UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Suggested Reading for

Naval Power

Books classified under Naval Power provide a strong foundation of knowledge on classic and modern maritime strategy, emerging issues, and new threats and opportunities. Historical works in this category span the Age of Sail to the many naval battles of World War II and beyond; studying the history of Naval Power deepens the context and offers precedent for the challenges of the present.


TOWARD A NEW MARITIME STRATEGY

American Naval Thinking in the Post-Cold War Era

By Peter D. Haynes    [ Link to eBook ]

Toward a New Maritime Strategy examines the evolution of American naval thinking in the post-Cold War era. It recounts the development of the U.S. Navy’s key strategic documents from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to the release in 2007 of the U.S. Navy’s maritime strategy, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. This penetrating intellectual history critically analyzes the Navy’s ideas and recounts how they interacted with those that govern U.S. strategy to shape the course of U.S. naval strategy.

The book explains how the Navy arrived at its current strategic outlook and why it took nearly two decades to develop a new maritime strategy. Haynes criticizes the Navy’s leaders for their narrow worldview and failure to understand the virtues and contributions of American sea power, particularly in an era of globalization. This provocative study tests institutional wisdom and will surely provoke debate in the Navy, the Pentagon, and U.S. and international naval and defense circles.

THE RULES OF THE GAME

Jutland and British Naval Command

By Andrew Gordon    [ Link to eBook ]

Foreword by Admiral Sir John Woodward. When published in hardcover in 1997, this book was praised for providing an engrossing education not only in naval strategy and tactics but in Victorian social attitudes and the influence of character on history. In juxtaposing an operational with a cultural theme, the author comes closer than any historian yet to explaining what was behind the often described operations of this famous 1916 battle at Jutland. Although the British fleet was victorious over the Germans, the cost in ships and men was high, and debates have raged within British naval circles ever since about why the Royal Navy was unable to take advantage of the situation.

In this book Andrew Gordon focuses on what he calls a fault-line between two incompatible styles of tactical leadership within the Royal Navy and different understandings of the rules of the games.

SEAPOWER

A Guide for the 21st Century

By Geoffrey Till   [ Link to eBook ]

The sea has always been central to human development as a source of resources, and as a means of transportation, information-exchange and strategic dominion. It has been the basis for our prosperity and security. This is even more the case, now, in the early 21st century, with the emergence of an increasingly globalized world trading system.

Navies have always provided a way of policing, and sometimes exploiting, the system. In contemporary conditions, navies – and other forms of maritime power – are having to adapt, in order to exert the maximum power ashore in the company of others and to expand the range of their interests, activities and responsibilities. Their traditional tasks still apply but new ones are developing fast.

This updated and expanded new edition of Geoffrey Till’s acclaimed book is an essential guide for students of naval history and maritime strategy, and anyone interested in the changing and crucial role of seapower in the 21st century.

RED STAR OVER THE PACIFIC

China's Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Superiority

By Toshi Yoshihara and James R. Holmes   [ Link to eBook ]

This book assesses how the rise of Chinese sea power will affect U.S. maritime strategy in Asia. Combining a close knowledge of Asia and an ability to tap Chinese-language sources with naval combat experience and expertise in sea-power theory, the authors argue that China is laying the groundwork for a sustained challenge to American primacy in maritime Asia. To defend this hypothesis they look back to Alfred Thayer Mahan’s sea-power theories, now popular with the Chinese. The book considers how strategic thought about the sea shapes Beijing s deliberations and compares China s geostrategic predicament to that of the Kaiser s Germany a century ago. It examines the Chinese navy s operational concepts, tactics, and capabilities and appraises China s ballistic-missile submarine fleet.

The authors conclude that unless Washington adapts, China will present a challenge to America s strategic position in Asia. This selection supports Department of Defense and U.S. Navy priorities for increased focus on the Pacific Rim. Rich with historical examples and superb scholarship, Red Star Over the Pacific is a thoughtful and informative analysis on the rise of Chinese naval power.

PACIFIC CRUCIBLE

War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941 - 1942

By Ian W. Toll    [ Link to eBook ]

On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss, a blow that destroyed the offensive power of their fleet. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative.

This dramatic narrative, relying predominantly on eyewitness accounts and primary sources, is laced with riveting details of heroism and sacrifice on the stricken ships and planes of both navies. At the war’s outset, Japan’s pilots and planes enjoyed a clear-cut superiority to their American counterparts, but there was a price to be paid. Japanese pilots endured a lengthy and grueling training in which they were disciplined with baseball bats, often suffering broken bones; and the production line of the Zero― Japan’s superbly maneuverable fighter plane―ended not at a highway or railhead but at a rice paddy, through which the planes were then hauled on ox carts. Combat losses, of either pilots or planes, could not be replaced in time to match the fully mobilized American war machine. Pacific Crucible also spotlights recent scholarship that revises our understanding of the conflict, including the Japanese decision to provoke a war that few in their highest circles thought they could win. Those doubters included the flamboyantly brilliant Admiral Isokoru Yamamoto, architect of the raid on Pearl and the Midway offensive.

Once again, Ian W. Toll proves himself to be a simply magnificent writer. The result here is a page-turning history that does justice to the breadth and depth of a tremendous subject.

THE CONQUERING TIDE

War in the Pacific Islands, 1942 - 1944

By Ian W. Toll   [ Link to eBook ]

This masterful history encompasses the heart of the Pacific War—the period between mid-1942 and mid-1944—when parallel Allied counteroffensives north and south of the equator washed over Japan’s far-flung island empire like a “conquering tide,” concluding with Japan’s irreversible strategic defeat in the Marianas. It was the largest, bloodiest, most costly, most technically innovative and logistically complicated amphibious war in history, and it fostered bitter inter-service rivalries, leaving wounds that even victory could not heal.

Often overlooked, these are the years and fights that decided the Pacific War. Ian W. Toll’s battle scenes—in the air, at sea, and in the jungles—are simply riveting. He also takes the reader into the wartime councils in Washington and Tokyo where politics and strategy often collided, and into the struggle to mobilize wartime production, which was the secret of Allied victory. Brilliantly researched, the narrative is propelled and colored by firsthand accounts—letters, diaries, debriefings, and memoirs—that are the raw material of the telling details, shrewd judgment, and penetrating insight of this magisterial history.

This volume—continuing the “marvelously readable dramatic narrative” (San Francisco Chronicle) of Pacific Crucible—marks the second installment of the Pacific War Trilogy, which will stand as the first history of the entire Pacific War to be published in at least twenty-five years.

SIX FRIGATES

The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy

By Ian W. Toll    [ Link to eBook ]

Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders―particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams―debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships.

From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign against Tripoli, to the war that shook the world in 1812, Ian W. Toll tells this grand tale with the political insight of Founding Brothers and the narrative flair of Patrick O’Brian.

CYBERSECURITY AND CYBERWAR

What Everyone Needs to Know

By P.W. Singer and Allan Friedman

The latest publication from one of the nation’s most forward-thinking intellectuals on advanced technology—Peter W. Singer. Admiral (Ret) James Stavridis, U.S. Navy, describes this book as, “the most approachable and readable book ever written on the cyber world. The authors have distilled the key facts and policy, provided sensible recommendations, and opened the debate generally to any informed citizen: a singular achievement. A must-read for practitioners and scholars alike.”

