Blue & Gold and Black is the history of integration of African Americans into the Naval Academy. The book examines how civil rights advocates' demands for equal opportunity shaped the Naval Academy's evolution. Author Robert J. Schneller Jr. analyzes how changes in the Academy's policies and culture affected the lives of black midshipmen, as well as how black midshipmen effected change in the Academy's policies and culture.
Most institutional history is written from the top down, while most social history is written from the bottom up. Based on the documentary record as well as on the memories of hundreds of midshipmen and naval officers, Blue & Gold and Black includes both perspectives. By examining both the institution and the individual, a much more accurate picture emerges of how racial integration occurred at the Naval Academy.
Schneller takes a biographical approach to social history. Through written correspondence, responses to questionnaires, memoirs, and oral histories, African American midshipmen recount their experiences in their own words. Rather than setting adrift their humanity and individuality in oceans of statistics, Schneller uses their first-hand recollections to provide insights into the Academy's culture that cannot be gained from official records. Covering the Jim Crow era, the civil rights movement, and the empowerment of African Americans from the late 1960s through the end of the twentieth century, Blue & Gold and Black traces the transformation of an institution that produces men and women who lead not only the Navy, but also the nation.
The Invasion of Guadalcanal & the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, August 1942
The Battle of the Eastern Solomons was history’s third carrier clash. A collision of U.S. Navy and Imperial Navy carriers in the wake of the invasion of Guadalcanal—whose airfield the United States desperately needed and the Japanese desperately wanted back—the battle was waged at sea and over Guadalcanal’s besieged Marine-held Lunga Perimeter on August 24, 1942.
Based upon the first half of Eric Hammel’s acclaimed 1987 battle narrative, Guadalcanal: The Carrier Battles, and in large part upon important new information obtained from both Japanese and American sources, Carrier Clash unravels many of the mysteries and misconceptions that have veiled this complex battle for more than a half century.
Beginning with detailed descriptions of the history of the aircraft carrier, the development of carrier-air tactics, the training of carrier pilots, and numerous operational considerations that defined the way carrier battles had to be fought, Carrier Clash takes the reader into the air with brave U.S. Navy fighter pilots as they protect their ships and the Guadalcanal invasion fleet against determined Japanese air attacks on August 7 and 8, 1942. After he sets the stage for the August 24 Battle of the Eastern Solomons, author Hammel puts the reader right into the cockpits of U.S. Navy Dauntless dive-bombers as they dive on the Imperial Navy light carrier Ryujo—and hit the ship with 500-pound bombs! Once again, in this strange tit-for-tat battle, U.S. Navy Wildcat fighter pilots must defend their ships against an onslaught by Imperial Navy Val dive-bomber pilots determined to sink the U.S. carriers, or die trying. Hammel’s coverage of the bomb damage to the USS Enterprise and subsequent fire-fighting and rescue efforts by her crew are especially compelling.
Carrier Clash is the definitive combat history of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, history’s third battle (of only five) between American and Japanese aircraft carriers.
Critical Acclaim for Eric Hammel’s earlier books about the Guadalcanal Campaign:
Seapower Magazine says: “Acclaimed military historian Eric Hammel presents a landmark history of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons.”
Kirkus Reviews says: “Hammel is as adept at conveying the terrors of fighting fire on a ship . . . as he is at providing concise evaluations of top commanders. “Official histories apart, [Guadalcanal: The Carrier Battles is] the most thorough appreciation yet of Guadalcanal’s turning-point carrier battles; praiseworthy.”
Lansing State Journal says: “For the military buff, [Guadalcanal: Starvation Island] is an excellent resource. For the casual reader, it is a well-written account of one of the most crucial times in the history of the United States.”
ALA Booklist says: [Eric Hammel] “effectively utilizes the accounts of the battle participants to provide a vivid dimension to the fighting . . . ”
Library Journal says: “Hammel does not write dry history. His battle sequences are masterfully portrayed.”
Canadian Military History says: Hammel’s descriptions of engagements on land, air and sea are fast-paced and engagingly written, and he has a knack for weaving together character and circumstance into a very readable story.”
Book World says: [Guadalcanal: Starvation Island] is stark, naked, and brutal. . . . It is an excellent, toughly drawn account of the awesomeness of war and is worthy many times over of being in any library worthy of the name.”
