The Age of Fighting Sail: The Story of the Naval War of 1812

C.S. Forester - 1957
    S. Forester to dramatize the sea battles of the War of 1812, to characterize the heroes more skillfully, or to comprehend more shrewdly the world unrest that made it possible for an infant republic to embarrass a great nation rich in one hundred years of sea triumphs.

Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty, and Nelson's Battle of Trafalgar

Adam Nicolson - 2005
    . . . Mr. Nicolson brings to life superbly the horror, devastation, and gore of Trafalgar.”—The EconomistAdam Nicolson takes the great naval battle of Trafalgar, fought between the British and Franco-Spanish fleets in October 1805, and uses it to examine our idea of heroism and the heroic. A story rich with modern resonance, Seize the Fire reveals the economic impact of the battle as a victorious Great Britain emerged as a global commercial empire.Nicolson not only vividly describes describes the brutal realities of battle but enters the hearts and minds of the men who were there. HIs masterful history is a portrait of a moment, a close and passionately engaged depiction of a frame of mind at a turning point in world history.

The Hill Fights: The First Battle of Khe Sanh

Edward F. Murphy - 2002
    For more than thirty years, virtually the only people who knew about the Hill Fights were the Marines who fought them. Now, for the first time, the full story has been pieced together by acclaimed Vietnam War historian Edward F. Murphy, whose definitive analysis admirably fills this significant gap in Vietnam War literature. Based on first-hand interviews and documentary research, Murphy’s deeply informed narrative history is the only complete account of the battles, their origins, and their aftermath.The Marines at the isolated Khe Sanh Combat Base were tasked with monitoring the strategically vital Ho Chi Minh trail as it wound through the jungles in nearby Laos. Dominated by high hills on all sides, the combat base had to be screened on foot by the Marine infantrymen while crack, battle-hardened NVA units roamed at will through the high grass and set up elaborate defenses on steep, sun-baked overlooks.Murphy traces the bitter account of the U.S. Marines at Khe Sanh from the outset in 1966, revealing misguided decisions and strategies from above, and capturing the chain of hill battles in stark detail. But the Marines themselves supply the real grist of the story; it is their recollections that vividly re-create the atmosphere of desperation, bravery, and relentless horror that characterized their combat. Often outnumbered and outgunned by a hidden enemy—and with buddies lying dead or wounded beside them—these brave young Americans fought on.The story of the Marines at Khe Sanh in early 1967 is a microcosm of the Corps’s entire Vietnam War and goes a long way toward explaining why their casualties in Vietnam exceeded, on a Marine-in-combat basis, even the tremendous losses the Leathernecks sustained during their ferocious Pacific island battles of World War II. The Hill Fights is a damning indictment of those responsible for the lives of these heroic Marines. Ultimately, the high command failed them, their tactics failed them, and their rifles failed them. Only the Marines themselves did not fail. Under fire, trapped in a hell of sudden death meted out by unseen enemies, they fought impossible odds with awesome courage and uncommon valor.From the Hardcover edition.

The Elite: The Story of Special Forces – From Ancient Sparta to the War on Terror

Ranulph Fiennes - 2019
    The best of the best, these elite units have frequently been immortalised on the big screen, and in computer games, for their daring deeds. Whether it be fighting on the battlefield, storming forts and castles, rescuing hostages, high stakes reconnaissance missions or the dramatic assassination of enemy leaders, these are the men who are relied upon to undertake dangerous missions of the highest stakes. While celebrating the heroics of groups such as the SAS and Navy Seals, Sir Ranulph also reveals the true stories of infamous organisations such as The Assassins and Templar Knights. Uncovering their origins, and examining their weapons and tactics, Sir Ranulph showcases these units most famous missions, and reveals the men behind them. Showing incredible courage, often in the face of impossible odds, these units have also changed the course of history along the way. Sir Ranulph discusses the reasons behind their success and failures, with many notorious conflicts often being decided by these elite units facing off against each other, with the victor not only evolving warfare, but also consigning their opponent to history. While these units traditionally prefer to operate in the shadows, Sir Ranulph brings their remarkable histories to the fore, told with his trademark ability to weave a story which has seen him become one of Britain’s most beloved bestselling authors.

Jack Tar: The Extraordinary Lives of Ordinary Seamen in Nelson's Navy

Roy A. Adkins - 2008
    Drawn from all over Britain and beyond, often unwillingly, these ordinary men made the navy invincible through skill, courage and sheer determination. They cast a long shadow, with millions of their descendants alive today, and many of their everyday expressions, such as 'skyscraper' and 'loose cannon', continuing to enrich our language. Yet their contribution is frequently overlooked, while the officers became celebrities. JACK TAR gives these forgotten men a voice in an exciting, enthralling, often unexpected and always entertaining picture of what their life was really like during this age of sail. Through personal letters, diaries and other manuscripts, the emotions and experiences of these people are explored, from the dread of press-gangs, shipwreck and disease, to the exhilaration of battle, grog, prize money and prostitutes. JACK TAR is an authoritative and gripping account that will be compulsive reading for anyone wanting to discover the vibrant and sometimes stark realities of this wooden world at war.