Cybersecurity and Cyberwarfare addresses the current risks and benefits of the ever-fluid cyber environment. Singer’s research provides a significant amount of space to the specific challenges the Department of Defense confronts in keeping pace with the latest technologies and methods for maintaining data security. Chapters include a detailed analysis of topics such as: Cyber Counterterrorism, Patriotic Hackers, and What a Cyberwar might actually look like. In this emerging warfighting area where the tools and tactics are constantly changing, a quality and current book such as Cybersecurity and Cyberwarfare will help keep the Navy’s cyber-warriors on the cutting edge.

Pirate Alley

Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia

By RADM Terry McKnight, USN (Ret), and Michael Hirsh   [ Link to eBook ]

Pirate Alley explores every aspect of Somali piracy, from how the pirates operate to how the actions of a relative handful of youthful criminals and their bosses have impacted the world economy. The book examines various answers to the question “How do you solve a problem like Somalia?” It explores the debate over the recently adopted practice of putting armed guards aboard merchant ships, and focuses on the best management practices that are changing the ways that ships are outfitted for travel through what’s known as the High Risk Area. Readers will learn that the consequence of protecting high quality targets such as container ships and crude oil carriers may be that pirates turn to crime on land, such as the kidnapping of foreigners.

Pirate Alley also focuses on the worldwide economic impact of piracy, noting that despite claims that piracy is costing as much as $13 billion a year, one of the largest commercial shipping companies argues that over-reaching national and international shipping regulations have a significantly greater negative effect on the world’s economy than does piracy. In the book’s conclusion, McKnight contends that, in the interest of justice, nations need to beef up their ability to prosecute and imprison captured pirates. And that the United States has no choice but to continue to hew to a policy that was first stated in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution: The Congress shall have Power…to define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the Law of Nations.

PACIFIC

Silicon Chips and Surf Boards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators Fading Empires and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers

By Simon Winchester   [ Link to eBook ]

Following his acclaimed Atlantic and The Men Who United the States, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester offers an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world, exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature.As the Mediterranean shaped the classical world, and the Atlantic connected Europe to the New World, the Pacific Ocean defines our tomorrow. With China on the rise, so, too, are the American cities of the West coast, including Seattle, San Francisco, and the long cluster of towns down the Silicon Valley.

Today, the Pacific is ascendant. Its geological history has long transformed us—tremendous earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis—but its human history, from a Western perspective, is quite young, beginning with Magellan’s sixteenth-century circumnavigation. It is a natural wonder whose most fascinating history is currently being made.

In telling the story of the Pacific, Simon Winchester takes us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn, the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal, and to the many small islands and archipelagos that lie in between. He observes the fall of a dictator in Manila, visits aboriginals in northern Queensland, and is jailed in Tierra del Fuego, the land at the end of the world. His journey encompasses a trip down the Alaska Highway, a stop at the isolated Pitcairn Islands, a trek across South Korea and a glimpse of its mysterious northern neighbor.

THE RICKOVER EFFECT

The Inside Story of How Adm. Hyman Rickover Built the Nuclear Navy

By Theodore Rockwell

In less than a decade, Hyman G. Rickover created the world’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, and built the world’s first atomic power station. His unprecedented technological achievements overcame both natural and human obstacles and gave new meaning to the concept of industrial quality control.Here is the critically acclaimed, authentic inside story, told by the man who worked at Rickover’s side for fifteen years. Theodore Rockwell takes us behind the “zirconium curtain” to see the emergence of the commercial nuclear industry through the eyes of those who shaped it and to discover why Rickover provoked a storm of controversy.

The Rickover Effect is a riveting tale of genius and dedication told in intimate, human terms. Theodore Rockwell is an editor and author, as well as an expert on nuclear reactors who worked with Admiral Rickover from 1949 to 1964. He served as technical director of the U.S. Naval Reactors Program from 1954 to 1964.

RICKOVER AND THE NUCLEAR NAVY

The Discipline of Technology

By Francis Duncan

An inside overview of Admiral Hyman Rickover’s nuclear propulsion program. The author, an Atomic Energy Commission historian assigned to the admiral’s office, spent years observing the program and its controversial leader in action. His insights reflect both his familiarity with the subject and his ability to remain an objective observer. From 1974 to the day Rickover retired in 1982, Francis Duncan had free access to files, documents, and personnel at every level of involvement. As this book clearly shows, he took full advantage of the situation to gain a unigue understanding of exactly how the program operated. The result is a thorough, balanced record of what may well be the navy’s and the nation’s most important and far-reaching project of the twentieth century. Duncan talked to scores of people who dealt with day-to-day operations, watched men in training and accompanied them to sea, visited civilian and naval installations, and had close contact with Rickover himself. He also interviewed former US presidents, secretaries of the navy, chiefs of naval operations, AEC chairmen, and legislative leaders who kept tabs on the program but were removed from daily activities. While the focus of the book is on the nuclear program not the man, it does provide invaluable information on how Rickover ran the program and the reasons for its success.

This definitive study offers a valuable record of a program that continues to play a significant role in the nation’s defence. Francis Duncan, a retired historian at the Department of Energy who lives in Bethesda, Maryland is coauthor of “Nuclear Navy, 1946 -1962”, and the second volume of a history of the Atomic Energy Commission called “Atomic Shield 1947-1952”.

THE TWO-OCEAN WAR

A Short History of the United States Navy in the Second World War

By Samuel Eliot Morison

Originally published in 1963, this classic, single-volume history draws on Morison’s definitive 15-volume History of United States Naval Operations in World War II/I. Originally published in 1963, this classic, single-volume history draws on Morison’s definitive 15-volume History of United States Naval Operations in World War II.

More than a condensation, The Two-Ocean War highlights the major components of the larger work: the preparation for war, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the long war of attrition between submarines and convoys in the Atlantic, the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, the long grind of Guadalcanal, the leapfrogging campaigns among the Pacific islands, the invasion of continental Europe, the blazes of glory at Leyte and Okinawa, and the final, grudging surrender of the Japanese.

FLEET TACTICS

And Coastal Combat, 2nd Edition

By Wayne P. Hughes, Jr.    [ Link to eBook ]

This major revision updates Wayne Hughes’s 1986 landmark study that is credited with providing decision makers a sound foundation for battle planning and tactical thinking. The book integrates the historical evolution of tactics, analysis, and fleet operations, and today it can serve as a primer for anyone who wants to learn how navies fight and win. This second edition includes much new material on combat in the missile age and reflects the reconfiguration of many tactics for littoral operations after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Hughes recreates famous battles to show how tactics have changed through the ages and the ways in which they have remained unchanged. He covers tactical interaction between land and sea, the sensory revolution of WWII, secret weapons and maritime surprise, the role in battle of leadership and morale, and the importance of surface warships in today’s U.S. fleet. He suggests that naval tactics, unlike ground combat, are dominated by the offense and concludes that the great tactical maxim must be attack effectively first.

A new chapter traces the evolution of missile tactics at sea and includes details of attacks on ships. Many changes emphasize joint operations and coastal combat. The already extensive appraisal of command and control and information warfare is further expanded to cover modern naval operations and the character of modern salvo warfare. In the tradition of Mahan and Clauswitz, this classic text incorporates literature, politics, and knowledge of human nature. Indispensable reading for all those interested in naval tactics, it is also a valuable reference for wargamers.

