Author of Lincoln and His Admirals (winner of the Lincoln Prize), The Battle of Midway (Best Book of the Year, Military History Quarterly), and Operation Neptune, (winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature), Craig L. Symonds has established himself as one of the finest naval historians at work today. World War II at Sea represents his crowning achievement: a complete narrative of the naval war and all of its belligerents, on all of the world's oceans and seas, between 1939 and 1945. Opening with the 1930 London Conference, Symonds shows how any limitations on naval warfare would become irrelevant before the decade was up, as Europe erupted into conflict once more and its navies were brought to bear against each other. World War II at Sea offers a global perspective, focusing on the major engagements and personalities and revealing both their scale and their interconnection: the U-boat attack on Scapa Flow and the Battle of the Atlantic; the "miracle" evacuation from Dunkirk and the pitched battles for control of Norway fjords; Mussolini's Regia Marina-at the start of the war the fourth-largest navy in the world-and the dominance of the Kidö Butai and Japanese naval power in the Pacific; Pearl Harbor then Midway; the struggles of the Russian Navy and the scuttling of the French Fleet in Toulon in 1942; the landings in North Africa and then Normandy. Here as well are the notable naval leaders-FDR and Churchill, both self-proclaimed "Navy men," Karl Dönitz, François Darlan, Ernest King, Isoroku Yamamoto, Erich Raeder, Inigo Campioni, Louis Mountbatten, William Halsey, as well as the hundreds of thousands of seamen and officers of all nationalities whose live were imperiled and lost during the greatest naval conflicts in history, from small-scale assaults and amphibious operations to the largest armadas ever assembled. Many have argued that World War II was dominated by naval operations; few have shown and how and why this was the case. Symonds combines precision with story-telling verve, expertly illuminating not only the mechanics of large-scale warfare on (and below) the sea but offering wisdom into the nature of the war itself.
From the sinking of the British passenger liner Athenia on September 3, 1939, by a German U-boat (against orders) to the Japanese surrender on board the Missouri on September 2, 1945, War at Sea covers every major naveal battle of World War II. "A first-rate work and the best history of its kind yet written".--Vice Admiral William P. Mack, U.S.N. (Ret.). 30 photos.
• More than 450 A–Z entries • A comprehensive chronology • Numerous illustrations of individuals, weapons, and battles • Maps • A glossary of naval terms • A comprehensive bibliography, plus cross-references and suggestions for further reading at the end of each entry
Discover how the vital war at sea was fought, from the first battle to the last. As soon as World War II broke out in September 1939, the conflict at sea began and was fought with fury until the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan nearly six years later. World War II at Sea highlights the key moments in this fascinating, pivotal, and absorbing story. From the sinking of the British passenger liner Athenia to Operation Ten-Go, decisive battles and engagements are fully exploredâ??clashes such as Cape Mataplan, aptly regarded as a Mediterranean Trafalgar, in which the British navy scored one of the greatest and most one-sided victories in its history against the Italian battlefleet. Discover how, starting with Midway and continuing at Guadalcanal, the US Pacific Fleet fought the Imperial Japanese Navy to a standstill in the early years of the war to establish naval supremacy throughout the Pacific. Some of the lesser-known aspects of the conflict, such as the battle against the magnetic mine and the exploits of the German surface raider Pinguin, aren't ignored. Unusual and secret weapons like maiale, X-craft, kaiten, asdic, sonar and radar, and much, much more are discussed. Fully illustrated throughout with a fascinating mixture of historic photographs, maps, charts, and specially-devised diagrams, World War II at Sea is s compelling read and an essential reference for every history enthusiast.
American naval actions of World War II comprise the most widespread, complex, and dramatic battles in the history of sea warfare. The fighting took place over vast distances in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as in the constricted spaces of the Mediterranean and Solomon seas. Each of the major actions had an admiral, the commander in charge, who led the battle. In combat, the abilities and determination of these commanders at sea were put to the most severe test. Americas Fighting Admirals describes the course of U.S. sea action in World War II. It examines the skills, strengths, weaknesses and personalities of the American admirals who fought the battles at sea. It examines the effect that stress, tension, and responsibility have on commanders making vital decisions in the red-hot crucible of battle. And it reveals the changing nature of the responsibilities of flag officers as the war progressed and became enormously complex.
This compelling tale of courage, heroism, and terror is told in the words of ninety-one sailors and officers interviewed by the author about their World War II service aboard fifty-six destroyer escorts. They reveal many never-before-told details of life at sea during wartime and, along with information found in secretly kept war diaries and previously unpublished personal photographs, add important dimensions to the official record. Unseasoned teenage recruits when they first went to sea, these sailors were led by inexperienced college boys more accustomed to yachts than warships. Their ships were untested vessels, designed by a man with no formal training in ship design, and which many viewed as a waste of money. Yet, as Cross points out, these men are credited with helping turn the tide of the war in the Atlantic as they singlehandedly sank some seventy U-boats and captured U-505, the only German submarine taken during the war and the first enemy vessel captured by Americans at sea since the War of 1812. In the Pacific, the destroyer escorts fought in every major battle, side-by-side with Allied battleships and destroyers. But this story is not just about battles. It is also about American genius, hard work, honor and growing up in the Great Depression. The author provides eyewitness details about the historic first step taken to end racial discrimination in the military as African-Americans stepped aboard the destroyer escort USS Mason as full-fledged sailors for the first time and earned a Navy commendation of heroism in the Battle of the Atlantic presented to the surviving crewmen fifty-one years later. Readers also learn about an ingenious invention when a sailor breaks his silence about a secret weapon tested aboard his destroyer escort that rendered a new German radio-controlled glide bomb useless.