A Sailor's History of the U.S. Navy

Thomas J. Cutler - 2004
    To counter this problem, Thomas J. Cutler has compiled a history of our naval heritage in the form of A Sailor's History of the U.S. Navy. The work is unique in two important ways. First, it is written thematically rather than chronologically. This allows recent history to be blended with more distant (but important) events in ways that will reinforce the timelessness as well as the timeliness of the U.S. Navy, thereby having a greater appeal to today's sailor. There are a number of themes being used--the most obvious are manifested in chapters with the themes of honor, courage, and commitment, but others serve as useful vehicles as well; for example, there is a chapter called What's in a Name? that briefly discusses how ships have been/are named and then uses the many ships that have carried the name Enterprise as the theme for presenting significant portions of the Navy's history.The other unique characteristic of this history is that it focuses wherever possible on the roles of ALL sailors rather than just the officers. That is not to say that Jones and Decatur are not there, but that the emphasis is along the lines of the crew of the Bon Homme Richard fought on into the night... rather than Jones fought... Also, there are plenty of individual sailor heroes who can stand alongside the Perrys and the Farraguts (Boatswain's Mate First Class Williams who won the Medal of Honor in Vietnam, Dorie Miller of Pearl Harbor fame, Gunner's Mate Third Class Paul Henry Carr at the battle off Samar, etc.). Some emphasis upon what it was like to be a sailor (working and living conditions) at different times is included as well.

Scorpion Down: Sunk by the Soviets, Buried by the Pentagon: The Untold Story Ofthe USS Scorpion

Ed Offley - 2007
    Navy officially describes it an inexplicable accident. For decades, the real story of the disaster eluded journalists, historians, and the family members of the lost crew. But a small handful of Navy and government officials knew the truth: The sinking of the U.S.S. Scorpion on May 22, 1968, was an act of war. In Scorpion Down, military reporter Ed Offley reveals that the true cause of the Scorpion’s sinking was buried by the U.S. government in an attempt to keep the Cold War from turning hot. For five months, the families of the Scorpion crew waited while the Navy searched feverishly for the missing submarine. For the first time, Offley reveals that entire search was cover-up, devised to conceal that fact that the Scorpion had been torpedoed by the Soviets. In this gripping and controversial book, Offley takes the reader inside the shadowy world of the Cold War military, where rival superpowers fought secret battles far below the surface of the sea.

The Korean War: History in an Hour

Andrew Mulholland - 2013
    Not only the result of a carving of Korean territories following the Pacific conflicts of the Second World War, it was also a battle of ideologies as General MacArthur’s American military forces occupied the southern half and Stalin’s Soviet forced supported the northern half.Initiated by infantry movements and air raids, the region gradually became mired in a static trench war by July 1951, and would continue to cost both sides in both morale and human lives. The Korean War: History in an Hour is the concise story to one of the most bitter and enduring conflicts of the post-war era.

1812: The Navy's War

George C. Daughan - 2011
    It was clear that the primary battlefield would be the open ocean—but America’s war fleet, only twenty ships strong, faced a practiced British navy of more than a thousand men-of-war. Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, the American navy managed to take the fight to the British and turn the tide of the war: on the Great Lakes, in the Atlantic, and even in the eastern Pacific. In 1812: The Navy’s War, prizewinning historian George C. Daughan tells the thrilling story of how a handful of heroic captains and their stalwart crews overcame spectacular odds to lead the country to victory against the world’s greatest imperial power. A stunning contribution to military and national history, 1812: The Navy’s War is the first complete account in more than a century of how the U.S. Navy rescued the fledgling nation and secured America’s future.

The Decisive Battles of World History

Gregory S. Aldrete - 2013
    More than just conflicts between armies, such moments often represent fundamental clashes among rival religions; cultures; and social, political, and economic systems. The outcomes of these battles have dramatically transformed and shaped the course of history, often sending it on unexpected or completely new paths. This course examines more than three dozen such pivotal moments, highlighting and exposing the key incidents and personalities responsible for these critical shifts. During the course of these lectures, we'll discover how the Battle of Yarmouk contributed to the establishment of Islam in the Middle East; how the Battle of the Talas River curbed the expansion of the Tang dynasty of China; how the Battle of Boyaca resulted in South American independence from Spain; and how the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, fought on the borders of Mongolia and Manchuria, influenced the entire direction of World War II in both Europe and the Pacific.