During the war in Vietnam, the North Vietnamese communists had to place their trust in the oldest and most reliable tool of warfare: the individual soldier; America believed that firepower, lgoistics, and technology would be sufificent for victory. The North Vietnamese won. INSIDE THE VC AND THE NVA, written by two veterans with six-and-a-half years combined experience, shows how.
A Dual Main Selection of the Military Book Club
In riveting detail, veteran Civil War historian Frank E. Vandiver recounts the campaigns and major battles of the first war of the Industrial Revolution, with its machinery, firepower, and engineering beyond imagination. With provocative insight, he traces a picture of the war as rooted in the character and vision of its two leaders and their two sectional revolutions.
In the North, Abraham Lincoln built a massive war effort by expanding executive authority, sometimes in ways beyond the Constitution. Not only emancipation, but also new monetary policies, new forms of commercial organization and production, and new ways of raising and commanding armies made a different United States, shaped for world power.
In the service of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, a states' righter, became a Confederate nationalist. Keeping up the fight forced him and many Southerners to accept both a centralization and an industrialization they hated. When the dream was lost and the country gone, vestiges of this revolution would make the Southern system compatible with the new economic, social, and political system that had emerged in the North. The South might look back fondly, but it was readier than it knew for what would come: a new union, one and finally indivisible.
As a West Point cadet (1903-1907), Augustine Warner Robins numbered among his classmates and friends Hap Arnold and Frank Andrews. As a young officer, he fought under Black Jack Pershing in Mexico and met a young George Patton and Ben Foulois. As a senior officer, he worked with such luminaries of the day as Charles A. Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle, Lester Maitland, Orville Wright, and Billy Mitchell.
Even more significantly, during his career he was instrumental in developing the first official and workable Air Force supply maintenance and accountability system. He helped establish official guidelines for training of logistics officers, NCOs, and civilians working for the Army Air Corps.
Robins's life provides, through his thousands of letters, telephone transcripts, and other primary materials, a unique window on the interward period, and especially on the history of aviation in America. Through his eyes, the events and personalities of the 1920s and 1930s--which shaped the Air Force of World II and the Cold War--come into sharp focus. The anecdotes and sometimes humorous stories of the building of this branch of the service make this a book not just for historians, but for all those interested in the military and in aviation.
In Bloody Ridge, the first book written exclusively on this battle, historian Michael S. Smith has utilized a treasure trove of primary and secondary sources on both sides of the Pacific.
NOTE: This edition does not include photographs.
As the twenty-first century approaches and the threat of war between the superpowers declines, our attention is drawn to conflicts between nations or ethnic groups with vastly different cultures. The United States, the last superpower, is divided in its motives to maintain its giant Cold War military structure or to create a new world police force that will react to and influence the outcome of intercultural conflict.
Brought together by James C. Bradford, these essays by prominent military historians cover three thousand years and five continents in treating various examples of intercultural interaction.
In his introduction, Roger Beaumont traces the evolution from Great Power conflicts to multinational and intercultural wars and examines in general terms the cross-cultural dimensions of warfare that have been heretofore largely ignored by military historians.
The first two essays look at examples of intercultural cooperation in warfare. John F. Guilmartin, Jr., describes the use of diverse cultural elements in armies from Xenophon's Persians to the Hessians of the American Revolution. In a similar vein, Dennis Showalter examines the transference of European forms of warfare by regional military groups.
Along the military frontier of the American West, Robert M. Utley finds classic examples of simple cultures at odds with a technologically complex one. John W. Bailey presents the diverse styles of American commanders in the post–Civil War West and deals with the dichotomy between civilizing mission and uncivilized methods.
Richard W. Slatta reveals patterns in Argentina's military and cultural subjection of its Indians and gauchos over three centuries. Douglas Porch studies the strategy and tactics employed by France in its conquest of northwestern Africa.
Carol Morris Petillo examines the American involvement in the Philippines, arguing that a half-century of military imperialism was a shaping experience for a new generation of military professionals. Finally, Robin Higham closes the book with a wide-ranging and impressionistic essay on intercultural command.
Scholars of military history as well as the layperson interested in cross-cultural issues and the study of warfare will find The Military and Conflict between Cultures to be a thought provoking collection of essays on an important topic--one which has become increasingly significant in the post–Cold War era
Roosevelt and his volunteer cavalry were positioned in the rear of two regular regiments on the right side of the arena. They faced the lower and thinly defended rise called Kettle Hill, rather than San Juan Hill. The only American officer to remain mounted in the battle, Roosevelt initiated an unauthorized charge up Kettle Hill. While racing up the slope, he was forced to dismount and climb the crest on foot. As his young volunteers fell in behind, Roosevelt reveled in his triumph.
