An example of a "cold war" turned hot can be found in the American Civil War. Hi stories of that war have traditionally taken a rather parochial view of the Confederate Navy's role in the war, greatly influenced by the accepted contention that the Confederacy's naval records were burned during the evacuation of Richmond. Raimondo Luraghi brings a fresh and objective view to the subject in his A History of the Confederate Navy, the first of its kind in the 20th century. Luraghi is an Italian professor of history at the University of Genoa, whose nationality lends objectivity and who, undaunted by the obstacle of lost American records, combed the archives of four other nations to uncover information that shatters many prevailing myths and presents the Confederate Navy in a new light.
Steeped in controversy, yet revered by many as the father of amphibious warfare, the enigmatic Earl Hancock "Pete" Ellis is the subject of a new biography by Professor Dirk Ballendorf and retired Marine colonel and well-known author, Merrill "Skip" Bartlett. Pete Ellis: An Amphibious Warfare Prophet, 1880-1923 recounts the tempestuous life of this World War I hero who, realizing that his career was suffering from the effects of depression and alcohol, set off on an ill-fated undercover mission into Micronesia to expose Japanese treaty violations and to gather intelligence for a Pacific island-hopping campaign he felt would be needed eventually. Many controversial issues surround this last mission, including whether he had the approval of top U.S. military officials, whether he was poisoned by the Japanese or merely drank himself to death, and whether his plans and ideas helped saved the Marine Corps from extinction. Professor Ballendorf and Colonel Bartlett have captured the essence of this mysterious man and made a significant contribution to the history of the development of amphibious warfare.
Ellis's prescience, of course, proved accurate—and within two decades a second world war had broken out. The maritime aspects of that war are the subject of Jurgen Rohwer's War at Sea, 1939- 1945 . This superbly illustrated book includes previously inaccessible pictorial and documentary information from the former Eastern Bloc countries and describes the interrelated nature of the events taking place in the many seas and oceans of the world. Rohwer served in the German Navy during the war and brings rare insight to this sweeping work.
Theodore Mason also participated in World War II, but his experiences were as an American bluejacket. In his Rendezvous with Destiny: A Sailor's War, Mason recounts his war years as an enlisted man, pulling no punches and telling his story in the style that has become his trademark. Enlisting in the Navy in 1939, he received his baptism of fire at Pearl Harbor and remained in service through V-J Day. His recollections are vivid and accurate and there is a large dose of opinion that makes this memoir colorful, revealing, sometimes contentious, and always entertaining.
Butch O'Hare's view of the war was quite different from Ted Mason's. This heroic naval aviator unfortunately did not live to see V-J day nor to write his memoirs, so historians Steve Ewing and John B. Lundstrom have recreated his engrossing life story in Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare. O'Hare is credited with saving the carrier Lexington by downing five attacking Japanese bombers in what has been called the most daring single action in the hi story of combat aviation. This probing biography investigates the events surrounding O'Hare's death a year after this encounter—which brought him the Medal of Honor—and also examines his father's much-debated role in the conviction of Chicago mobster Al Capone. Retired Navy Captain Steve Millikin, editor of The Hook Magazine, writes, "In an age in which heroism seems limited to sports figures and entertainers, this story shakes our senses with the true nature of heroism."
Yet another view of World War II is provided in No Bended Knee: The Battle for Guadalcanal by Marine General (then Lieutenant Colonel) Merrill B. Twining, who participated in this pivotal campaign as operations officer of the 1st Marine Division. His account is first hand, thought-provoking, and passionate. It confirms, supplements, and challenges the great volume of work that has been done on this grueling and unique campaign.
Total war yielded to a more limited version when Communism and the West confronted one another in Korea. Former Marine 1st Lieutenant Joseph Owen recalls his experiences in that so-called "police action" in his Colder Than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir. Owen served with a rifle company hastily assembled from a mix of experienced regulars and raw recruits. Inspiring gallantry, gruesome casualties, frozen rations, terrifying enemy night assaults, hand-to-hand combat in foxholes, and patrols through Chinese lines make an intriguing tale as well as providing some significant food for thought, offering lessons in leadership and a behind-the-scenes look at the problems encountered in a war strategists called limited.
At the conclusion of another limited war, U.S. Marines, sailors, and airmen faced hostile fire in an expedition classified as "operations other than war" on the Cambodian island of Koh Tang. The details and excitement of that 1975 engagement known most commonly as the Mayaguez incident are contained in A Very Short War: The Mayaguez and the Battle of Koh Tang by John F. Guilmartin, Jr. Retired Rear Admiral William J. Holland describes this book as "Clausewitz written by Louis L'Amour" and adds that "for the Marines on Koh Tang, the helicopter crews who put them there and took them off, for the ships' companies of the Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7) and Harold E. Holt (FF-1074), this was war in every respect."
In his Spy Sub: A Top Secret Mission to the Bottom of the Pacific, Roger C. Dunham recalls his experiences during a very sensitive Cold War mission that can be told even today only by changing names and making technical modifications. Known in the Pentagon as "The Hunt for Red September," this story proves the old adage "truth is stranger than fiction." Twenty-eight years ago a nuclear armed Soviet submarine exploded and disappeared into the depths of the Pacific. A U.S. submarine, with Dunham on board as a member of her crew, was dispatched on a super-sensitive mission to find it. With a dramatic sense usually only found in novels, Dunham recreates the events of this very unusual mission.
In sharp contrast to the murky depths inhabited by cold-warriors like Roger Dunham and his kind, the "wild blue yonder" over the Persian Gulf is the setting of Sherman Baldwin 's Ironclaw: A Navy Carrier Pilot's Gulf War Experience. Baldwin flew EA-6B Prowlers in Gulf War operations and h