Iron Dawn: The Monitor, the Merrimack, and the Civil War Sea Battle that Changed History
Iron Dawn: The Monitor, the Merrimack, and the Civil War Sea Battle that Changed History

by Richard Snow

Winner of NOUS' 2017 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

No single sea battle has had more far-reaching consequences than the one fought in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in 1862. The Confederacy, with no fleet of its own, took a radical step to combat the Union blockade, building an iron fort containing ten heavy guns on the hull of a captured Union frigate named the Merrimack. The North got word of the project, and, in panicky desperation, commissioned an eccentric inventor named John Ericsson to build the Monitor, an entirely revolutionary iron warship. Rushed through to completion in just one hundred days, it mounted only two guns, but they were housed in a shot-proof revolving turret. The ship hurried south from Brooklyn, only to arrive to find the Merrimack had already sunk half the Union fleet—and would be back to finish the job. When she returned, the Monitor was there. She fought the Merrimack to a standstill, and, many believe, saved the Union cause. As soon as word of the fight spread, Great Britain—the foremost sea power of the day—ceased work on all wooden ships. A thousand-year-old tradition ended and the naval future opened.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Scribner, 2016

The Frozen Chosen: The 1st Marine Division and the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
The Frozen Chosen: The 1st Marine Division and the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir

by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

Finalist for NOUS' 2017 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

An account of the breakout from the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea by the First Marine Division from November to December 1950, following the intervention of Red China in the Korean War. 

Based on first-person interviews from surviving veterans who came to be known as the “Frozen Chosen,” this is the incredible story of heroism and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, as a handful of Marines fought desperately against wave after wave of Chinese forces. Sometimes forced into desperate hand-to-hand fighting in intense cold, cut off from reinforcements, and with dwindling supplies and ammunition, the fighting retreat from Chosin marked one of the darkest moments for Western forces in Korea, it but would go on to resonate with generations of Marines as a symbol of the Marine Corps' dogged determination, fighting skill, and never-say-die attitude on the battlefield.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Osprey Publishing, 2016

Admiral Bill Halsey: A Naval Life
Admiral Bill Halsey: A Naval Life

by Thomas Alexander Hughes

Finalist for NOUS' 2017 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

William Halsey, the most famous naval officer of World War II, was known for fearlessness, steely resolve, and impulsive errors. In this definitive biography, Thomas Hughes punctures the popular caricature of the fighting admiral to present a revealing human portrait of his personal and professional life as it was lived in times of war and peace.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Harvard University Press, 2016

Congress Buys a Navy: Politics, Economics, and the Rise of American Naval Power, 1881-1921
Congress Buys a Navy: Politics, Economics, and the Rise of American Naval Power, 1881-1921

by Paul E. Pedisich

Finalist for NOUS' 2017 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

Offers a new look at the nexus of U.S. politics, economics, and the funding and creation of what is thought of as the "modern" U.S. Navy. Filling in significant gaps in prior economic histories of the era, Paul Pedisich analyzes the role played by nine presidencies and cabinets, sixteen Navy secretaries, and countless U.S. congressmen whose work and actions shaped and funded our forces at sea.

Surveying the development of the new steel Navy from 1881 to 1921, Pedisich's narrative begins with James Garfield's appointment of William Hunt as Secretary of the Navy and the formation of the forty-seventh Congress in March 1881, and continues on to the reduction of the naval forces by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1921.

While the main acts in U.S. political history often privilege the actions of the President and his cabinet, the author brings to light the individual rationales, voting blocs, agendas, and political intrigue that drove this process of making a modern Navy.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Naval Institute Press, 2016

Storm Over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Navy
Storm Over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Navy

by John Prados

Finalist for NOUS' 2017 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

As Allied ships prepared for the invasion of the Philippine island of Leyte, every available warship, submarine and airplane was placed on alert while Japanese admiral Kurita Takeo stalked Admiral William F. Halsey’s unwitting American armada. It was the beginning of the epic Battle of Leyte Gulf—the greatest naval battle in history. 
 
Acclaimed historian John Prados gives readers an unprecedented look at both sides of this titanic naval clash, demonstrating that, despite the Americans’ overwhelming superiority in firepower and supplies, the Japanese achieved their goal, inflicting grave damage on U.S. forces. And for the first time, readers will have access to the naval intelligence reports that influenced key strategic decisions on both sides.
 