THE FACE OF BATTLE

A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme

By John Keegan    [ Link to eBook ]

Military historian John Keegan’s groundbreaking analysis of combat and warfare. The Face of Battle is military history from the battlefield: a look at the direct experience of individuals at the “point of maximum danger.” Without the myth-making elements of rhetoric and xenophobia, and breaking away from the stylized format of battle descriptions, John Keegan has written what is probably the definitive model for military historians. And in his scrupulous reassessment of three battles representative of three different time periods, he manages to convey what the experience of combat meant for the participants, whether they were facing the arrow cloud at the battle of Agincourt, the musket balls at Waterloo, or the steel rain of the Somme.

MILITARY READINESS

Concepts, Choices, Consequences

By Richard K. Betts

Throughout most of American history, U.S. military forces proved unready for the wars that were thrust upon them and suffered costly reverses in early battles. During the Cold War, for the first time, U.S. defense policy tried to maintain high readiness in peacetime. But now, with the Cold War over and defense budgets falling, what will happen to U.S. military forces? Will they revert to a state of unpreparedness or find a new balance?

Politicians and military planners alike have found this crucial issue especially difficult to deal with because they have often misunderstood what readiness really means. In this book, security expert Richard Betts surveys problems in developing and measuring combat readiness before, during, and after the Cold War. He analyzes why attempts to maximize it often have counterproductive effects, and how confusions in technical concepts cause political controversy.

The book explores conflicts between two objectives that are both vital but work against each other because they compete for resources: operational readiness to fight immediately, and structural readiness—the number of organized units that increase military power, but require time during a crisis to gear up for combat. Betts also discusses the problem brought on by the Cold War and plunging defense budgets: mobilization readiness—the plans and arrangements needed to shorten the time for recreating a large military if it once again becomes necessary. Betts offers new ideas for understanding the dilemmas and tradeoffs that underlie debates on how readiness should be maintained in peacetime, and he explores the strategic consequences of different choices.

MILITARY INNOVATION IN THE INTERWAR PERIOD

Edited by Williamson Murray and Allan R. Millett

In 1914, the armies and navies that faced each other were alike right down to the strengths of their companies and battalions and the designs of their battleships and cruisers. Differences were of degree rather than essence. During the interwar period, however, the armed forces grew increasingly asymmetrical, developing different approaches to the same problems. This study of major military innovations in the 1920s and 1930s explores differences in exploitation by the seven major military powers.

The comparative essays investigate how and why innovation occurred or did not occur, and explain much of the strategic and operative performance of the Axis and Allies in World War II. The essays focus on several instances of how military services developed new technology and weapons and incorporated them into their doctrine, organization, and styles of operations.

ALL THE FACTORS OF VICTORY

Admiral Joseph Mason Reeves and Origins of the Carrier Airpower

By Thomas Wildenberg

Adm. Joseph Mason Reeves (1872-1948) took command of the U.S. Navy’s nascent carrier arm during a critical period, transforming it from a small auxiliary command in support of the battle line into a powerful strike force that could attack far in advance of the fleet. During the 1920s and 1930s, he emerged as the most important flag officer in American naval aviation. Until the carrier commanders of World War II proved their mettle, Reeve’s expertise in the use of the aircraft carrier in naval tactics was unequalled. He retired in 1936, but the Navy recalled him to active duty in May 1940. He served another six years, making his career as an officer not only one of the most significant but also one of the longest in American naval history.

All the Factors of Victory is the first full-length biography of this eminent naval officer.

"Execute Against Japan"

The U.S. Decision to Conduct Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

By Joel Ira Holwitt   [ Link to eBook ]

"Execute Against Japan" was written by active duty Submarine Warfare Officer, LT Joel Holwitt. Less than five hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a telegram from the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations ordered, “Execute against Japan unrestricted air and submarine warfare.” Mere hours after the attack, the U.S. abandoned its longstanding adherence to freedom of the seas, under which commercial vessels were immune from attack. From that moment, the American war effort in the Pacific would target not only military assets but all Japanese shipping. This surprising shift in U.S. policy expanded the limits of warfare in the Pacific.

Execute Against Japan offers a new understanding of U.S. military policy during World War II. This book offers valuable lessons on the interplay of law, diplomacy, politics, and military doctrine and strategy in the conduct of war.

JOHN BARRY

An American Hero in the Age of Sail

By Tim McGrath   [ Link to eBook ]

The man regarded as “the Father of the American Navy” returns to the quarterdeck in John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail, the first comprehensive biography of this legendary officer in generations. Son of a hardscrabble Irish farmer from County Wexford, Barry was sent to sea as a child, arriving in Philadelphia during the restless decade before the American Revolution. Brave and ambitious, he ascended the ratlines to become a successful merchant captain at a young age, commanding the most prestigious ship in the colonies and recording the fastest known day of sail in the century.

Volunteering to fight for the Continental cause, Barry saw his star rise during the War for Independence. As captain of the Lexington, Raleigh, and Alliance, Barry faced down broadsides, mutinies, and even a fleet of icebergs. He captured the first enemy warship taken by a Continental vessel and fought the last battle of the American Revolution. His hard-won victory over two British warships simultaneously garnered him international notoriety, while his skill as a seafarer and cool temper established Barry as a worthy foe among British captains. Without a ship during the winter of 1776-77, the ever resourceful Barry lead a battery of naval artillery at the battle of Princeton. With peace came a historic voyage to China, where Barry helped open trade with that reclusive empire. In 1794, President Washington named Barry as the first commissioned officer in the new United States Navy. Given the title of commodore, Barry ended his career during America’s naval war with France, teaching the ropes to a new generation of officers, most notably Stephen Decatur. Drawn from primary source documents from around the world, John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail by Tim McGrath brings the story of this self-made American back to life in a major new biography.

EMPIRES OF THE SEA

The Siege of Malta, The Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World

By Roger Crowley   [ Link to eBook ]

In 1521, Suleiman the Magnificent, Muslim ruler of the Ottoman Empire, dispatched an invasion fleet to the Christian island of Rhodes. This would prove to be the opening shot in an epic clash between rival empires and faiths for control of the Mediterranean and the center of the world. In Empires of the Sea, acclaimed historian Roger Crowley has written a thrilling account of this brutal decades-long battle between Christendom and Islam for the soul of Europe, a fast-paced tale of spiraling intensity that ranges from Istanbul to the Gates of Gibraltar. Crowley conjures up a wild cast of pirates, crusaders, and religious warriors struggling for supremacy and survival in a tale of slavery and galley warfare, desperate bravery and utter brutality.

Empires of the Sea is a story of extraordinary color and incident, and provides a crucial context for our own clash of civilizations.

SHATTERED SWORD

The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway

By Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully   [ Link to eBook ]

Many consider the Battle of Midway to have turned the tide of the Pacific War. It is without question one of the most famous battles in history. Now, for the first time since Gordon W. Pranges bestselling Miracle at Midway, Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully offer a new interpretation of this great naval engagement. Unlike previous accounts, Shattered Sword makes extensive use of Japanese primary sources. It also corrects the many errors of Mitsuo Fuchidas Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan, an uncritical reliance upon which has tainted every previous Western account. It thus forces a major, potentially controversial reevaluation of the great battle. The authors examine the battle in detail and effortlessly place it within the context of the Imperial Navy’s doctrine and technology.

With a foreword by leading WWII naval historian John Lundstrom, Shattered Sword will become an indispensable part of any military buffs library. Winner of the 2005 John Lyman Book Award for the “Best Book in U.S. Naval History” and cited by Proceedings as one of its “Notable Naval Books” for 2005.

