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IEWS An Encyclopedia of Naval History, by Anrhony Bruce and William Cogar (Facrs on File, New York NY, 1998, 384pp, ill us, index, ISBN 0-8 160-697- 1; $5 0hc; ISBN 08160-4068-0; $24.95 pb) Covering rhe period 1500 to rh e present, rhis fin e work gives an accurate accounting of matters as parricular as rh e sinking of rhe armored cru iser Blucher ar rhe Bar ri e of Dogger Bank in 1915 and as ge neral as rhe evolution and life-s pan of rhe car rack as a sh ip rype-a rype incorrec tl y d efin ed in too many historical works, bur well handled here. In cisive biographies of naval leaders, go ing down ro rh e level of Royal Navy Treasurer Rob err Mansell , who flour ished in early Sruarr rimes, or Roberr Coo ntz (US C h ief of Naval Operations, 1919-21 ) provide a val uable reso urce. Ir's worrh rhe price of admission jusr to be able to hunr down lirrle-known peo ple whose names pop up in naval narratives. And here yo u'll read jusr why Cowper Coles's radi cal barrleship Captain sank in a gale, raki ng her designer wirh her. You' ll also find norable appreciations of such giants as Drake, Jo hn Paul Jones, and Scheer. In an y work so comprehensive, error is bou nd to creep in, b ur rhis reviewer found only a few debatable points, such as citing a 100-to n size for Drake's Golden Hind. We know rhar rh is is an undersrarem enr of rh e Hind's acrual tonnage, a reductio n granted by rh e Crown as an allowance to reduce po rr duri es for rhis usefu l trader/wa rship. T he naval campaigns are searchingly analyzed , wirh chrono logical rabies and criti cal co mmentary, and abundanr illusrrar ions fles h our rhe narrar ive. Valuab le bibliogra phical cirarions po int rhe way to furrh er research . In all, rhis wi ll be a wellrhumbed addirion to the library of anyo ne pursuin g naval studies, and a useful reference wo rk for general readers whose reading rakes rhem seaward from rime to rime. PETER STA FORD

Th e Nelson Almanac: A Book of D ays Recording Nelson's Life and the Events that Shaped His Era, edited by D av id

44

H arri s (Naval Insrirute Press, Annapolis MD, 1998, 193 pp, illus, biblio, index, ISB l-55 75 0-47-7;$38.95 hc) Few men in histo ry march rh e complexiry of rhis m an w ho redes igned Brirish naval tacrics and practices-and sidetracked Napoleon 's pl ans for wo rld dominarion , thus changing the course of wes tern civilization . The book pain rs in brilliant colors Nelson's abiliry to act incisively, decisively and courageously in rhe heat of barrle. Ir gives us a porrrait of a remarkably perceptive and intelli ge nt leader motivated by d evotion to dury and co untry, characterized by loyalty to his o ffi cers and his men, who also combin ed weakness wirh un bounded energy and derermination . More than rhis, the book chronicles in detail four barrl es in whi ch Nelso n neurralized four enemy fleers , spells our rhe historical circumstances in whi ch rh ese barrles were foughr, and makes clear how they sapped Napoleo n's capacity to hold alli es and ach ieve military success. They are: Cape St. Vincent, 1897;Aboukir Bay, 1798; Copen hagen, 1801; and Trafalga r, 1805. These events and orhers are narrated in 12 well-researched chap ters wrirren by respected experts. T hey are fl eshed our by nearly 60 vignerres and an almanac covering contem porary events and suppl ying firsr-hand informarion and insights into Nelson'scharacrerand beliefs. Readin g the vignerres is a treas ure hunt. This telling of rh e sto ry of Nelso n and h is era, from before his entry inro rhe navy ar age 13 to rhe afterm ath of his dearh ar 47, can be d escribed in one wo rd: com prehensive. The book's pages are liberally, ye t nearly, spattered wirh beaurifu l ill usrrations fairhful to rh e times and brought to rhis reviewer's mind rh e old saw, "A rhing of beaury is a joy forever. " WILFREDGAG ON

Sebring, Florida

They Couldn't Have Won the War without Us!, edited by Pete Peterso n (Lead Mine Press, 809 Spring Street, Galena IL 61036, 227pp, !SB 1-889 103- 0 3 -9 ; $ l 4.95 pb) Merchant seamen manned the vast fl eet of sh ips that carried alm osr all the supplies delivered to the far-flung wa r fronts . Ar first th ey sa iled un arm ed and unescorred and rh us suffered heavy losses. They Couldn't Have Won the War without Us!co ntains the

sto ries of nin ereen merchant marine vererans and o ne Navy Armed G uard gunn er from the C hicago area. They rel! of how rh ey lea rn ed abour th e merchanr se rvi ce and cam e to join ir, rheir rraining and their expe ri ences borh at sea and in loading and discharging ports . T hese rwe n ry mariners sailed in a roral of 154 differe nr ships. Among rhem, rhey served in a lm osr all rhe jobs aboard ship. They served in all rhearers, includin g th e dreaded Murmansk run . Seven suffered rhrough rhe sriflin g hear of rhe Persian G ulf. Three of rh e men wenr rhrough rhe agon ies of being torpedoed, wirh rwo ships losr and one limping back 50 miles to G ibralrar wirh large ho les in rhe hu ll. Many of rhem ex peri enced bombings by enemy aircraft w hi le d ischarging in war zo ne ports. T his book shou ld interest all readers, relling Americans abour th e merchanr marine and how rhe men who did rhe work delivered rh e war materials to rh e Allied fighring fo rces. Merchanr marine ve rerans should be pleased tha r rheir story is being to ld by those who did the job. EUGENE H ARROWER

Portland, Oregon

Merchan t Marine D ays, My Life in World War II, by David Lamonr Lee (Na rw ha l Press, In c., Charleston SC, 177pp , illus, appen, nores, bibli o, ISBN 1886391-20-3; $29.95 hc; ISBN 1-88639 12 1-1 ; $ 19.95 pb) This is a ve ry perso nal account of the aurhor's life during World War II ar sea. Sworn into the Unired Srares Maririme Service in 1942, he was sent to boor camp in Po rr Hueneme in Californi a, and rhen proceed ed to sea on coastal and offshore rankers a nd then on the inevirable Li berry ships, dry cargo and ranker. As hore for officer rraining in 1944 and 1945, he was 3 rd mare aboard a Liberty w hen he was discharged in 1946. Hi s book gives a very good acco unr of life aboard ship , rhe pleasures and frusrrarions du r in g World War II in rhe merchanr navy. Ir a lso di scusses rhe Armed G uard , anorher o rgan izarion nor well covered in srandard histories. There are excell enr photographs of each ofhis ships as well as many orher vie,ws oflife afloar and as ho re. To see how rh e auth o r's experience firs into rhe scope of rrh e WWII merchant m arine, go to Heroes im Dungarees by J oh n Bunker (NaSEA H ISTORY 89, SUMMER 1999

Sea History 089 - Summer 1999  

8 THE CAPE HORN ROAD, XIX. Steamships Take Over the North Atlantic, Driving the Sailing Ship into Increasingly Remote Trades, by Peter Stanf...

Sea History 089 - Summer 1999  

8 THE CAPE HORN ROAD, XIX. Steamships Take Over the North Atlantic, Driving the Sailing Ship into Increasingly Remote Trades, by Peter Stanf...

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