Drawing upon a wealth of untapped sources—U.S. and Japanese military records, diaries, declassified intelligence reports and postwar interrogation transcripts—Prados offers up a masterful narrative of naval conflict on an epic scale.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Caliber, Penguin Group (USA), 2016

Sea Miner
Sea Miner

by Chuck Veit

Sea Miner is the reconstructed story of the U.S. Navy’s ultra-secret torpedo development program of 1862-3, which resulted in a ship-launched rocket-powered kinetic energy projectile a century ahead of its time. The brainchild of Army Major Edward B. Hunt, the veil of secrecy lasted over 150 years, until an odd newspaper headline provided the first hint that such advanced research had been successfully undertaken at so early a date. Sea Miner received the 2016 Award in Narrative Non-fiction from the Independent Publishers of New England.

Other books of interest include A Dog Before a Soldier, which tells the story of the U.S. Navy in the War of the Rebellion, and Raising Missouri, that presents the never-before-told epic of the loss and salvage of one of our first two steam-powered warships.

Ordering Info: chuckveitbooks.com  Amazon

Published: 2016

Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea
Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea

by Tim McGrath

Winner of NOUS' 2016 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

America in 1775 was on the verge of revolution—or, more likely, disastrous defeat. After England’s King George sent hundreds of ships to bottle up American harbors and prey on American shipping, John Adams of Massachusetts proposed a bold solution: The Continental Congress should raise a navy.

“A meticulous, adrenaline-filled account of the earliest days of the Continental Navy.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Laurence Bergreen

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: NAL; Reprint edition 2015

God and Sea Power: The Influence of Religion on Alfred Thayer Mahan
God and Sea Power: The Influence of Religion on Alfred Thayer Mahan

by Suzanne Geissler

Finalist for NOUS' 2016 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

Gallons of ink have been used analyzing Adm. Alfred Thayer Mahan's thoughts, his naval theories, and his contribution to sea power. One vital aspect of his life, however, has been ignored or misunderstood by many scholars: his religious faith. Mahan was a professing Christian who took his faith with the utmost seriousness, and as a result, his worldview was inherently Christian. He wrote and spoke extensively on religious issues, a point frequently ignored by many historians. This is a fundamental mistake, for a deeper and more accurate understanding of Mahan as a person and as a naval theorist can be gained by a meaningful examination of his religious beliefs. 

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Naval Institute Press, 2015

The Battle for Hell's Island: How a Small Band of Carrier Dive-Bombers Helped Save Guadalcanal
The Battle for Hell's Island: How a Small Band of Carrier Dive-Bombers Helped Save Guadalcanal

by Stephen L. Moore

Finalist for NOUS' 2016 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

Amid a seeming stalemate, a small group of U.S. Navy dive-bombers is called upon to help determine the island’s fate. When their carriers are lost, they are forced to operate from Henderson Field, a small dirt-and-gravel airstrip on Guadalcanal. 

They help form the Cactus Air Force, tasked with making dangerous flights from their jungle airfield while holding the line against Japanese air assaults, warship bombardments, and sniper attacks from the jungle. When the Japanese launch a final offensive to take the island, these dive-bomber jocks answer the call of duty—turning back an enemy warship armada, fighter planes, and a convoy of troop transports. 

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: New American Library (Penguin Random House), 2015

Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory
Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory

by Vincent O'Hara

Finalist for NOUS' 2016 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

World War II had many superlatives, but none like Operation Torch—a series of simultaneous amphibious landings, audacious commando and paratroop assaults, and the Atlantic’s biggest naval battle, fought across a two thousand mile span of coastline in French North Africa. The risk was enormous, the scale breathtaking, the preparations rushed, the training inadequate, and the ramifications profound.