MASTER AND COMMANDER

By Patrick O'Brian    [ Link to eBook ]

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship’s surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson’s navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

ATLANTIC

Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories

By Simon Winchester   [ Link to eBook ]

Blending history and anecdote, geography and reminiscence, science and exposition, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester tells the breathtaking saga of the Atlantic Ocean. A gifted storyteller and consummate historian, Winchester sets the great blue sea’s epic narrative against the backdrop of mankind’s intellectual evolution, telling not only the story of an ocean, but the story of civilization. Fans of Winchester’s Krakatoa, The Man Who Loved China, and The Professor and the Madman will love this masterful, penetrating, and resonant tale of humanity finding its way across the ocean of history.

1812: The Navy's War

By George C. Daughan    [ Link to eBook ]

When war broke out between Britain and the United States in 1812, America’s prospects looked dismal. British naval aggression made it clear that the ocean would be the war’s primary battlefield—but America’s navy, only twenty ships strong, faced a practiced British fleet of more than a thousand men-of-war.

Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, a handful of heroic captains and their stalwart crews managed to turn the tide of the war, besting the haughty skippers of the mighty Royal Navy and cementing America’s newly won independence. In 1812: The Navy’s War, award-winning naval historian George C. Daughan draws on a wealth of archival research to tell the amazing story of this tiny, battletested team of Americans and their improbable yet pivotal victories. Daughan thrillingly details the pitched naval battles that shaped the war, and shows how these clashes proved the navy’s vital role in preserving the nation’s interests and independence. A stunning contribution to military and national history, 1812: The Navy’s War is the first complete account in more than a century of how the U.S. Navy rescued the fledgling nation and secured America’s future.

SUPER HIGHWAY

Seapower in the 21st Century

By Chris Parry    [ Link to eBook ]

In Super Highway, maritime strategist and former Rear Admiral Chris Parry argues that in the second decade of the 21st century, the sea is set to reclaim its status as the world’s preeminent strategic medium. Almost everything that travels virtually between continents and states on the Internet moves, in reality, as in previous eras of globalization, across, under or over the sea. Parry makes the case that the next decade will witness a scramble for the sea, involving competition for oceanic resources and the attempted political and economic colonization of large tracts of what have, until now, been considered international waters and shipping routes.

Can the UK, with its seafaring history, reclaim the waves? With space travel no longer on the agenda, the sea (the physical equivalent of the world-wide-web) is effectively the world’s final undiscovered frontier and the potential arena for a classic “Great Game” between the major powers and developing states.

TECHNOLOGY AND WAR

From 2000 B.C. to the Present

By Martin Van Creveld    [ Link to eBook ]

In this impressive work, Van Creveld considers man’s use of technology over the past 4,000 years and its impact on military organization, weaponry, logistics, intelligence, communications, transportation, and command. This revised paperback edition has been updated to include an account of the range of technology in the recent Gulf War.

WIRED FOR WAR

The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century

By P.W. Singer   [ Link to eBook ]

In Wired for War, P. W. Singer explores the great­est revolution in military affairs since the atom bomb: the dawn of robotic warfare. We are on the cusp of a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make real the stuff of I, Robot and The Terminator.

Blending historical evidence with interviews of an amaz­ing cast of characters, Singer shows how technology is changing not just how wars are fought, but also the politics, economics, laws, and the ethics that surround war itself. Travelling from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to modern-day “skunk works” in the midst of suburbia, Wired for War will tantalize a wide readership, from military buffs to policy wonks to gearheads.

7 Deadly Scenarios

A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century

By Andrew F. Krepinevich    [ Link to eBook ]

As riveting as a thriller, 7 Deadly Scenarios reveals the forces—both overt and covert—that are in play; the real ambitions of world powers, terrorist groups, and rogue states; and the actions and counteractions both our enemies and our allies can be expected to take—and what we must do to prepare before it’s too late. A global pandemic finds millions swarming across the U.S. border. Major American cities are leveled by black-market nukes. China’s growing civil unrest ignites a global showdown. Pakistan’s collapse leads to a hunt for its nuclear weapons. What if the worst that could happen actually happens? How will we respond? Are we prepared?

These are the questions that Andrew F. Krepinevich asks—and answers—in this timely and often chilling book. As a military expert and consultant, Krepinevich must think the unthinkable based on the latest intelligence and geopolitical trends—and devise a response in the event our worst nightmares become reality.

FREEDOM'S FORGE

How American Business Produced Victory in World War II

By Arthur Herman    [ Link to eBook ]

Remarkable as it may seem today, there once was a time when the president of the United States could pick up the phone and ask the president of General Motors to resign his position and take the reins of a great national enterprise. And the CEO would oblige, no questions asked, because it was his patriotic duty. In Freedom’s Forge, bestselling author Arthur Herman takes us back to that time, revealing how two extraordinary American businessmen—automobile magnate William Knudsen and shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser—helped corral, cajole, and inspire business leaders across the country to mobilize the “arsenal of democracy” that propelled the Allies to victory in World War II.

Drafting top talent from companies like Chrysler, Republic Steel, Boeing, Lockheed, GE, and Frigidaire, they turned auto plants into aircraft factories and civilian assembly lines into fountains of munitions, giving Americans fighting in Europe and Asia the tools they needed to defeat the Axis. In four short years they transformed America’s army from a hollow shell into a truly global force, laying the foundations for a new industrial America—and for the country’s rise as an economic as well as military superpower.

THE MAKING OF THE ATOMIC BOMB

By Richard Rhodes    [ Link to eBook ]

Twenty-five years after its initial publication, The Making of the Atomic Bomb remains the definitive history of nuclear weapons and the Manhattan Project. From the turn-of-the-century discovery of nuclear energy to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan, Richard Rhodes’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book details the science, the people, and the socio-political realities that led to the development of the atomic bomb. This sweeping account begins in the 19th century, with the discovery of nuclear fission, and continues to World War Two and the Americans’ race to beat Hitler’s Nazis. That competition launched the Manhattan Project and the nearly overnight construction of a vast military-industrial complex that culminated in the fateful dropping of the first bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

From nuclear power’s earliest foreshadowing in the work of H.G. Wells to the bright glare of Trinity at Alamogordo and the arms race of the Cold War, this dread invention forever changed the course of human history, and The Making of The Atomic Bomb provides a panoramic backdrop for that story. Richard Rhodes’s ability to craft compelling biographical portraits is matched only by his rigorous scholarship. Told in rich human, political, and scientific detail that any reader can follow, The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a thought-provoking and masterful work.

JOE ROCHEFORT'S WAR

The Odyssey of the Codebreaker who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway

By Elliot Carlson    [ Link to eBook ]

Elliot Carlson’s award-winning biography of Capt. Joe Rochefort is the first to be written about the officer who headed Station Hypo, the U.S. Navy’s signals monitoring and cryptographic intelligence unit at Pearl Harbor, and who broke the Japanese navy’s code before the Battle of Midway. The book brings Rochefort to life as the irreverent, fiercely independent, and consequential officer that he was. Readers share his frustrations as he searches in vain for Yamamoto’s fleet prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but share his joy when he succeeds in tracking the fleet in early 1942 and breaks the code that leads Rochefort to believe Yamamoto’s invasion target is Midway. His conclusions – bitterly opposed by some top Navy brass – are credited with making the U.S. victory possible and helping to change the course of the war. The author tells the story of how opponents in Washington forced Rochefort’s removal from Station Hypo and denied him the Distinguished Service Medal recommended by Admiral Nimitz. In capturing the interplay of policy and personality and the role played by politics at the highest levels of the Navy, Carlson reveals a side of the intelligence community seldom seen by outsiders.

