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.
Following the success of his recent book on Navy SEALs in Iraq, The Sheriff of Ramadi, bestselling author and combat veteran Dick Couch now examines the importance of battlefield ethics in effectively combating terrorists without losing the battle for the hearts of the local population. A former SEAL who led one of the only successful POW rescue operations in Vietnam, Couch warns that the mistakes made in Vietnam forty years ago are being repeated in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the stakes are even higher now. His book takes a critical look at the battlefield conduct of U.S. ground-combat units fighting insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the prize of the fight on the modern battlefield is the people, he warns every death has a consequence. Every killing has both strategic and moral significance for U.S. warriors.
From his unique and qualified perspective, Couch examines the sources and issues that can lead to wrong conduct on the battlefield, and explains how it comes about and what can be done to correct it. He considers the roles of command intent and the official rules of engagement, but his primary focus is on ethical conduct at the squad and platoon level. Tactical ethics, according to the author's definition, is the moral and ethical armor that should accompany every American warrior into battle, and these standards apply to the engaged unit as well as to the individual. A harsh critic of immoral combat tactics, Couch offers realistic measures to correct these potentially devastating errors. He argues that as a nation, we must do all we can to protect our soldiers' humanity, for their sake, so they can return from service with honor, and for our sake as a people and for our standing in the world.
Hunting Eichmann is the first complete narrative of a relentless and harrowing international manhunt.
When the Allies stormed Berlin in the last days of the Third Reich, Adolf Eichmann shed his SS uniform and vanished. Following his escape from two American POW camps, his retreat into the mountains and out of Europe, and his path to an anonymous life in Buenos Aires, his pursuers are a bulldog West German prosecutor, a blind Argentinean Jew and his beautiful daughter, and a budding, ragtag spy agency called the Mossad, whose operatives have their own scores to settle (and whose rare surveillance photographs are published here for the first time). The capture of Eichmann and the efforts by Israeli agents to secret him out of Argentina to stand trial is the stunning conclusion to this thrilling historical account, told with the kind of pulse-pounding detail that rivals anything you'd find in great spy fiction.
What happened when Germany's elite as well as most of its citizens chose not to think for themselves and to favor instead a politics based on faith, hope, hatred, and sentimental regard for their own race and nation? The consequences were catastrophic. Michael Burleigh's account of the moral breakdown and transformation of an advanced industrial society in the heart of Europe is a clearheaded assessment of the history, effects, and meaning of National Socialism in Germany.
Filled with human and moral considerations that are missing from more theoretical accounts, The Third Reich gives full weight to the experience of ordinary people who were swept up in, or repelled by, Hitler's movement. It restores a broad perspective and intellectual unity to issues that have become academic sub-specialties and offers a brilliant new interpretation of Hitler's evil rule.
From the East Coast to the West Coast, the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and Hawaiian Islands, this handsome book helps explain the lure of lighthouses in the United States. Among the most recognized structures of the maritime world, these lonely sentinels by the sea have long been the subject of paintings and photographs. Today they continue to capture public imagination as Americans flock to their sites for visits and volunteer to help preserve these endangered structures. This book covers all aspects of the subject, not only lighthouses and lightships but buoys, buoy tenders, fog signals, and their keepers. The work is as rich in historical information as it is in rarely seen photographs, and fourteen maps guide readers to the exact locations of the lighthouses. Readers are also treated to stories of shipwrecks and rescues, including the extraordinary story of Ida Lewis, head keeper of the light at Lime Rock, Rhode Island, who rescued eighteen people from the sea.
More than two centuries after Master's Mate Fletcher Christian led a mutiny against Lieutenant William Bligh on a small, armed transport vessel called Bounty, the true story of this enthralling adventure has become obscured by the legend. Combining vivid characterization and deft storytelling, Caroline Alexander shatters the centuries-old myths surrounding this story. She brilliantly shows how, in a desperate attempt to save one man from the gallows and another from ignominy, two powerful families came together and began to create the version of history we know today. The true story of the mutiny on the Bounty is an epic of duty and heroism, pride and power, and the assassination of a brave man's honor at the dawn of the Romantic age.
Submarines have progressed from the crude steam-driven craft of the Civil War to silent nuclear transports that can cruise for months without surfacing and carry intercontinental missiles mounting multiple warheads. Go back to the earliest experimental submersibles, the notorious German U-Boats of World War II that nearly destroyed the Allies' efforts, and follow the progress of over 280 other types. Notations are also included on civilian uses of subs as well as every important underwater weapon, for a truly comprehensive reference.
On March 8, 1421 the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China. It had been sent by Emperor Zhu Di on a mission "to proceed all the way to the end of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas" and unite the world in Confucian harmony.When the fleet returned two years later, Zhu Di had fallen from power and China was beginning a long, self-imposed isolation from the world. The records of this remarkable fleet and its discoveries were destroyed. Lost was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America 70 years before Columbus and circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. They has also discovered Antarctica, reached Australia 350 years before Cook and solved the problem of longitude 300 years before the Europeans. Gavin Menzies spent 15 years tracing the astonishing voyages of the Chinese fleet. In his New York Times best-seller 1421, he weaves together ancient maps, precise navigational knowledge, astronomy and surviving accounts by Chinese explorers and European navigators to reveal a startling story that rewrites the history of the Age of Exploration. Gavin Menzies joined the Royal Navy in 1953 and served in submarines from 1959 to 1970. Since leaving the Royal Navy, he has been to China and the Far East many times; in the course of researching 1421 he visited 120 countries, over 900 museums and libraries and every major sea port of the late Middle Ages. Menzies is married with two daughters and lives in North London. "Menzies makes history sound like pure fun ... This high-spiritedness, which infuses every page of 1421, makes his book a seductive read." -- New York Times Magazine