to give up reading the remainder. When a writer wants to include 21st Century terms such as "First Nations", "Salish Sea" and "Haida Gwaii" brings the rest of the manuscript into question. What other parts of this book has history been assuaged to change events to make people appear either bad or good for political correctness? This book belongs in the trash bin. Very disappointing.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Naval Institute Guide to the Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, 19th Ed
Naval Insitute Press Annapolis March 2013 9781591146872 Hardcover 688 pages
Very happy to see the publishing of the 19th Edition of this Naval Institute staple and that the considerable talents of Richard Burgess has been added to the production. As usual the book is profusely illustrated and with many excellent lists and tables in a large format. The one think I could do without are the numerous listing of retired classes of ship, which seems to fly in the face of the intent of original editor James C Fahey. Apart from this, the book is highly recommended and should be added to the bookshelf of military and civilian personnel with an interest in the US Navy, US Coast Guard, NOAA and Military Sealift Command.
The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, 16th Ed
Naval Institute Press Annapolis August 2013 9781591149545 Hardcover 1,008 pages
Called “the nation’s premier naval reference book,” The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World is internationally acknowledged as the best one-volume reference to the world’s naval and paranaval forces. Updated regularly since 1976, it has come to be relied on for all-inclusive, accurate, and up-to-date data on the ships, navies, coast guards, and naval aviation arms of more than 170 countries and territories. Large fleets and small maritime forces get equally thorough treatment. Comprehensive indexes make the book easy to use and allow for quick comparisons between ships and fleets.
This new 16th edition, presents information on all the major and minor maritime developments that could impact the world scene in the years to come. Heavily illustrated with 4,450 black & white photos and 179 multi-view line drawings, Combat Fleets provides the user with the most detailed views available for identification and comparison purposes. Additional aids for the user include a section on how to use the book, lists of terms and abbreviations,an informative ship-name index, and more. An expanded chapter on the Chinese navy provides major updates on the status of their new aircraft carrier and the latest Chinese submarines, surface ships and naval missiles. Dozens of detailed line drawings depict exactly where weapons and sensors are located on the world’s combatants such as the Iranian Ghadir-class submarines, the French Forbin-class destroyers, and the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships.
The ship data section for each country provides full coverage of all ships, from the largest aircraft carriers to the smallest training and auxiliary craft. The vessels of the world’s coast guards and customs services are given thorough treatment as well. But the book is much more than a ship encyclopedia. It includes information on the personnel strengths of each country’s naval forces, major base locations, and details on maritime radar, sonar, naval aircraft, and weapon systems currently in service.
For the Canadian section, I was disappointed in the section not being up to date.
By Bernard D Cole 9781591141624 Naval Institute Press Hardcover & eBook 320 Pages October 2013
An analysis of the current state of maritime defense in Asian waters. With the financial capacity of the US to maintain a permanent presence in the region in doubt, the strengths and weaknesses of the nations in the region is what should be examined in detail. The smaller nations are also covered as well as the larger ones such as China, India and Japan. The one disappointment of this books was the lack of illustrations and tables to put things in perspective. This book is a timely addition to current geopolitical thought processes.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
By A Jay Cristol 9781612513409 Naval Institute Press Hardcover & eBook 416 Pages September 2013
This book is an update of the author's 2002 treatise on the Israeli attack on USS Liberty in 1967. Former naval aviator and current judge and law professor Cristol successfully sued the National Security Administration (NSA), under freedom in information laws, for their files on the attack. He has added six chapters to this new version, in what will surely become the definitive account on this unfortunate incident and firmly believes the historical record is accurate. Hopefully this will be the case and bring closure to all persons with a personal connection to the tragedy.
By Benjamin Armstrong 9781612512433 Paperback & eBook 192 Pages August 2013
The hypothesis behind this work is that the writings of Alfred Thayer Mahan have been extensively written about but not too widely read. This book is a compilation of five essays written by Mahan and is recommended for young naval officers to get a good grasp on the timeless aspects of service life and strategy.
By Andrew CA Jampoler 9781612510798 Hardcover & eBook 288 Pages June 2013
Having read Heart of Darkness in college, I had a feel for the subject matter before reading. Author Jampoler was in a party of six that traveled the Congo retracing the travels of Lt Emory Taunt USN. The late 1800s were the pinnacle of the colonial movement by European and US governments. Belgium colonized the Congo and Taunt was there for some of the travails of independence and colonization and the resultant social upheavals. The books is adequately written but the problem is the sanctimony of the author condemning Belgian atrocities that the US was equally, if not more so, guilty of during the subjugation of the Philippines.