Monday, September 8, 2014

Edge of Valor

Naval Institute Press 9781612515199 Hardcover & eBook 344 Pages 344 Pages Fiction July 2014

While we don't normally review works of fiction, this book looked interesting so did peruse it. The book is set in the summer of 1945 on a  US Navy destroyer in the Pacific which suffered a Kamikaze hit with the CO, XO and Squadron Commander in recurring roles. The CO, after getting his ship back to port, is transferred to special duty.

The CO, Todd Ingram, becomes intimately involved in early Cold War intrigues, a time overshadowed at the time by the rush to demobilize. Being the fifth in a series of novels, the characters are fairly well developed by this point.

Taking over a series at book five in a series is usually either a sign the author is popular and commands fees the publisher cannot meet or the previous books have not been good sellers. Indeed this was the case with the late Tom Clancy, whose first novel, Hunt for Red October, was shepherded through the production process by editor Fred Rainbow of Naval Institute Press. The book was a great success which had the deleterious effect of pricing the author on to a larger publishing house. However in the case of this book, we'll leave judgement on this to the reader.

The only complaint I had with the book was the page layout. Reading fiction is supposed to an enjoyable experience and the text was too bunched together with a small font, which would make the book an uncomfortable read for older readers.

Nauticapedia List of British Columbia’s Floating Heritage (Volume One 1892–1959)

Book - British Columbia's Floating Heritage

Nauticapedia List of British Columbia’s Floating Heritage (Volume One 1892–1959)

John M. MacFarlane Nauticapedia 978-0-9936954-0-7 240 Pages

This work, the first work in a compendium of seagoing vessels over the years in British Columbia waters. Written by former Maritime Museum of BC head and Nauticapedia founder John MacFarlane, this book is an essential addition to the bookshelf of nautical history buffs. The only quibble we might have is a lack of illustrations in the manuscript, which would have made a nice addition.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fire on the Water

Naval Institute Press 9781612517957 Hardcover & eBook 288 Pages September 2014

This timely book is a look at potential war plans for China in the Indo-Pacific region. With the rise in Chinese naval power and the continual decline of the US Navy's fleet, just what could happen must be examined.

Author Haddick cites as example if the Forward Strategy of Cold War era CNO Thomas Hayward and adopted by then Secretary of the Navy John F Lehman. However the timeline of how this came about is in error; Hayward's plan was first articulated to the public by US Naval Intelligence Analyst and former USNI author and Editorial Board member AD (Dave) Baker III in the Pages of Proceedings. Having read Baker's article and in subsequent meetings, Lehman appointed Baker his special assistant to implement the strategy.

The text brings up the major shortfall in US carrier aviation yet again, the lack of range of the aircraft. This has been a problem since going to the all Hornet force which has been exacerbated by the retirement of dedicated refueling aircraft. This state of affairs will not be any different when the F-35C is introduced to fleet service with carriers still having to operate close enough to hostile shores that would put them in range of Chinese ballistic missiles.

The author advocates for new missiles to replace now outdated Tomahawk and Harpoon variants with longer range supersonic missiles which minimize risk to aircraft carrier battle groups.

Well done Mr Haddick for bringing forward this matter that requires serious study.