Torch was the first combined Allied offensive and key to how the Second World War unfolded politically and militarily. Nonetheless, historians have treated the subject lightly, perhaps because of its many ambiguities. As a surprise invasion of a neutral nation, it recalled German attacks against countries like Belgium, Norway, and Yugoslavia. The operation’s rationale was to aid Russia but did not do this. It was supposed to get Americans troops into the fight against Germany but did so only because it failed to achieve its short-term military goals. There is still debate whether Torch advanced the fight against the Axis, or was a wasteful dispersion of Allied strength and actually prolonged the war.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Naval Institute Press, 2015

Hell from the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II's Greatest Kamikaze Attack
Hell from the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II's Greatest Kamikaze Attack

by John Wukovits

Finalist for NOUS' 2016 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

On April 16, 1945, the crewmen of the USS Laffey heroically withstood twenty-two kamikaze attacks at Okinawa in what the US Navy called "one of the great sea epics of the war." Using scores of personal interviews with survivors, the memoirs of crew members, and the sailors' wartime correspondence, historian John Wukovits breathes life into this nearly forgotten event and makes the ordeal of the Laffeyand her crew a story for the ages.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Da Capo Press, 2015

Neptune by Craig L. Symonds - 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award For Naval Literature
Neptune by Craig L. Symonds - 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award For Naval Literature

by Craig Symonds

Winner of NOUS' 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

Craig L. Symonds now offers the complete story of this Olympian effort, involving transports, escorts, gunfire support ships, and landing craft of every possible size and function. The obstacles to success were many. In addition to divergent strategic views and cultural frictions, the Anglo-Americans had to overcome German U-boats, Russian impatience, fierce competition for insufficient shipping, training disasters, and a thousand other impediments, including logistical bottlenecks and disinformation schemes. Symonds includes vivid portraits of the key decision-makers, from Franklin Roosevelt and Churchill, to Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, and Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, who commanded the naval element of the invasion. Indeed, the critical role of the naval forces--British and American, Coast Guard and Navy--is central throughout. 

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2014

Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II
Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II

by Jeffry Cox

Finalist for NOUS' 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

A fresh look at the disastrous Java Sea Campaign of 1941–42 which heralded a wave of Japanese naval victories in the Pacific but which eventually sowed the seeds of their eventual change in fortunes. 

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Osprey Publishing, 2014

The Burning Shore: How Hitler's U-Boats Brought World War II to America
The Burning Shore: How Hitler's U-Boats Brought World War II to America

by Ed Offley

Finalist for NOUS' 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

In The Burning Shore, acclaimed military reporter Ed Offley presents a thrilling account of the bloody U-boat offensive along America’s east coast during the first half of 1942, using the story of Degen’s three war patrols as a lens through which to view this forgotten chapter of World War II.

A gripping tale of heroism and sacrifice, The Burning Shore leads readers into a little-known theater of World War II, where Hitler’s U-boats came close to winning the Battle of the Atlantic before American sailors and airmen could finally drive them away.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Basic Books, 2014

One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War
One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War

by Bing West

Finalist for NOUS' 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

Battalion 3/5 suffered the highest number of casualties in the war in Afghanistan. This is the story of one platoon in that distinguished battalion.

“West shows the reality of modern warfare in a way that is utterly gripping.”—Max Boot, author of Invisible Armies

Bing West, a Marine combat veteran, served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. He has been on hundreds of patrols in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2015
 

Devotion, An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, And Sacrifice
Devotion, An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, And Sacrifice

by Adam Makos

Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Ballantine Books, 2015

Steam Coffin: Captain Moses Rogers and The Steamship Savannah Break the Barrier
Steam Coffin: Captain Moses Rogers and The Steamship Savannah Break the Barrier

by John Laurence Busch

The story told in STEAM COFFIN represents an important event in the history of humanity, because the Savannah is far more than the first "steamship."  With her successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, the human race recognized that it would be able to use an artificial power to alter time and space to practical effect on a global scale.

As such, the steamship Savannah represents the first example of globalized high technology in history. 

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Hodos Historia, 2010

Character: The Ultimate Success Factor
Character: The Ultimate Success Factor

by Dr. J. Phillip London

What creates success? Is it skill? Talent? Ambition? Luck?Expertise? Perhaps it’s knowing the right people, saying the right things or simply being at the right place at the right time.

It’s none of the above. While a variety of factors form our abilities and influence the events in our lives, there is only one thing that creates genuine success: Character. 

