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BOOK REVIEW: Morning Star Midnight Sun: The Early Guadalcanal-Solomons Campaign of World War II August-October 1942

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Tuesday, September 17, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Morning Star Midnight Sun: The Early Guadalcanal-Solomons Campaign of World War II August-October 1942

by Jeffrey R Cox.

Impressive. Lots of detail, good writing, and a nice juxtaposition of strategy amid the tactical events surrounding land battles on Guadalcanal, naval battles of Savo Island and Santa Cruz, and air battles ranging up and down the Slot. Incisive examination of the fortes and foibles of the commanders on both sides. Enjoyed it.

Tags:  Asia-Pacific  Naval  WW2  WWII 

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BOOK REVIEW: The Admirals

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Tuesday, September 17, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: The Admirals

by Walter R Borneman.

Biography of the four 5-star Admirals in WWII: Nimitz, Halsey, Leary, and King. Fortes and foibles aplenty and an excellent view of the interlocking personalities surrounding them, including Spruance, Fletcher, MacArthur, Kimmel, Marshall, Knox and others at top echelons of US command. Enjoyed it.

Tags:  Asia-Pacific  Naval  WW2  WWII 

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Book Review: The Japanese Destroyer Shimakaze

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Monday, May 13, 2019

by Mariusz Motyka. Number 62 in Kagero's Topdrawings line of illustrated ship guides for modelers. About a page of history notes ship was launched July 18, 1942 and sunk November 11, 1944.

The Shimakaze was the only ship built in a class of 16 planned ships. Of note, it carried 15 torpedo tubes in five turrets that could fire off either side. Black and white drawings are of the entire ship as well as particular sections and systems.

Also includes separate 19x27-inch chart of 1:200 scale drawings of topdown, sides, and system details. A delight for modelers building this ship.

Tags:  Modeling  Naval  WW2  WWII 

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Book Review: The Russian Destroyer Spravedlivyy 1956

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Monday, May 13, 2019

by Oleg Pomoshnikov and Jan Radziemski.

This latest addition to Kagero Super Drawings in 3D series offers six pages of history and 76 pages of 3D color photo-realistic illustrations of the ship, particular sections, and specific systems. Another delight for modelers building this ship.

Tags:  Modeling  Modern  Naval 

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Book Review: Pursuit: The Chase and Sinking of the Battleship Bismarck

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Friday, May 3, 2019
by Ludovic Kennedy. This 1974 book also ignores Ultra, but reads almost like a thriller. It points out miscalculations and mistakes on both sides as the Bismarck came oh so close to slipping away, courtesy of missed signals, clever maneuvers, and that 'one in 100,000' chance torpedo hit that jammed the rudder at 15 degrees. Of some amusement: the Bismarck's opening salvo against the cruiser HMS Norfolk blew out Bismarck's own forward radar -- you'd think that someone in German engineering would have tested that in the initial sea trials. Enjoyed it.

Tags:  Naval  reviews  warships  WW2  WWII 

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Book Review: The Naval War Against Hitler

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Friday, May 3, 2019
by Donald MacIntyre. Reading this 1971 book just after reading the Ultra at Sea book, I was amazed that MacIntyre never mentioned Ultra. This may be because the book predated the release of Ultra archives. Still, it contains a nice overview of British naval strategy punctuated by tactical actions against the Axis (Italians in the Mediterranean Sea included), with all the high profile battles dissected: Bismarck, Narvik, U-Boat war (bulk of book), PQ-17 and Arctic convoys, Operation Pedestal, Scharnhorst, Axis efforts against Allied convoys in the Mediterranean Sea, and Allied efforts against Axis convoys in the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoyed it, albeit with an Ultra caveat.

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Tags:  Naval  reviews  warships  WW2  WWII 

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Book Review: Ultra at Sea: How Breaking the Nazi Code Affected Allied Naval Strategy During World War II

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Friday, May 3, 2019
by John Winton. Although the prose often plods along like a cargo ship chugging across the Atlantic at 6 knots, the information within is like a tanker full of aviation gas reaching Malta. German disbelief that anyone could break the Enigma code helped Britain maintain a constant stream of intercepted and deciphered German naval information -- put to good use in avoiding U-Boat wolfpacks, picking off weather ships, and tracking naval movements. Of real interest is the chapter on how sloppy Allied habits with Ultra information probably should have tipped the Germans off that their codes had been broken, but the Germans discounted that the allies could break their 'unbreakable' code. Enjoyed it.

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Tags:  Naval  reviews  warships  WW2 

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BOOK REVIEW: All the Drowned Sailors

Posted By Russ Lockwood, Friday, April 19, 2019
Updated: Thursday, April 18, 2019
BOOK REVIEW: All the Drowned Sailors

by Raymond P Loch. 

A 1982 look at the 1945 sinking of the USS Indianapolis by a Japanese submarine. Anything that could go wrong in the tracking of the ship went wrong -- and way wrong -- from shuffled papers to errant radio messages to misplaced command authority. Worse, belated efforts to find and rescue the surviving sailors was equally bizarre, horrific, and surprising. Good account. Enjoyed it.

Tags:  Naval  WW2 

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