Afterward, in describing his self-perceived role to reporters, Roosevelt cast himself as the most promotable hero in the campaign and, thus, laid the foundation for his legend.
That legend, of Teddy Roosevelt valiantly leading the Rough Riders in their charge up San Juan Hill, had a great deal to do with making Roosevelt president and has endured for nearly a century. The reality as shown in this fast-paced narrative is that the charge Roosevelt led was foolhardy and occurred not on San Juan Hill but on the smaller and less important Kettle Hill.
Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan explains what Roosevelt did and why he did it. The authors tell the story in two separate but interwoven tracks.
The main tracks begins with the formation of the Rough Riders and carries the story of Roosevelt’s involvement forward to the time of the charge and immediately after.
In alternating chapters, the second track provides flashbacks offering a succinct look at the events of Roosevelt’s earlier life that motivated him to storm the hill in what he later called his “one crowded hour.”
Military historians and general readers interested in the Spanish-American War and those wanting a further look into the charismatic and persuasive politicians will find this never-before-told story an important contribution to understanding the period.
Doniphan's Expedition follows the regiment on its grueling 850-mile march from Fort Leavenworth, present-day Kansas, along the Santa Fe Trail, to invade Mexico. Along the way, Hughes observes and describes in impressive detail the discipline, morale, and effectiveness of the civilian soldiers encountering hardships on the rough plains and deserts. He gives their impressions of Santa Fe and offers valuable insight into the military occupation of that city. As significant cultural history, this account also chronicles the fears and prejudices of the soldiers meeting a seemingly strange people in a strange land. Furthermore, Hughes provides an excellent first-hand account of the two battles of the expedition: the Battle of Brazito and the Battle of Sacramento.
First published in 1847, Doniphan's Expedition is now once again made available, with a new foreword by Joseph G. Dawson III, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Mexican War. General readers will find this book to be an enthralling examination of another time and place in U.S. and Mexican military and cultural history. Historians will rediscover a significant contribution to Mexican War literature.
This group of soldiers fought in numerous skirmishes from Missouri to Louisiana. They endured a fearfully cold winter march through Indian Territory, were bombarded by gunboat shells along the banks of the Mississippi, Ouachita, and Red Rivers, and engaged in a stand-up, no-quarter fight along Yellow Bayou. By the summer of 1864, the brigade was engaged in little fighting, and in 1865 returned to Texas, where it was disbanded in May. More than a hundred men had been killed on the battlefields, and many others had died of disease and cold. "Our trail," wrote one brigade member, "was a long graveyard."
First published in 1964 by the Texas Gulf Coast Historical Association, Alwyn Barr's study of this previously little-known brigade not only detailed an aspect of the less-studied war in the West, but also showed in stark, first-person accounts the toll of war at the level of the common fighting man.
Available again after only a limited print run in its first edition, this little masterpiece of Civil War history now includes a new preface by Barr that updates what is known of the brigade and its significance to the Trans-Mississippi campaign.
The Solomon Islands was where the Allied war machine finally broke the Japanese empire. As pilots, marines, and sailors fought for supremacy in Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and the Slot, a lonely group of radio operators occupied the Solomon Islands’ highest points. Sometimes encamped in comfort, sometimes exposed to the elements, these coastwatchers kept lookout for squadrons of Japanese bombers headed for Allied positions, holding their own positions even when enemy troops swarmed all around. They were Australian-born but Solomon-raised, and adept at survival in the unforgiving jungle environment. Through daring and insight, they stayed one step ahead of the Japanese, often sacrificing themselves to give advance warning of an attack.
In Lonely Vigil, Walter Lord, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of A Night to Remember and The Miracle of Dunkirk, tells of the survivors of the campaign and what they risked to win the war in the Pacific.
In Bloody River, first published in 1970, Martin Blumenson presents his view of how the “personal equation” figured into the debacle. Focusing on the generals responsible for the ill-fated attack, Blumenson traces key points in the personal profiles of the diffident 36th Division commander Fred L. Walker; Gen. Mark “Wayne” Clark, the imperious commander of American ground forces; and the tactful and tactically gifted former cavalry officer Gen. Geoffrey T. Keyes, commander of II Corps and Walker’s immediate superior.