Based on the personal, corporate and military experiences of Dr. J. Phillip London, a successful defense industry executive, as well as many other real-life examples, this book presents the time-tested lessons behind character-driven success.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Fortis Publishing , 2013

Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor
Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor

by James M. Scott

The dramatic account of one of America’s most celebrated—and controversial—military campaigns: the Doolittle Raid.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2015

Iron Dawn: The Monitor, the Merrimack, and the Civil War Sea Battle that Changed History
The Frozen Chosen: The 1st Marine Division and the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Admiral Bill Halsey: A Naval Life
Congress Buys a Navy: Politics, Economics, and the Rise of American Naval Power, 1881-1921
Storm Over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Navy
Sea Miner
Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea
God and Sea Power: The Influence of Religion on Alfred Thayer Mahan
The Battle for Hell's Island: How a Small Band of Carrier Dive-Bombers Helped Save Guadalcanal
Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory
Hell from the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II's Greatest Kamikaze Attack
Neptune by Craig L. Symonds - 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award For Naval Literature
Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II
The Burning Shore: How Hitler's U-Boats Brought World War II to America
One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War
Devotion, An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, And Sacrifice
Steam Coffin: Captain Moses Rogers and The Steamship Savannah Break the Barrier
Character: The Ultimate Success Factor
Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor
Iron Dawn: The Monitor, the Merrimack, and the Civil War Sea Battle that Changed History

by Richard Snow

Winner of NOUS' 2017 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

No single sea battle has had more far-reaching consequences than the one fought in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in 1862. The Confederacy, with no fleet of its own, took a radical step to combat the Union blockade, building an iron fort containing ten heavy guns on the hull of a captured Union frigate named the Merrimack. The North got word of the project, and, in panicky desperation, commissioned an eccentric inventor named John Ericsson to build the Monitor, an entirely revolutionary iron warship. Rushed through to completion in just one hundred days, it mounted only two guns, but they were housed in a shot-proof revolving turret. The ship hurried south from Brooklyn, only to arrive to find the Merrimack had already sunk half the Union fleet—and would be back to finish the job. When she returned, the Monitor was there. She fought the Merrimack to a standstill, and, many believe, saved the Union cause. As soon as word of the fight spread, Great Britain—the foremost sea power of the day—ceased work on all wooden ships. A thousand-year-old tradition ended and the naval future opened.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Scribner, 2016

The Frozen Chosen: The 1st Marine Division and the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir

by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

Finalist for NOUS' 2017 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

An account of the breakout from the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea by the First Marine Division from November to December 1950, following the intervention of Red China in the Korean War. 

Based on first-person interviews from surviving veterans who came to be known as the “Frozen Chosen,” this is the incredible story of heroism and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, as a handful of Marines fought desperately against wave after wave of Chinese forces. Sometimes forced into desperate hand-to-hand fighting in intense cold, cut off from reinforcements, and with dwindling supplies and ammunition, the fighting retreat from Chosin marked one of the darkest moments for Western forces in Korea, it but would go on to resonate with generations of Marines as a symbol of the Marine Corps' dogged determination, fighting skill, and never-say-die attitude on the battlefield.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Osprey Publishing, 2016

Admiral Bill Halsey: A Naval Life

by Thomas Alexander Hughes

Finalist for NOUS' 2017 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

William Halsey, the most famous naval officer of World War II, was known for fearlessness, steely resolve, and impulsive errors. In this definitive biography, Thomas Hughes punctures the popular caricature of the fighting admiral to present a revealing human portrait of his personal and professional life as it was lived in times of war and peace.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Harvard University Press, 2016

Congress Buys a Navy: Politics, Economics, and the Rise of American Naval Power, 1881-1921

by Paul E. Pedisich

Finalist for NOUS' 2017 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

Offers a new look at the nexus of U.S. politics, economics, and the funding and creation of what is thought of as the "modern" U.S. Navy. Filling in significant gaps in prior economic histories of the era, Paul Pedisich analyzes the role played by nine presidencies and cabinets, sixteen Navy secretaries, and countless U.S. congressmen whose work and actions shaped and funded our forces at sea.

Surveying the development of the new steel Navy from 1881 to 1921, Pedisich's narrative begins with James Garfield's appointment of William Hunt as Secretary of the Navy and the formation of the forty-seventh Congress in March 1881, and continues on to the reduction of the naval forces by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1921.