For a full understanding of the man, Carlson examines Rochefort’s love-hate relationship with cryptanalysis, his adventure-filled years in the 1930s as the right-hand man to the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Fleet, and his return to codebreaking in mid-1941 as the officer in charge of Station Hypo. He traces Rochefort’s career from his enlistment in 1918 to his posting in Washington as head of the Navy’s codebreaking desk at age twenty-five, and beyond. In many ways a reinterpretation of Rochefort, the book makes clear the key role his codebreaking played in the outcome of Midway and the legacy he left of reporting actionable intelligence directly to the fleet. An epilogue describes efforts waged by Rochefort’s colleagues to obtain the medal denied him in 1942 – a drive that finally paid off in 1986 when the medal was awarded posthumously.

THE PURSUIT OF VICTORY

The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson

By Roger Knight

The starting point of Roger Knight’s magnificent new biography is to explain how Nelson achieved such extraordinary success. Knight places him firmly in the context of the Royal Navy at the time. He analyses Nelson’s more obvious qualities, his leadership strengths and his coolness and certainty in battle, and also explores his strategic grasp, the condition of his ships, the skill of his seamen and his relationships with the officers around him – including those who could hardly be called friendly.

This biography takes a cool look at Nelson’s status as a hero and demolishes many of the myths that were so carefully established by the early authors, and repeated by their modern successors. Nelson was a shrewd political operator who charmed and impressed political leaders and whose advancement was helped by the relatively weak generation of admirals above him. He was a difficult subordinate, only happy when completely in command, and capable of great ruthlessness. He was flawed, but brilliant – and not to be crossed.

WASHINGTON'S CROSSING

Pivotal Moments in American History

By David Hackett Fischer

Six months after the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was all but lost. A powerful British force had routed the Americans at New York, occupied three colonies, and advanced within sight of Philadelphia.

In Fischer's richly-textured narrative, we see how the campaign unfolded in a sequence of difficult choices by many actors, from generals to civilians, on both sides. While British and German forces remained rigid and hierarchical, Americans evolved an open and flexible system that was fundamental to their success. The startling success of Washington and his compatriots not only saved the faltering American Revolution, but helped to give it new meaning.

ONE HUNDRED DAYS

The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander

By Admiral Sandy Woodward with Patrick Robinson

Written by the man who masterminded the British victory in the Falklands, this engrossing memoir chronicles events in the spring of 1982 following Argentina’s takeover of the South Atlantic islands. Adm. Sandy Woodward, a brilliant military tactician, presents a complete picture of the British side of the battle. From the defeat of the Argentine air forces to the sinking of the Belgrano and the daring amphibious landing at Carlos Water, his inside story offers a revealing account of the Royal Navy’s successes and failures.

At times reflective and personal, Woodward imparts his perceptions, fears, and reactions to seemingly disastrous events. He also reveals the steely logic he was famous for as he explains naval strategy and planning. His eyewitness accounts of the sinking of HMS Sheffield and the Battle of Bomb Alley are memorable.

Many Britons considered Woodward the cleverest man in the navy. French newspapers called him “Nelson.” Margaret Thatcher said he was precisely the right man to fight the world’s first computer war. Without question, the admiral’s memoir makes a significant addition to the official record. At the same time it provides readers with a vivid portrayal of the world of modern naval warfare, where equipment is of astonishing sophistication but the margins for human courage and error are as wide as in the days of Nelson.

FIGHTING TALK

Forty Maxims on War, Peace, and Strategy

By Colin S. Gray

Colin Gray presents an inventive treatise on the nature of strategy, war, and peace, organized around forty maxims. This collection of mini-essays will forearm politicians, soldiers, and the attentive general public against many―probably most― fallacies that abound in contemporary debates about war, peace, and security. While one can never guarantee strategic success, which depends on policy, military prowess, and the quality of the dialogue between the two, a strategic education led by the judgments in these maxims increases the chances that one’s errors will be small rather than catastrophic.

The maxims are grouped according to five clusters. “War and Peace” tackles the larger issues of strategic history that drive the demand for the services of strategic thought and practice. “Strategy” presses further, into the realm of strategic behavior, and serves as a bridge between the political focus of part one and the military concerns that follow. “Military Power and Warfare” turns to the pragmatic business of military performance: operations, tactics, and logistics. Part four, “Security and Insecurity,” examines why strategy is important, including a discussion of the nature, dynamic character, and functioning of world politics. Finally, “History and the Future” is meant to help strategists better understand the processes of historical change.

NO HIGHER HONOR

Saving the USS Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf

By Bradley Peniston    [ Link to eBook ]

Like its World War II namesake of Leyte Gulf fame, USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) was a small combatant built for escort duty. But its skipper imbued his brand-new crew with a fighting spirit to match their forebears, and in 1988 when the guided missile frigate was thrust into the Persian Gulf at the height of the Iran-Iraq War, there was no better ship for the job. Forbidden to fire unless fired upon, Captain Paul Rinn and his crew sailed amid the chaos in the Gulf for two months, relying on wit and nerve to face down fighter jets and warships bent on the destruction of civilian vessels. Their sternest test came when an Iranian mine ripped open the ship’s engine room, ignited fires on four decks, and plunged the ship into darkness. The crew’s bravery and cool competence was credited with keeping the ship afloat, and its actions have become part of Navy lore and a staple of naval leadership courses ever since.

This is the first book to record the Roberts‘ extraordinary tale. After years of research and interviews with crewmembers, journalist Bradley Peniston chronicles the crew’s heroic efforts to save the ship as they fought flames and flooding well into the night. The author also describes the frigate’s origins, its operational history, and the crew’s training. Peniston’s personal approach to the subject not only breathes life into the historical narrative but gives readers an opportunity to get to know the individuals involved and understand the U.S. retaliation to the mining and the battle that evolved, setting the stage for conflicts to come.

MATTERHORN

A Novel of the Vietnam War

By Karl Marlantes    [ Link to eBook ]

Matterhorn is a visceral and spellbinding novel about what it is like to be a young man at war. It is an unforgettable novel that transforms the tragedy of Vietnam into a powerful and universal story of courage, camaraderie, and sacrifice: a parable not only of the war in Vietnam but of all war, and a testament to the redemptive power of literature.An incredible publishing story—written over the course of thirty years by a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, a New York Times best seller for sixteen weeks, a National Indie Next and a USA Today best seller—Matterhorn has been hailed as a “brilliant account of war” (New York Times Book Review).

Now out in paperback, Matterhorn is an epic war novel in the tradition of Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and James Jones’s The Thin Red Line. It is the timeless story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever.

GHOST FLEET

A Novel of the Next World War

By P.W. Singer and August Cole    [ Link to eBook ]

The United States, China, and Russia eye each other across a twenty-first century version of the Cold War, which suddenly heats up at sea, on land, in the air, in outer space, and in cyberspace. The fighting involves everything from stealthy robotic–drone strikes to old warships from the navy’s “ghost fleet.” Fighter pilots unleash a Pearl Harbor–style attack; American veterans become low-tech insurgents; teenage hackers battle in digital playgrounds; Silicon Valley billionaires mobilize for cyber-war; and a serial killer carries out her own vendetta. Ultimately, victory will depend on blending the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future.

