The Grey Wolves of Eriboll

The Grey Wolves of Eriboll. By David M. Hird, Whittles Publishing, Dunbeath, second edition 2018.

Reviewed by John Johnston

ONE impressive image from the Second World War is of Admiral Sir Max Horton, commander in chief, Western Approaches taking the surrender of the German U-boat flotilla at Lisahally on Lough Foyle, near Londonderry in Northern Ireland on 14 May 1945. The pictures and accompanying press and newsreel reports of the event might nowadays be described as ‘fake news’ because the boats had already surrendered at Loch Eriboll, near Cape Wrath on the north coast of Scotland. Continue reading

Bayly’s war. WWI anti-sub history

Bayly’s War: The Battle for the Western Approaches in the First World War. By Steve R. Dunn. Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, 2018.
Reviewed by John Johnston

THIS book addresses one of the less explored aspects of the First World War, the British response to the U-boat offensives around the coasts of Ireland and in the waters off the southwest of Great Britain. Drawing on printed and documentary sources from Britain, Ireland, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand, Steve Dunn describes how the Royal Navy used aggressive patrolling by sloops and auxiliaries, armed merchantmen and fishing vessels, to deter attacks on shipping and developed decoys, known as Q-ships, to lure U-boats to their destruction. Continue reading

An Illustrated History of the US Navy in Vietnam

Combat at Close Quarters: An Illustrated History of the US Navy in the Vietnam War. Edited by Edward J. Marolda. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2018.
Reviewed by David Hobbs

IT is now more than half a century since President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the commencement of Operation ROLLING THUNDER, the US bombing campaign that was intended to discourage the Hanoi regime’s direction and support for the insurgency by the Viet Cong against the Republic of Vietnam. Continue reading

The Other Norfolk Admirals

The Other Norfolk Admirals: Myngs, Narborough and Shovell. By Dr Simon Harris. Helion and Company, Warwick, 2017. Hardback illustrated with 14 maps and 32 black and white photographs.
Reviewed by David Hobbs

THE author is a retired consultant anaesthetist who lives in the UK and has a long-standing enthusiasm for naval history. He has written books on a variety of topics, including an earlier biography of Sir Cloudesley Shovell after his interest was stimulated by the sale of pewter chamber pot from the admiral’s sunken flagship. Continue reading

The Decline of European Naval Forces

The Decline of European Naval Forces: Challenges to Sea power in an Age of Fiscal Austerity and Political Uncertainty. By Jeremy Stohs. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2018.
Reviewed by David Hobbs

JEREMY STOHS is an Austrian American defence analyst at Kiel University’s Institute for Security Policy and its associated Centre for Maritime Strategy and Security. He is also a non-resident fellow of the Austrian Centre for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies and this book is one of a series produced by Kiel University on sea power. The author is, therefore, well connected and his subject is a timely reminder of the importance of sea power that has the potential to stimulate thought and discussion. Continue reading

Know thy enemy: Naval intelligence in SE Asia

Knowing the Enemy: Naval Intelligence in Asia by Richard A. Mobley and Edward J. Marolda
Reviewed by LCDR Mark Munson, USN

Knowing the Enemy: Naval Intelligence in Asia by Richard A. Mobley and Edward J. Marolda is the seventh book in the Naval History and Heritage Command’s The U.S. Navy and the Vietnam War series, and addresses the role of U.S. Navy intelligence in the Vietnam War. It serves as useful reference for both students of the Vietnam War and Navy intelligence, illuminating both the drastic technological changes that have taken place over the last 50 years, as well as the unchanging nature of core intelligence principles. Continue reading

Seven at Santa Cruz: The Life of Stanley ‘Swede’ Vejtasa

Seven at Santa Cruz: The Life of Fighter Ace Stanley ‘Swede’ Vejtasa. By Ted Edwards. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2018
Reviewed by Tim Coyle

The recent discovery of the wreck of the aircraft carrier USS ‘Lexington’, sunk in the Battle of the Coral Sea, revealed the physical remains of this gallant ship and crew and reminds us of its importance in the battle which was pivotal in the Pacific War and its significance to Australia. The battle, fought 4 to 8 May 1942, is commemorated annually in Australia, together with our US allies. Among the ghostly images in the ship was a Grumman F4F Wildcat fighter showing, in brilliant colour illuminated by the remotely operated vehicle’s powerful lights, four rising sun flags indicative of aerial victories against Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft by that plane and pilot. Continue reading

India and China at Sea. Competition for Naval Dominance

India and China at Sea. Competition for Naval Dominance in the Indian Ocean. Edited by David Brewster

Reviewed by Anthony Bergin*

Beijing claims the South China Sea as China’s own. But it completely rejects any notion that the Indian Ocean should be treated either as India’s ocean or as an Indian preserve. The implications of these inconsistent positions may become increasingly important in the China–India relationship, and have important consequences for other countries in the region. Continue reading

Earl Beatty: The Last Naval Hero

Admiral of the Fleet Earl Beatty: The Last Naval Hero – An Intimate Biography. By Stephen Roskill. Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, 1980 – rereleased with new introduction 2018
Reviewed by Tim Coyle

THIS book’s name, at first sight, might seem to some students of the Royal Navy in the First World War as overly grandiose; particularly labelling Beatty as ‘the last naval hero’. Continue reading

Naval Officers under Hitler

Naval Officers under Hitler: The Men of Crew 34. By Eric C. Rust. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1991, paperback reprint 2017.
Reviewed by Gregory P. Gilbert

AT the beginning of 1934 a group of German 17 to 18 year olds commenced their service in the German Navy. Ever since their time of joining they were known as Crew 34. Continue reading