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Posted on Jan 22, 2022 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features

The Straight Shooter of Savo Island – The Life of Vice Admiral Willis Lee Jr. Book Review.

The Straight Shooter of Savo Island – The Life of Vice Admiral Willis Lee Jr. Book Review.

Battleship Commander: The Life of Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee Jr.  Author: Paul Stillwell. Publisher: Naval Institute Press Price $ 37.95 The battle of Midway rightfully gets a lot of attention, but the Guadalcanal campaign marked the shift in momentum in the Pacific War. No longer just blocking Japanese attacks, at Guadalcanal the Allies began the series of offensives that would lead to victory in the Pacific. But Guadalcanal was far from a certain outcome and the series of naval battles in the waters of the Solomon Islands were pivotal in securing the island. In this environment, Vice Admiral Willis A Lee, Jr played a key role commanding United States Navy ships in action against the Japanese in November of 1942. He’d remain in command of elements of the fast battleship force until June, 1945. Against the plethora of well-known naval leaders like Nimitz, Halsey, Spruance, and Burke, Vice Admiral Lee blended into background, focused on accomplishing his assigned mission. Willis “Ching” Lee’s life has never been documented in...

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Posted on Nov 28, 2021 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features

Jutland: The Latest Salvo. Book Review

Jutland: The Latest Salvo. Book Review

Clash of Capital Ships: From the Yorkshire Raid to Jutland Author: Eric Dorn Brose. Publisher: Naval Institute Press.  Price $ 49.95 There’s been a lot of ink spilled on Battle of Jutland, so much so that it is reminiscent of the Battle of Gettysburg, and rightly so. While a common perception of Jutland is that it revealed defects with the British battlecruisers, it’s best known as a decisive moment where the Royal Navy could have lost the war in a single afternoon. Eric Dorn Brose wades into this clash of historical narrative with his book Clash of the Capital Ships: From the Yorkshire Raid to Jutland published in 2021 by Naval Institute Press. Cover of Clash of the Capital Ships Dr. Brose has crafted a narrative that synthesizes the work of prior historians into an engaging and informative narrative of the battle. Dr. Brose charts a course through British and German naval strategy from the beginning of the war through the Battle of Jutland. The story explores how the...

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Posted on Oct 31, 2021 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features

From the Sea…To the Blue Water Beyond.  Book Review.

From the Sea…To the Blue Water Beyond. Book Review.

Strategy Shelved: The Collapse of Cold War Naval Strategic Planning.  Author: Steven T. Wills. Publisher: United States Naval Institute.  Price $ 44.95 A common assumption is that since the end of the Second World War, the United States Navy has ruled to world’s seas throughout the Cold War and onward into the 21st Century. The assumption is not without merit. At the end of the Second World War, the United States Navy was the preeminent maritime strike force in the world. Counted separately, US naval aviation was the second largest air force in the world, only behind the U.S. Army Air Force. It was a state of affairs that scaled up the old phrase ‘send a gunboat’ into the more formidable action of sending a carrier battlegroup. And while ships did sail into harm’s way, the American public could assume that the sun never set on the ships of America’s Navy. Steven T. Wills explores how Cold War naval strategy was developed, evolved and implemented in his book Strategy...

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Posted on Jan 18, 2021 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features

Airpower Over Gallipoli: 1915-1916.

Airpower Over Gallipoli: 1915-1916.

If you asked a random reader about the Gallipoli campaign, they’d likely think of the Australian and New Zealand troops engaged in bitter combat with the Turks, or perhaps the French and British warships that tried to ‘force’ the Dardanelles, only to lose several ships to a Turkish minefield. Rarely would you have thought of how the war was being waged in the skies about those battlefields. There’s been a dearth of coverage of aerial operations in the Dardanelles, with much of what is accessible to be found in historical journals such as Over the Front, or Cross and Cockade International.  Dr. Sterling Michael Pavelec aims to change this lack of coverage through his recent book Airpower Over Gallipoli: 1915-1916. The result of decades of research, Dr. Pavelec has created an indispensable reference guide to air operations over Gallipoli. A professional historian working with the military, Dr. Pavelec approaches the subject through the lens of how well the aerial campaign was integrated into both naval and land operations during...

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