While the main acts in U.S. political history often privilege the actions of the President and his cabinet, the author brings to light the individual rationales, voting blocs, agendas, and political intrigue that drove this process of making a modern Navy.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Naval Institute Press, 2016

Storm Over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Navy

by John Prados

Finalist for NOUS' 2017 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

As Allied ships prepared for the invasion of the Philippine island of Leyte, every available warship, submarine and airplane was placed on alert while Japanese admiral Kurita Takeo stalked Admiral William F. Halsey’s unwitting American armada. It was the beginning of the epic Battle of Leyte Gulf—the greatest naval battle in history. 
 
Acclaimed historian John Prados gives readers an unprecedented look at both sides of this titanic naval clash, demonstrating that, despite the Americans’ overwhelming superiority in firepower and supplies, the Japanese achieved their goal, inflicting grave damage on U.S. forces. And for the first time, readers will have access to the naval intelligence reports that influenced key strategic decisions on both sides.
 
Drawing upon a wealth of untapped sources—U.S. and Japanese military records, diaries, declassified intelligence reports and postwar interrogation transcripts—Prados offers up a masterful narrative of naval conflict on an epic scale.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Caliber, Penguin Group (USA), 2016

Sea Miner

by Chuck Veit

Sea Miner is the reconstructed story of the U.S. Navy’s ultra-secret torpedo development program of 1862-3, which resulted in a ship-launched rocket-powered kinetic energy projectile a century ahead of its time. The brainchild of Army Major Edward B. Hunt, the veil of secrecy lasted over 150 years, until an odd newspaper headline provided the first hint that such advanced research had been successfully undertaken at so early a date. Sea Miner received the 2016 Award in Narrative Non-fiction from the Independent Publishers of New England.

Other books of interest include A Dog Before a Soldier, which tells the story of the U.S. Navy in the War of the Rebellion, and Raising Missouri, that presents the never-before-told epic of the loss and salvage of one of our first two steam-powered warships.

Ordering Info: chuckveitbooks.com  Amazon

Published: 2016

Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea

by Tim McGrath

Winner of NOUS' 2016 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

America in 1775 was on the verge of revolution—or, more likely, disastrous defeat. After England’s King George sent hundreds of ships to bottle up American harbors and prey on American shipping, John Adams of Massachusetts proposed a bold solution: The Continental Congress should raise a navy.

“A meticulous, adrenaline-filled account of the earliest days of the Continental Navy.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Laurence Bergreen

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: NAL; Reprint edition 2015

God and Sea Power: The Influence of Religion on Alfred Thayer Mahan

by Suzanne Geissler

Finalist for NOUS' 2016 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

Gallons of ink have been used analyzing Adm. Alfred Thayer Mahan's thoughts, his naval theories, and his contribution to sea power. One vital aspect of his life, however, has been ignored or misunderstood by many scholars: his religious faith. Mahan was a professing Christian who took his faith with the utmost seriousness, and as a result, his worldview was inherently Christian. He wrote and spoke extensively on religious issues, a point frequently ignored by many historians. This is a fundamental mistake, for a deeper and more accurate understanding of Mahan as a person and as a naval theorist can be gained by a meaningful examination of his religious beliefs. 

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Naval Institute Press, 2015

The Battle for Hell's Island: How a Small Band of Carrier Dive-Bombers Helped Save Guadalcanal

by Stephen L. Moore

Finalist for NOUS' 2016 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

Amid a seeming stalemate, a small group of U.S. Navy dive-bombers is called upon to help determine the island’s fate. When their carriers are lost, they are forced to operate from Henderson Field, a small dirt-and-gravel airstrip on Guadalcanal. 

They help form the Cactus Air Force, tasked with making dangerous flights from their jungle airfield while holding the line against Japanese air assaults, warship bombardments, and sniper attacks from the jungle. When the Japanese launch a final offensive to take the island, these dive-bomber jocks answer the call of duty—turning back an enemy warship armada, fighter planes, and a convoy of troop transports. 

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: New American Library (Penguin Random House), 2015

Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory

by Vincent O'Hara

Finalist for NOUS' 2016 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

World War II had many superlatives, but none like Operation Torch—a series of simultaneous amphibious landings, audacious commando and paratroop assaults, and the Atlantic’s biggest naval battle, fought across a two thousand mile span of coastline in French North Africa. The risk was enormous, the scale breathtaking, the preparations rushed, the training inadequate, and the ramifications profound.