From thunderous broadsides traded between wooden sailing ships on Lake Erie, to the carrier battles of World War II, to the devastating high-tech action in the Persian Gulf, here is a gripping history of five key battles that defined the evolution of naval warfare--and the course of the American nation. Acclaimed military historian Craig Symonds offers spellbinding narratives of crucial engagements, showing how each battle reveals the transformation of technology and weaponry from one war to the next; how these in turn transformed naval combat; and how each event marked a milestone in American history. - Oliver Hazard Perry's heroic victory at Lake Erie, one of the last great battles of the Age of Sail, which secured the Northwestern frontier for the United States - The brutal Civil War duel between the ironclads Monitor and Virginia, which sounded the death knell for wooden-hulled warships and doomed the Confederacy's hope of besting the Union navy - Commodore Dewey's stunning triumph at Manila Bay in 1898, where the U.S. displayed its "new navy" of steel-hulled ships firing explosive shells and wrested an empire from a fading European power - The hairsbreadth American victory at Midway, where aircraft carriers launched planes against enemies 200 miles away--and where the tide of World War II turned in the space of a few furious minutes - Operation Praying Mantis in the Persian Gulf, where computers, ship-fired missiles, and "smart bombs" not only changed the nature of warfare at sea, but also marked a new era, and a new responsibility, for the United States. Symonds records these encounters in detail so vivid that readers can hear the wind in the rigging and feel the pounding of the guns. Yet he places every battle in a wide perspective, revealing their significance to America's development as it grew from a new Republic on the edge of a threatening frontier to a global superpower. Decision at Sea is a powerful and illuminating look at pivotal moments in the history of the Navy and of the United States. It is also a compelling study of the unchanging demands of leadership at sea, where commanders must make rapid decisions in the heat of battle with lives--and the fate of nations--hanging in the balance.
This atlas shows the global war at sea, with 225 maps and detailed charts and visualizes the great campaigns and major battles as well as the the smaller operations, amphibious landings, convoys, sieges, skirmishes and sinkings.
This book tells in non-technical language how the British Navy contributed to the development of naval radar in World War 2. Addressed to the general reader, it tells not only the technical story in simple terms, but also of the operational use of shipborne radar at sea - for warning, for fire control, for fighter direction, for navigation, in all theatres of war - and particularly about the people who designed and fitted the equipment, and those who used it at sea.
The long awaited follow up to the original "At Ease" presents 160 new, never before published photographs of WWII Navy men. These photos are not the combat images so often displayed; instead, these are disarmingly winsome and playful pictures that capture the innocence of a lost era.
The big-gun battleship served as a symbol of the ultimate power of the world's greatest navies beginning late in the nineteenth century and continuing into the Second World War. So historically important was this vessel that the arms race between Britain and Germany to build navies with larger, more powerful battleships was among the key sources of tension between those nations in the lead up to the First World War.??In this book, veteran battleship crew members describe their unforgettable experiences, including those of a young officer in a British battleship at Jutland; tales of the loss of the German warship Scharnhorst in the arctic off the North Cape; the combat experience inside a sixteen-inch gun turret aboard an Iowa-class battleship bombarding Iraq during the Gulf War, and the adventures of HMS Warspite in World War One, in the Mediterranean and on her way to the breaker's yard in 1947. ??Included too is the story of the great German battleship Bismarck, which sank the pride of the British fleet, the story of HMS Hood, and that of the USS Missouri on whose deck the final surrender document of the Second World War was signed. ??The text is combined with a compelling selection of historic images representing the era of the great battleships from the early years through the First and Second World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the preservation of a handful of these vessels as museum pieces today.
A leading naval and military historian presents the first book to cover the major submarine campaigns in all the WWII theaters. Vividly recreates the experience of submarine and anti-submarine warfare from the decision makers in the war offices to the men in the boats. Describes the disappointing performance of the giant Japanese submarines in the Pacific and the narrow margin by which Britain escaped defeat by German U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic. Reveals new information about the capture of the Enigma cipher machine, harrowing accounts of defenseless warriors shot in the water and much more. Contains 16 pages of photographs, many published for the first time.
"This campy show is based on the nostalgia of Hollywood musicals of the 30's. It's big time New York, into which sweet little Ruby from a faraway Hometown, U.S.A. has come to make it big on Broadway. Who should she chance to meet but another boy from Hometown, U.S.A.: Dick, a sailor, who also has ambitions as a songwriter. Ruby begins in the chorus, and by the end of the day, in true Hollywood fashion, Dick saves her doomed Broadway show with a smash tune, as Ruby becomes a star on the deck of a battleship which just happens to be passing by."--From publisher's website.
Continuing in the vein of the Lincoln-prize winning Lincoln and His Admirals, acclaimed naval historian Craig L. Symonds presents an operational history of the Civil War navies - both Union and Confederate - in this concise volume. Illuminating how various aspects of the naval engagement influenced the trajectory of the war as a whole, The Civil War at Sea adds to our understanding of America's great national conflict. Both the North and the South developed and deployed hundreds of warships between 1861 and 1865. Because the Civil War coincided with a revolution in naval techonology, the development and character of warfare at sea from 1861-1865 was dramatic and unprecedented. Rather than a simple chronology of the war at sea, Symonds addresses the story of the naval war topically, from the dramatic transformation wrought by changes in technology to the establishment, management, and impact of blockade. He also offers critical assessments of principal figures in the naval war, from the opposing secretaries of the navy to leading operational commanders such as David Glasgow Farragut and Raphael Semmes. Symonds brings his expertise and knowledge of military and technological history to bear in this essential exploration of American naval engagement throughout the Civil War.