The Opium Wars: A History From Beginning to End

Hourly History - 2018
     Violent confrontation between armed groups over the supply of illegal narcotics is something we commonly associate with criminal gangs in modern cities, but in the mid-nineteenth century Great Britain went to war with Imperial China in order to continue to supply Chinese addicts with opium. The two wars which followed have become known as the Opium Wars, and they led to the utter defeat of China, the establishment of a British colony in Hong Kong, and the continuation of a narcotics trade that was worth millions of pounds each year to the British. The Opium Wars exposed the weaknesses of the Chinese Qing dynasty in terms of its military abilities and internal corruption. They also exposed divisions in Victorian Britain where people were beginning to question the morality of going to war to support an illegal narcotics trade which caused misery and death for millions of Chinese. In the end, the British were able to overcome their reservations and prosecuted these two wars with great success. British casualties were small and the gains enormous—the British opium trade to China would continue for more than fifty years after the end of the Second Opium War. Inside you will read about... ✓ The Joy Plant ✓ Outbreak of the First Opium War ✓ British Superiority and the Devil Ship ✓ The Treaty of Nanking: First of the Unequal Treaties ✓ The Inevitable Second Opium War ✓ The Fall of Beijing And much more! For the Chinese Qing dynasty, the Opium Wars marked the beginning of the end. Imperial China had endured for two thousand years, but within fifty years of the humiliations of the Opium Wars, a revolution overthrew the imperial court and turned China into a republic. Although they are little remembered today, the Opium Wars changed the face not just of China but also of the whole of Asia. This is the story of those wars.

The Great War at Sea: 1914 - 1918

Richard Hough - 1983
    And it witnessed the greatest naval battle of all time.In 'The Great War At Sea: 1914-1918', the historian Richard Hough tells the story of those naval battles and how they shaped the eventual outcome of the war. It is a history as much of men as of ships; men like Sir John Jellicoe, 'Jacky' Fisher, and Winston Churchill, who together succeeded in jolting the Royal Navy out of its nineteenth-century complacency. The narrative follows the race to war, including the construction of the Dreadnought, the biggest, fastest, most heavily gunned battleship in the world; and against the backdrop of feuds, scheming, and personality clashes at the Admiralty, examines the triumphs and tragedies of the great battles and campaigns. Could the appalling losses have been avoided during the Dardanelles? Was there 'something wrong with our bloody ships' as David Beatty said at Jutland? Why was the Battle of Jutland inconclusive?'A truly excellent history, technical enough for the specialist, handy and well-found for laymen, and since the Silent Service could normally be relied on for its quota of personality clashes and blazing rows, human interest is well-served. So too is drama.' Christopher Wordsworth, The Observer'An admirable book which everyone interested in the history of the war should read' - The Glasgow HeraldRichard Alexander Hough was a British author and historian specializing in maritime history.Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent digital publisher.

Feeding Nelson's Navy: The True Story of Food at Sea in the Georgian Era

Janet MacDonald - 2002
      This celebration of the Georgian sailor’s diet reveals how the navy’s administrators fed a fleet of more than 150,000 men, in ships that were often at sea for months on end and that had no recourse to either refrigeration or canning. Contrary to the prevailing image of rotten meat and weevily biscuits, their diet was a surprisingly hearty mixture of beer, brandy, salt beef and pork, peas, butter, cheese, hard biscuit, and the exotic sounding lobscouse, not to mention the Malaga raisins, oranges, lemons, figs, dates, and pumpkins which were available to ships on far-distant stations. In fact, by 1800 the British fleet had largely eradicated scurvy and other dietary disorders. 
While this scholarly work contains much of value to the historian, the author’s popular touch makes this an enthralling story for anyone with an interest in life at sea in the age of sail.   “Overall this is an excellent examination of this crucial aspect of British naval power, and I’m certainly going to try out some of the recipes.” —

Challenge for the Pacific: Guadalcanal: The Turning Point of the War

Robert Leckie - 1965
      From the Japanese soldiers’ carefully calculated—and ultimately foiled—attempt to build a series of impregnable island forts on the ground to the tireless efforts of the Americans who struggled against a tenacious adversary and the temperature and terrain of the island itself, Robert Leckie captures the loneliness, the agony, and the heat of twenty-four-hour-a-day fighting on Guadalcanal. Combatants from both sides are brought to life: General Archer Vandegrift, who first assembled an amphibious strike force; Isoroku Yamamoto, the naval general whose innovative strategy was tested; the island-born Allied scout Jacob Vouza, who survived hideous torture to uncover the enemy’s plans; and Saburo Sakai, the ace flier who shot down American planes with astonishing ease. Propelling the Allies to eventual victory, Guadalcanal was truly the turning point of the war. Challenge for the Pacific is an unparalleled, authoritative account of this great fight that forever changed our world.

Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunted, 1942-1945 (Modern Library War)

Clay Blair Jr. - 1998
    Now he brings his magisterial, highly praised narrative history to a conclusion by looking at the period when the fortunes of the German Navy were almost completely reversed, and when it suffered perhaps the most devastating defeat of any of the German forces.     In unprecedented detail and drawing on sources never before used, Clay Blair continues the dramatic tale of the failures and fortunes of the German U-boat campaign against the United States and Great Britain. All of the major patrols and sorties made by the Germans are described meticulously and with considerable human interest: the Peleus and Laconia affairs; the capture at sea of U-505; the crisis of German command; the futile operations against the Americas; and the mounting and devastating losses that, in effect, entirely destroyed the German submarine service.     Hitler's U-boat War: The Hunted, 1942-1945 is the brilliant finale to Blair's comprehensive treatment of the rise and fall of German U-boat warfare in World War II.