Ghost Fleet is a page-turning speculative thriller in the spirit of The Hunt for Red October. The debut novel by two leading experts on the cutting edge of national security, it is unique in that every trend and technology featured in the novel — no matter how sci-fi it may seem — is real, or could be soon.

HOLD BACK THE NIGHT

By Pat Frank

“These are not stragglers, sir. This is Dog Company…” In Pat Frank’s classic 1951 war novel, one-hundred-twenty-six soldiers commence their long, harrowing journey at Changjin Reservoir during the height of the Korean War, but few will survive the grueling fight and eventually reach Hungnam. Vividly bringing to life the bravery, daring, and turmoil a unit of soldiers endures, Hold Back the Night reveals their gripping stories…

Captain Mackenzie, commander of Dog Company, not only bears the responsibility for victory or defeat, but also feels the full weight of the emotional toll that the war inevitably takes on him and his troops. His one consolation to inspire his band of soldiers to keep on going is an unopened bottle of Scotch that holds bittersweet memories of his wife who gave it to him as a gift. Sergeant Ekland, a cocky, determined communications sergeant, is due for a battlefield promotion and longs for the day his tour is over so he can be reunited with his fiancée—that is if he makes it out of Korea alive.

Private Couzens, finds himself in a precarious situation with the enemy due to circumstances out of his control—a situation that causes his loyalties to come into question with his superiors. As readers follow the lives of these men and the other unforgettable soldiers, Pat Frank’s epic novel of war, loss, and survival recounts a crucial chapter in American history.

UTMOST SAVAGERY

The Three Days of Tarawa

By COL Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Ret)    [ Link to eBook ]

Marine combat veteran and award-winning military historian Joseph Alexander takes a fresh look at one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific War. His gripping narrative, first published in 1995, has won him many prizes, with critics lauding his use of Japanese documents and his interpretation of the significance of what happened. The first trial by fire of America’s fledgling amphibious assault doctrine, the violent three-day attack on Tarawa, a seemingly invincible Japanese island fortress of barely three hundred acres, left six thousand men dead. This book offers an authoritative account of the tactics, innovations, leadership, and weapons employed by both antagonists. Alexander convincingly argues that without the vital lessons of Tarawa the larger amphibious victories to come at Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa might not have been possible.

YELLOW SMOKE

The Future of Land Warfare for America's Military

By Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales, Jr.

In view of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the ongoing war against terrorism, the importance of land warfare seems certain to grow. This timely book, by Major General Robert H. Scales Jr., draws upon a long and distinguished military career and wars dating back to Korea for lessons for America’s future land wars. He looks at Afghanistan and Iraq, and ahead to a wargame scenario of ‘Kosovo 2020,’ to develop a picture of the American style of war. High-tech, firepower-driven, and risk-averse, the American precision land war machine must ever guard against complacency and adaptive enemies. Despite superiority on almost every front, the U.S. armed forces have been effectively challenged on battlefields near and far.

War remains as much art as science, and General Scales shows us what to expect if we substitute science and technology wholesale for the understanding of history and humanity.

D-DAY: JUNE 6, 1944

The Climactic Battle of World War II

By Stephen E. Ambrose    [ Link to eBook ]

D-Day is the epic story of men at the most demanding moment of their lives, when the horrors, complexities, and triumphs of life are laid bare. Distinguished historian Stephen E. Ambrose portrays the faces of courage and heroism, fear and determination—what Eisenhower called “the fury of an aroused democracy”—that shaped the victory of the citizen soldiers whom Hitler had disparaged.

Drawing on more than 1,400 interviews with American, British, Canadian, French, and German veterans, Ambrose reveals how the original plans for the invasion had to be abandoned, and how enlisted men and junior officers acted on their own initiative when they realized that nothing was as they were told it would be.

THE VICTORY AT SEA

The Allied Campaign Against U-Boats During the First World War, 1917 - 18

William Sowden Sims and Burton J. Hendrick

In 1921 Rear Admiral William Sowden Sims won the Pulitzer prize in history for Victory at Sea. The commander of U.S. naval forces operating in European waters during the WWI, Sims offers an authoritative account of the U.S. Navy’s role in the war. Rear Admiral Sims explains the significance of submarine warfare, and its role in the defeat of Germany. The U.S. Navy’s campaign was shrouded in secrecy at the time.

Admiral Sims, head of the Naval War College when WWI broke out, was a brilliant gunnery reformer and noted Anglophile whose service in London ideally suited him to compose this history of the naval campaigns of the Great War. He was placed in charge of American naval forces in Europe for the duration of the war. Sims was born of American parents in Port Hope, Canada, 15 October 1858. Educated at Annapolis from 1876 to 1880, he first won fame as a lieutenant on duty in China in 1902. After being rebuffed by his superiors when he made suggestions for improvement in gunnery practice, he is reported to have gone over their heads and claimed directly to President Theodore Roosevelt that American gunnery was hopelessly inaccurate. Roosevelt called him back to become inspector of naval target practice. Admiral Sims died in 1922. He served his country for 46 years.

OTHER CLAY

A Remembrance of the World War II Infantry

By Charles R. Cawthon

Other Clay is a survivor’s account of World War II infantry combat, told by a front-line officer whose 116th Infantry Regiment landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day and fought its way across Europe to the Elbe. Charles R. Cawthon joined the Virginia National Guard in 1940—to avoid being drafted and to spend his expected one year of service in officer training. When America entered the war, his division was among the first shipped out to England, where they spent two years preparing to spearhead the largest amphibious military operation in history.

On the beaches of Normandy, on June 6, 1944, the U.S. Army suffered its heaviest casualties since Gettysburg. The losses were greatest among the infantry companies that led the assault, and Cawthon describes firsthand the furious and deathly chaos of the daylong battle to get off the beach and up the heights. Reduced by casualties to half its pre-invasion strength, Cawthon’s regiment still managed to fight off German counterattacks and engage in an all-out pursuit across France before the Germans counterattacked again at the Ardennes forest.

Thoughtful, candid, and revealing, Cawthon’s memoir is a deeply felt and carefully recollected study of men confronting the face of death—their fear, their courage, their hunger and exhaustion, their loyalty to one another, and their miraculous and unreasoning ability to go one more step, one more day, one more mile.

ENGLAND IN THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR

A Study in Combined Strategy

By Julian S. Corbett    [ Link to eBook ]

Sir Julian Corbett (1854–1922) was an eminent British naval historian who focused on the analysis of historic naval strategy. After graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1876 Corbett practiced as a barrister until 1882, when he turned to historical writing. He was appointed Lecturer in History to the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, in 1903, and was consulted on naval reforms during the First World War.

These volumes, first published in 1907, contain Corbett's detailed analysis of naval warfare during the Seven Years' War (1756–1763). Focusing on the strategy of the British navy, Corbett recounts chronologically the major actions of the war, analyzing in detail fleet movements and naval tactics in their political and diplomatic context.