Torch was the first combined Allied offensive and key to how the Second World War unfolded politically and militarily. Nonetheless, historians have treated the subject lightly, perhaps because of its many ambiguities. As a surprise invasion of a neutral nation, it recalled German attacks against countries like Belgium, Norway, and Yugoslavia. The operation’s rationale was to aid Russia but did not do this. It was supposed to get Americans troops into the fight against Germany but did so only because it failed to achieve its short-term military goals. There is still debate whether Torch advanced the fight against the Axis, or was a wasteful dispersion of Allied strength and actually prolonged the war.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Naval Institute Press, 2015

Hell from the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II's Greatest Kamikaze Attack

by John Wukovits

Finalist for NOUS' 2016 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

On April 16, 1945, the crewmen of the USS Laffey heroically withstood twenty-two kamikaze attacks at Okinawa in what the US Navy called "one of the great sea epics of the war." Using scores of personal interviews with survivors, the memoirs of crew members, and the sailors' wartime correspondence, historian John Wukovits breathes life into this nearly forgotten event and makes the ordeal of the Laffeyand her crew a story for the ages.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Da Capo Press, 2015

Neptune by Craig L. Symonds - 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award For Naval Literature

by Craig Symonds

Winner of NOUS' 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

Craig L. Symonds now offers the complete story of this Olympian effort, involving transports, escorts, gunfire support ships, and landing craft of every possible size and function. The obstacles to success were many. In addition to divergent strategic views and cultural frictions, the Anglo-Americans had to overcome German U-boats, Russian impatience, fierce competition for insufficient shipping, training disasters, and a thousand other impediments, including logistical bottlenecks and disinformation schemes. Symonds includes vivid portraits of the key decision-makers, from Franklin Roosevelt and Churchill, to Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, and Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, who commanded the naval element of the invasion. Indeed, the critical role of the naval forces--British and American, Coast Guard and Navy--is central throughout. 

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2014

Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II

by Jeffry Cox

Finalist for NOUS' 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

A fresh look at the disastrous Java Sea Campaign of 1941–42 which heralded a wave of Japanese naval victories in the Pacific but which eventually sowed the seeds of their eventual change in fortunes. 

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Osprey Publishing, 2014

The Burning Shore: How Hitler's U-Boats Brought World War II to America

by Ed Offley

Finalist for NOUS' 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

In The Burning Shore, acclaimed military reporter Ed Offley presents a thrilling account of the bloody U-boat offensive along America’s east coast during the first half of 1942, using the story of Degen’s three war patrols as a lens through which to view this forgotten chapter of World War II.

A gripping tale of heroism and sacrifice, The Burning Shore leads readers into a little-known theater of World War II, where Hitler’s U-boats came close to winning the Battle of the Atlantic before American sailors and airmen could finally drive them away.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Basic Books, 2014

One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War

by Bing West

Finalist for NOUS' 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

Battalion 3/5 suffered the highest number of casualties in the war in Afghanistan. This is the story of one platoon in that distinguished battalion.

“West shows the reality of modern warfare in a way that is utterly gripping.”—Max Boot, author of Invisible Armies

Bing West, a Marine combat veteran, served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. He has been on hundreds of patrols in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2015
 

Devotion, An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, And Sacrifice

by Adam Makos

Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Ballantine Books, 2015

Steam Coffin: Captain Moses Rogers and The Steamship Savannah Break the Barrier

by John Laurence Busch

The story told in STEAM COFFIN represents an important event in the history of humanity, because the Savannah is far more than the first "steamship."  With her successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, the human race recognized that it would be able to use an artificial power to alter time and space to practical effect on a global scale.

As such, the steamship Savannah represents the first example of globalized high technology in history. 

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Hodos Historia, 2010

Character: The Ultimate Success Factor

by Dr. J. Phillip London

What creates success? Is it skill? Talent? Ambition? Luck?Expertise? Perhaps it’s knowing the right people, saying the right things or simply being at the right place at the right time.

It’s none of the above. While a variety of factors form our abilities and influence the events in our lives, there is only one thing that creates genuine success: Character. 

Based on the personal, corporate and military experiences of Dr. J. Phillip London, a successful defense industry executive, as well as many other real-life examples, this book presents the time-tested lessons behind character-driven success.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: Fortis Publishing , 2013

Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor

by James M. Scott

The dramatic account of one of America’s most celebrated—and controversial—military campaigns: the Doolittle Raid.

Ordering Info: Amazon

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2015

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