Naval History Magazine - December 2018 Volume 32, Number 6

Adobe Folio ID: 
Cover Story

Vice Admiral Bernard L. Austin (1902–79) had a distinguished naval career that included service in World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War. He saw a good deal of action during...



  • General David Shoup, USMC
    On Our Scope
    Richard G. Latture

    Seventy-five years ago, two future Marine Corps giants were in dire straits. In the Central Pacific, Colonel David Shoup and Combat Team 2 were pinned down on the beaches of Tarawa Atoll’s heavily defended Betio Island. Meanwhile in the...

  • Chairman Mao Zedong
    The Chinese Navy's Missing Years
    Captain Dale C. Rielage, U.S. Navy (Retired)

    The U.S. Navy should arm itself with China’s naval history to better fight future battles, both political and kinetic.

    The Chinese Navy has gone global. Tasked with implementing a national security strategy focused...

    Killing the Prisoners: What Did Decatur Order in Tripoli Harbor?
    Frederick C. Leiner

    When the Intrepid, a U.S. Navy ketch commanded by Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, entered Tripoli Harbor on a dark night in February 1804, she had an important mission: to destroy the captured frigate Philadelphia. The Bashaw of...

Subscriber Only Content

  • Captains Arleigh Burke (left) and Bernard Austin in the World War II Pacific
    As I Recall
    Vice Admiral Bernard L. Austin, U.S. Navy (Retired)

    Vice Admiral Bernard L. Austin (1902–79) had a distinguished naval career that included service in World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War. He saw a good deal of action during World War II, including off Bougainville (see related...

  • Ship level diagram
    Bluejacket's Manual — The Bullseye: 'Navigating' within a Ship
    Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Cutler, U.S. Navy (Retired)

    Just as a town or city has a system using street signs and addresses to help you find your way around, so does a Navy ship. Each space in a Navy vessel has a unique identifier that consists of a yellow rectangle with black letters and numbers,...

  • Engines of Rebellion Cover
    Book Reviews

    Engines of Rebellion: Confederate Ironclads and Steam Engineering in the American Civil War

    Saxon T. Bisbee. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2018...

  • Captain Thomas Kelley, USN (Ret.)
    In Contact

    Pacific ‘Gem’s’ Rescue Role

    Commander Thomas “Duke” Wayne, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)

  • World War II gallery at the National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy
    Museum Report: The Torpedo Bay Navy Museum
    Andrew C. A. Jampoler

    The Royal New Zealand Navy’s Torpedo Bay Navy Museum, on a bluff overlooking Waitemata Harbour at the east end of King Edward Parade in Devonport, and the country’s Maritime Museum, on the downtown Auckland Viaduct Harbor waterfront...

  • RIM-7 Seasparrow missile is fired from the trainable Mk 29 launcher.
    Armaments & Innovations
    Thomas Wildenberg

    The U.S. Navy began working with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in the early 1960s on a program called the basic point-defense missile system (BPDMS) to defend against the Soviet Navy’s Styx antiship missile....

  • Three generations of a family Navy legacy: The McCain Family
    Naval History News

    Delving into the Legendary Nimitz Graybook

    It’s been called the Holy Grail of Pacific war research—seven large volumes of “Command Summary” documents, which originally were bound in gray-colored binders. They...

  • Profile drawing of USRC Bear
    Historic Ships: More than Nine Lives
    J. M. Caiella

    Few ships logged a career anything like that of the Bear. Over her 89 years—47 in commissioned U.S. service—she served as a sealer, was commissioned in the U.S. Navy three times over the span of 60 years, served the Treasury...

  • Marine Assault on Tarawa by John Hamilton
    Combat Leadership Amid Chaos
    Daniel E. Rogers

    In command of all Marines ashore during the harrowing first 36 hours at Tarawa, Colonel David Shoup rallied his men, turned the tide of battle, and set his career on a high, arcing trajectory.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Victor “Brute” Krulak, USMC
    Raid on Choiseul
    John Prados

    A Marine Corps legend-in-the-making and a future U.S. President were key players in a diversionary operation whose objective was to raise as much hell as possible.

    The South Pacific. Fall 1943. After six grueling months of...

  • Type 4 ceramic grenades
    Pieces of the Past
    Eric Mills

    They may look like Christmas tree ornaments—but their origin is a bit deadlier. While they now sport beautiful decorative paintings depicting Mount Fuji through the four seasons, these colorful orbs actually began their existence as World...

  • Kaiser Wilhelm II and the German General Staff attend an army maneuver in 1913.
    Analyzing Germany's Downfall
    Norman Friedman

    Led into World War I by its generals, Germany was unprepared to fight a maritime conflict despite possessing the world’s second largest navy.

  • Frederick C. Yohn, "The Last Night of the War"
    The War's Final Night
    Colonel Richard D. Camp, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)

    Despite the impending end of World War I, U.S. Marines ‘resolutely and unflinchingly’ weathered artillery and machine-gun fire to cross the Meuse River.

  • Flames engulf Cavite Navy Yard in Manila Bay on 10 December 1941
    Disaster at Cavite
    John J. Domalgalski

    The opening salvo of World War II in the Pacific took aim at the battleships at Pearl Harbor. Also decimated days later was a U.S. naval base that lay at Japan’s front door.

  • Acts of Valor: Richard McCool, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy
    Kevin Knodell and Kelly Swann


  • The USS Stevens (DD-479) tests the ship’s aircraft recovery system.
    Historic Aircraft: A Floatplane on a . . . What? (Part 1)
    Norman Polmar, Author, Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet

    Beginning in World War I, the U.S. Navy operated floatplanes from battleships and cruisers—and from a few destroyers and a submarine. Destroyers originally were developed in the late 1800s as torpedo boat destroyers, but by the World War II...


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