GATES OF FIRE

An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

By Steven Pressfield    [ Link to eBook ]

At Thermopylae, a rocky mountain pass in northern Greece, the feared and admired Spartan soldiers stood three hundred strong. Theirs was a suicide mission, to hold the pass against the invading millions of the mighty Persian army. Day after bloody day they withstood the terrible onslaught, buying time for the Greeks to rally their forces. Born into a cult of spiritual courage, physical endurance, and unmatched battle skill, the Spartans would be remembered for the greatest military stand in history–one that would not end until the rocks were awash with blood, leaving only one gravely injured Spartan squire to tell the tale…

GRANT

Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant and Selected Letters 1839 - 1865

Edited by William S. McFeely and Mary McFeely    [ Link to eBook ]

Twenty years after Appomattox, the Civil War’s greatest general fought his last campaign against death and time. Stricken by cancer as his family faced financial ruin, Ulysses S. Grant wrote his Personal Memoirs to secure their future, and in doing so won for himself a unique place in American letters. Acclaimed by readers as diverse as Mark Twain, Matthew Arnold, Gertrude Stein, and Edmund Wilson, the Personal Memoirs demonstrates the intelligence, intense determination, and laconic modesty that made Grant the Union’s foremost commander. This Library of America volume also includes 174 letters written by Grant from 1839 to 1865. Many of them are to his wife, Julia, and offer an intimate view of their affectionate and enduring marriage; others, addressed to fellow generals, government officials, and his congressional patron Elihu B. Washburn, provide a fascinating contemporary perspective on the events that would later figure in the Memoirs.

Grant’s autobiography is devoted almost entirely to his life as a soldier: his years at West Point, his service in the peacetime army, and his education in war during conflicts foreign and domestic. Grant considered the Mexican War “one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation” and thought that the Civil War was our punishment for it; but his retrospective disapproval did not prevent him from becoming enchanted by Mexico or from learning about his own capacity for leadership amid the confusion and carnage of battle. His account of the Civil War combines a lucid treatment of its political causes and its military actions, along with the story of his own growing strength as a commander. At the end of an inconsequential advance in Missouri in 1861 he realized that his opponent “had been as much afraid of me as I had been of him.” Fort Donelson and Shiloh taught him to seize the initiative, while his success in living off the land during the Vicksburg campaign inspired William T. Sherman to undertake his marches through the interior of the South. By 1864 Grant knew that the rebellion could be suppressed only by maintaining relentless pressure against its armies and methodically destroying its resources. As the Union’s final general-in-chief, he acted with the resolve that had eluded his predecessors, directing battles whose drawn-out ferocity had no precedent in Western warfare. His narrative of the war’s final year culminates in his meeting with Lee at Appomattox, a scene of quiet pride, sadness, and humanity. Grant’s writing is spare, telling, and quick, superbly evocative of the imperatives of decision, motion, and action that govern those who try to shape the course of war. Grant wrote about the most destructive war in American history with a clarity and directness unequaled in our literature.

THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

The New History of Rome and the Barbarians

By Peter Heather

The death of the Roman Empire is one of the perennial mysteries of world history. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Peter Heather proposes a stunning new solution: Centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors Rome called barbarians into an enemy capable of dismantling an Empire that had dominated their lives for so long.A leading authority on the late Roman Empire and on the barbarians, Heather relates the extraordinary story of how Europe’s barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome on every possible level, eventually pulled the empire apart.

He shows first how the Huns overturned the existing strategic balance of power on Rome’s European frontiers, to force the Goths and others to seek refuge inside the Empire. This prompted two generations of struggle, during which new barbarian coalitions, formed in response to Roman hostility, brought the Roman west to its knees. The Goths first destroyed a Roman army at the battle of Hadrianople in 378, and went on to sack Rome in 410. The Vandals spread devastation in Gaul and Spain, before conquering North Africa, the breadbasket of the Western Empire, in 439. We then meet Attila the Hun, whose reign of terror swept from Constantinople to Paris, but whose death in 453 ironically precipitated a final desperate phase of Roman collapse, culminating in the Vandals’ defeat of the massive Byzantine Armada: the west’s last chance for survival.

Peter Heather convincingly argues that the Roman Empire was not on the brink of social or moral collapse. What brought it to an end were the barbarians.

NAVIGATING THE SEVEN SEAS

Leadership Lessons of the First African-American Father and Son to Serve at the Top in the U.S. Navy

By Melvin G. Williams, Sr. and Melvin G. Williams, Jr.    [ Link to eBook ]

This book showcases important leadership lessons. The authors are the first African-American father and son to have served at the top in the U.S. Navy. In addition to the engaging biographical content of the book are the Seven C’s of Leadership: Character, Courage, Competence, Commitment, Caring, Community and Communicating that are explained through vivid examples that will serve to guide Sailors and Officers to a successful life and Navy career.

The father and son authors share inspirational lessons that cover all areas of the leadership spectrum, from the makings of a Command Master Chief to the makings and distinct achievement of a Flag Officer. Navy heritage embraces both men’s contributions since both father and son had to open doors that were closed to them due to their race. Melvin G. Williams Senior’s ability to make Fleet improvements and positive recommendations for others was passed on to his own son, who served as Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and obtained the rank of Vice Admiral.

THE RULES OF THE GAME

Jutland and British Naval Command

By Andrew Gordon    [ Link to eBook ]

Foreword by Admiral Sir John Woodward. When published in hardcover in 1997, this book was praised for providing an engrossing education not only in naval strategy and tactics but in Victorian social attitudes and the influence of character on history. In juxtaposing an operational with a cultural theme, the author comes closer than any historian yet to explaining what was behind the often described operations of this famous 1916 battle at Jutland. Although the British fleet was victorious over the Germans, the cost in ships and men was high, and debates have raged within British naval circles ever since about why the Royal Navy was unable to take advantage of the situation.

In this book Andrew Gordon focuses on what he calls a fault-line between two incompatible styles of tactical leadership within the Royal Navy and different understandings of the rules of the games.

THE LAST STAND OF THE TIN CAN SAILORS

The Extrodinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour

By James D. Hornfischer    [ Link to eBook ]

“This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.”

With these words, Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland addressed the crew of the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts on the morning of October 25, 1944, off the Philippine Island of Samar. On the horizon loomed the mightiest ships of the Japanese navy, a massive fleet that represented the last hope of a staggering empire. All that stood between it and Douglas MacArthur’s vulnerable invasion force were the Roberts and the other small ships of a tiny American flotilla poised to charge into history. James D. Hornfischer paints an unprecedented portrait of the Battle of Samar, a naval engagement unlike any other in U.S. history—and captures with unforgettable intensity the men, the strategies, and the sacrifices that turned certain defeat into a legendary victory.

The Fleet at Flood Tide

America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945

By James D. Hornfischer    [ Link to eBook ]

“From the seas of the Central Pacific to the shores of Japan itself, The Fleet at Flood Tide is a stirring and deeply humane account of World War II's world-changing finale.”

Drawing on new primary sources and personal accounts by Americans and Japanese alike, The Fleet at Flood Tide is a thrilling narrative of the climactic end stage of the Pacific War, focusing on the U.S. invasion of the Mariana Islands in June 1944 and the momentous events that it produced.

With its thunderous assault into Japan's inner defensive perimeter, America crossed the threshold of total war. From the seaborne invasion of Saipan to the stunning aerial battles of the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, from the largest banzai attack of the war to the first mass suicides of Japanese civilians to the strategic bombing effort that culminated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Marianas became the fulcrum of the drive to compel Tokyo to surrender--with consequences that forever changed modern war.

Service

A Navy SEAL at War

By Marcus Luttrell with James D. Hornfischer    [ Link to eBook ]

A thrilling war story, Service is also a profoundly moving tribute to the warrior brotherhood, to the belief that nobody goes it alone, and no one will be left behind. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell returned from his star-crossed mission in Afghanistan with his bones shattered and his heart broken. So many had given their lives to save him-and he would have readily done the same for them. As he recuperated, he wondered why he and others, from America's founding to today, had been willing to sacrifice everything-including themselves-for the sake of family, nation, and freedom.