Walker, serving under the younger Clark and Keyes, witnessed the destruction of villages and the exhaustion of the non-Regular Army soldiers in his division. Blumenson argues that Walker, relatively far down the chain of command, saw his soldiers’ and the civilians’ suffering and lost confidence and respect for his superiors and constantly questioned their fitness to devise appropriate strategy and tactics.
Despite reports of the severe situation in the Rapido Valley, General Clark, responsible for ensuring the success of the Anzio landing, would not cancel the 36th Division’s supporting attack across the Rapido. In two days, the two front-line infantry regiments of the division suffered severe casualties, as did the attached units of engineers, quartermaster troops, and artillerymen. Meanwhile, General Clark’s Anzio landing was accomplished with relatively little resistance. Blumenson argues that Walker’s pessimism about the Rapido attack plan may have permeated his troops and robbed them of their will to win.
This concise survey of the command situations that led to the Rapido tragedy should be of interest to all readers who wish to learn the high-priced lessons of war in affordable and accessible form.
During the interwar years, from 1920 to 1940, leaders from the Army Air Corps and the Marine Corps recreated their agencies based on visions of new military technologies. In War Machines, Timothy Moy examines these recreations and explores how factors such as bureaucratic pressure, institutional culture, and America's technological enthusiasm shaped these leaders' choices.
The very existence of the Army Air Corps was based on a new technology, the airplane. As the Air Corps was forced to compete for money and other resources during the years after World War I, Air Corps leaders carved out a military niche based on hightech precision bombing. The Marine Corps focused on amphibious, firstwave assault using sturdy, graceless, and easytoproduce landing craft.
Moy's astute analysis makes it clear that studying the processes that shaped the Army Air Corps and Marine Corps is fundamental to our understanding of technology and the military at the beginning of the twentyfirst century.
For a decade before the fall of Saigon, Edward P. Metzner served as an advisor among the people of the beautiful and hotly contested Mekong Delta. After the war, he diligently sought news of the close friends and comrades in arms he had made among the Vietnamese military officers. Many had died; others could not be found. When Metzner eventually located a few, he believed their stories should be told. Three agreed to do so, and their accounts form the core of Reeducation in Postwar Vietnam: Personal Postscripts to Peace.
Two of the men, Huynh Van Chinh and Tran Van Phuc, who had been colonels of the Army of Vietnam, lived through the deprivation, torture, and mental abuse of the reeducation camps and eventually found freedom in America. The experiences of these two men reveal not only the closely guarded secrets of the experiences of high-ranking officers in post-war Vietnam but also the changes in the camps over time. In the book's other first-person account, Col. Le Nguyen Binh tells a different story: his dangerous escape from Vietnam, with some of his junior officers and enlisted men, in three overloaded fishing boats with low stocks of drinking water and food and recalcitrant crews.
Metzner introduces the book and the individual stories with the details necessary to understand the larger picture of which they are a part. He also profiles Gen. Le Minh Dao, a division commander in the dangerous area northwest of Saigon who spent seventeen years in North Vietnamese jails, and Father Joe Devlin, a Catholic priest who aided innumerable people in Vietnam through the years of the war and in Malaysian refugee camps afterward.
The matter-of-fact, even stoic stories of these survivors stand as a testimony to their endurance and persistent desire to return to a life in freedom.
In this first English-language study of secret postwar U.S. military operations during the occupation of Austria and of the American effort to create a garrison state for NATO’s defense, James Jay Carafano traces U.S. policy and behavior from the end of the war until 1955 and the signing of the treaty that finally led to the withdrawal of the occupation forces. From the very beginning of American presence, he demonstrates, the U.S. Army could not wean itself from the operational habits it had forged in war, practices that skewed U.S. postwar foreign policy while earning Austrian resentment and Soviet mistrust. The fog of peace, he concludes, befuddled U.S. planners.
In fascinating narrative and crystal-clear detail, Carafano lays out the course of U.S. presence in Austria, the problems America encountered, and the problems it caused. In the course, he not only sheds new light on this little-studied aspect of the Cold War, he also underscores the mundane truth that peace is fundamentally different from war and that armies used during peacetime have to be retrained from their war focus if they are to manage their tasks successfully.
