Marines on Wake Island fire a .30-caliber Browning machine gun on 23 December 1941—the final day of fighting—in this illustration by artist Albin Henning.

On Our Scope

Eric Mills
December 2020
There are arch-foes whose names remain forever linked: Montcalm and Wolfe. Holmes and Moriarty. And, of especially enduring interest to us, Nelson and Napoleon. Arguably even more than the obvious ...
The Royal Australian Navy Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate Darwin intercepts the Iraqi motor vessel Tamdur smuggling prohibited goods in the Gulf of Oman, September 1990.

Desert Shield at 30

By Rear Admiral William M. Fogarty, U.S. Navy (Retired)
December 2020
An excerpt from featured interviews with many of the key players in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
You Find 'Em 1967

In Contact

December 2020
5-inch/38 and the Kamikaze Thomas Wildenberg Reading Trent Hone’s article “Countering the Kamikaze” (October, pp. 28–35) leads one to conclude that the combination of the 5-inch/38-caliber gun firing a proximity-fused ...
courtesy battleship north carolina

Naval History News

December 2020
Remembering Ed Bearss (1923–2020) Edwin Cole Bearss, longtime Chief Historian of the National Park Service and a giant in the field of historical preservation, died 15 September at the age ...
1 August 1798: The French 74-gunner La Spartiate, her mainmast split, sends sailors in the rigging crashing over the side, joining their comrades flailing in the briny. In the left-center background,  the chaotic scene is illuminated by the explosion of the French flagship l’Orient. Nelson’s decisive victory at the Battle of the Nile led to the disintegration of Napoleon’s army in Egypt. But victory came only on the heels of a confused and uncertain sea chase.

For Want of Frigates!

By Mark Carlson
December 2020
It was a cat-and-mouse game between two icons—Nelson and Napoleon, sea power and land power—and it would culminate in smashing victory for one and crushing defeat for the other.
An F4F-3 Wildcat of Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 211 circles around to attack a Japanese G3M2 bomber, in Marcus W. Stewart Jr.’s painting Cat and Mouse over Wake.

Wake’s Valiant Aviators

By Colonel Richard D. Camp, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), with Suzanne Pool
December 2020
A stirring account of Marine Fighting Squadron 211’s toothand-claw defense of Wake Island in the face of the relentless December 1941 Japanese onslaught.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Jr.’s personnel policies and focus on sea control in the lean budget years of the 1970s can offer lessons to the present-day Navy.

Lessons from Admiral Elmo

By Commander Joel Holwitt, U.S. Navy
December 2020
The First Prize winner in the CNO Naval History Essay Contest draws valuable insights from the paradigm-shifting tenure of a revolutionary Chief of Naval Operations: Elmo Zumwalt.
Lieutenant Curtis Dosé lines up his F-4J Phantom II fighter for a landing on the USS Constellation after having downed an enemy MiG-21 over North Vietnam. Philip E. West’s painting is titled Silver Kite 211, the call sign for Dosé’s aircraft.

Full Circle

By Fred H. Allison
December 2020
From air combat over North Vietnam to closure in present-day Hanoi: a story of reconciliation and the healing of old wounds.

Exclusive Excerpt: ‘Tsushima’

By Jean-Yves Delitte and Giuseppe Baiguera
December 2020
The Russian and Japanese fleets steam toward their fateful showdown in this sampling from the graphic novel Great Naval Battles of the Twentieth Century, published by Dead Reckoning.
Naval History Book Reviews

Book Reviews

December 2020
Bloody Okinawa: The Last Great Battle of World War II Joseph Wheelan. New York: Hachette Books, 2020. 419 pp. Photos. Maps. Notes. Biblio. Index. $40. Reviewed by Captain Chris Hemler ...
Pieces of the Past

Pieces of the Past

By Eric Mills
December 2020
If you’re a naval-oriented collector, perhaps you own a battleship model, be it a plastic Revell or a handcrafted beauty worth hundreds of dollars.
USS Wisconsin (BB-64) with damage


By Scot Christenson
December 2020
When the Royal Navy commissioned the 13th Tribal-class destroyer in on 7 June 1917, it unleashed a floating Frankenstein’s monster. HMS Zubian was actually stitched together from the best ...