In Service, we follow Marcus Luttrell to Iraq, where he returns to the battlefield as a member of SEAL Team 5 to help take on the most dangerous city in the world: Ramadi, the capital of war-torn Al Anbar Province. There, in six months of high-intensity urban combat, he would be part of what has been called the greatest victory in the history of U.S. Special Operations forces. We also return to Afghanistan and Operation Redwing, where Luttrell offers powerful new details about his miraculous rescue. Throughout, he reflects on what it really means to take on a higher calling, about the men he's seen lose their lives for their country, and the legacy of those who came and bled before.

Ship of Ghosts

The Story of the USS Houston, FDR's Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of her Survivors

By James D. Hornfischer    [ Link to eBook ]

"Son, we’re going to Hell."

The navigator of the USS Houston confided these prophetic words to a young officer as he and his captain charted a course into U.S. naval legend. Renowned as FDR’s favorite warship, the cruiser USS Houston was a prize target trapped in the far Pacific after Pearl Harbor. Without hope of reinforcement, her crew faced a superior Japanese force ruthlessly committed to total conquest. It wasn’t a fair fight, but the men of the Houston would wage it to the death.

Hornfischer brings to life the awesome terror of nighttime naval battles that turned decks into strobe-lit slaughterhouses, the deadly rain of fire from Japanese bombers, and the almost superhuman effort of the crew as they miraculously escaped disaster again and again–until their luck ran out during a daring action in Sunda Strait. There, hopelessly outnumbered, the Houston was finally sunk and its survivors taken prisoner. For more than three years their fate would be a mystery to families waiting at home.

The Last Warrior

Andrew Marshall and the Shaping of Modern American Defense Strategy

By Andrew F. Krepinevich and Barry Watts

In The Last Warrior, Andrew Krepinevich and Barry Watts—both former members of Marshall's staff—trace Marshall's intellectual development from his upbringing in Detroit during the Great Depression to his decades in Washington as an influential behind-the-scenes advisor on American defense strategy. The result is a unique insider's perspective on the changes in US strategy from the dawn of the Cold War to the present day.

Covering some of the most pivotal episodes of the last half-century and peopled with some of the era's most influential figures, The Last Warrior tells Marshall's story for the first time, in the process providing an unparalleled history of the evolution of the American defense establishment.

Leading Change

By John P. Kotter    [ Link to eBook ]

John Kotter’s now-legendary eight-step process for managing change with positive results has become the foundation for leaders and organizations across the globe. By outlining the process every organization must go through to achieve its goals, and by identifying where and how even top performers derail during the change process, Kotter provides a practical resource for leaders and managers charged with making change initiatives work. Leading Change is widely recognized as his seminal work and is an important precursor to his newer ideas on acceleration published in Harvard Business Review.

Needed more today than at any time in the past, this bestselling business book serves as both visionary guide and practical toolkit on how to approach the difficult yet crucial work of leading change in any type of organization. Reading this highly personal book is like spending a day with the world’s foremost expert on business leadership. You’re sure to walk away inspired—and armed with the tools you need to inspire others.

MATTERHORN

A Novel of the Vietnam War

By Karl Marlantes    [ Link to eBook ]

Matterhorn is a visceral and spellbinding novel about what it is like to be a young man at war. It is an unforgettable novel that transforms the tragedy of Vietnam into a powerful and universal story of courage, camaraderie, and sacrifice: a parable not only of the war in Vietnam but of all war, and a testament to the redemptive power of literature.An incredible publishing story—written over the course of thirty years by a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, a New York Times best seller for sixteen weeks, a National Indie Next and a USA Today best seller—Matterhorn has been hailed as a “brilliant account of war” (New York Times Book Review).

Now out in paperback, Matterhorn is an epic war novel in the tradition of Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and James Jones’s The Thin Red Line. It is the timeless story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever.

FIRST TO FIGHT

An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps

By Victor H. Krulak

This book examines the foundation on which the Marine Corps is built. The author, LtGen Victor “Brute” Krulak (USMC, Ret.), offers an insider’s chronicle of Marines, on the battlefield and off. He takes a close look at the Marine experience during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam - wars in which he was a participant, and in doing so, helps answer the question of what it means to be a Marine, and how the Corps has maintained such an outstanding reputation. This book is also on the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Reading List.

THE MARINES OF MONTFORD POINT

America's First Black Marines

Melton Alonza McLaurin

Collection of interviews with members of the Montford Point Marines Association, organized by chronology and theme. This recognizes and honors the men who desegregated the Marine Corps and loyally served their country in three major wars. It is about the first black recruits who received Marine Corps basic training at the segregated Camp Montford Point (adjacent to Camp Lejeune). Between 1942 and 1949, more than 20,000 men trained at Montford Point, most of them going on to serve in the Pacific Theatre in World War II as members of support units.

AMERICAN SPARTANS

The U.S. Marines: A Combat History from Iwo Jima to Iraq

James Warren

Authoritative battle history of the Marines from the islands of the Pacific to Korea to the Middle East. It reveals how "the few and the proud" have drawn on their timeless precepts across six decades while reinventing themselves in the face of political change to forever remain America’s finest warriors.

CHESTY

The Story of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC

Colonel Jon T. Hoffman

The Marine Corps is known for its heroes, and Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller has long been considered the greatest of them all. His assignments and activities covered an extraordinary spectrum of warfare. Puller mastered small unit guerrilla warfare as a lieutenant in Haiti in the 1920s, and at the end of his career commanded a division in Korea. In between, he chased Sandino in Nicaragua and fought at Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, and Peleliu. With his bulldog face, barrel chest (which earned him the nickname Chesty), gruff voice, and common touch, Puller became—and has remained—the epitome of the Marine combat officer. At times Puller’s actions have been called into question—at Peleliu, for instance, where, against a heavily fortified position, he lost more than half of his regiment. And then there is the saga of his son, who followed in Chesty’s footsteps as a Marine officer only to suffer horrible wounds in Vietnam (his book, Fortunate Son, won the Pulitzer Prize).

FORGOTTEN WARRIORS

The 1ST Provisional Marine Brigade, The Corps Ethos, and the Korean War

Thomas Hammes

At the outbreak of the Korean War, the Marine Corps was ordered to deploy an air-ground brigade in less than ten days, even though no such brigade existed at the time. Assembled from the woefully under strength 1st Marine Division and 1st Marine Air Wing units, the Brigade shipped out only 6 days after activation, sailed directly to Korea and was in combat within 96 hours of landing. Despite these enormous handicaps and numerically superior enemy forces, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade won every one of its engagements and helped secure the Pusan Perimeter.

BRUTE

The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine

Robert Coram    [ Link to eBook ]

Biography of LtGen Victor "Brute" Krulak (USMC, Ret.). He went on daring spy missions, was badly wounded, pioneered the use of amphibious vehicles and use of helicopters in warfare, and masterminded the invasion of Okinawa. In Vietnam, he developed a holistic military strategy in stark contrast to the Army's "Search and Destroy" methods. Yet it can be argued that all of these accomplishments pale in comparison to what he did after WWII and again after Korea: he almost single-handedly stopped the U.S. government from abolishing the Marine Corps.

"The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience) — i.e., the hard way."
- James Mattis