Those interested in contemporary military peace-keeping efforts as well as those trying to understand the lessons of the Cold War will find this in-depth study an invaluable aid.
With the background information provided by Sarantakes, the diaries of these men become accessible to the reader. Buckner is the more restrained, a southern gentleman whose career was average and whose diary entries are interspersed with letters to his wife. He shuttles between forward command posts and shipboard conferences, noting how much rain has fallen, how many enemy have been killed, and how many aircraft have been shot down.
Stilwell is a self-styled outsider, a brilliant warrior with the social graces of a porcupine. He dislikes Buckner and has little patience for his irreverent humor. Stilwell writes, “Buckner is tiresome. I tried to tell him what I had seen, but he knew it all. Keeps repeating his wise-cracks. ‘The Lord said let there be mud,’ etc. etc.” ( June 5, 1944). Stilwell’s entries are peppered with frank and often acrid observations about everything and everybody. He dismisses the British as “hoggish, inconsiderate” Limeys and atomic scientists as “temperamental bugs.”
The battle for Okinawa was a pivotal event in World War II and has the distinction of being the single bloodiest conflict in the history of the United States Navy. The diaries of these two men provide a new perspective from which to evaluate the events. This book is a fascinating exploration of the art of leading troops in battle and will interest scholars and students of the Pacific War.
Author Jerry Morton is a gifted storyteller equally at home describing blind navigation through the woods on a dark night as recounting the perils of smuggling a skin flick into his barracks at OCS. In this engaging memoir, Morton reconstructs his reluctant journey through basic training, advanced infantry training, and infantry Officer Candidate School during the Vietnam era. His is a unique record of what it was like to be a conscript in the U.S. Army in the late 1960s.
Morton’s accounts also provide a roadmap to the sociology and culture of the military, especially the class system that divided college graduates from those with less education or economic stature yet sustained a solidarity that overrode class differences in the field. He describes his disappointment and discomfort at being “killed” during training ambushes. But he also shows how someone with a master’s degree in psychology could adapt to an environment in which the army did the thinking and the soldier the doing. However unintentional, by the end of his journey Morton is no longer a civilian but an officer, adept at army gamesmanship and ready for command.
This book offers an entertaining and informative foray into the training system used by the army during the Vietnam era and valuable insight into military culture. Veterans of the Old Army will find their memories kindled by this vivid account of one man’s experience.
One of the remarkable untold stories of postwar America is the successful assimilation of sixteen million veterans back into civilian society after 1945. The G.I. generation returned home filled with the same sense of fear and hope as most citizens at the time. Their transition from conflict to normalcy is one of the greatest chapters in American history.
"The Greatest Generation Comes Home" combines military and social history into a comprehensive narrative of the veteran's experience after World War II. It integrates early impressions of home in 1945 with later stories of medical recovery, education, work, politics, and entertainment, as well as moving accounts of the dislocation, alienation, and discomfort many faced. The book includes the experiences of not only the millions of veterans drawn from mainstream white America, but also the women, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans who served the nation.
Perhaps most important, the book also examines the legacy bequeathed by these veterans to later generations who served in uniform on new battlefields around the world.
Though the 1303rd (called “the thirteen-third” by its soldiers) was supposed to perform its duties outside the zone of armed conflict, these men found themselves acting as the southern flank of Patton’s rapid advance. More than once, they had to re-build bridges the Germans had hastily destroyed in order to permit the continued advance of American troops—often doing so under enemy fire. Twice they were called upon to deploy as infantry in holding back German attacks.
Careful editing and annotation by military historian Joseph C. Fitzharris corrects occasional lapses in the diary, clarifies references, and provides important context for following the movements and understanding the importance of Company B, the 1303rd, and its sister regiments. Patton’s Fighting Bridge Builders rewards its readers with a new understanding of both the messiness and the bravery of the Second World War.
On August 7, 1942, eleven thousand US Marines landed on Tulagi and Guadalcanal Islands in the South Pacific. It was the first major Allied offensive against Japanese forces; the first time in history that a combined air, land, and sea assault had ever been attempted; and, after six months of vicious fighting, a crushing defeat for the Empire of Japan and a major turning point in the Pacific War.
Volunteer combat correspondent Richard Tregaskis was one of only two journalists on hand to witness the invasion of Guadalcanal. He risked life and limb to give American readers a soldier’s experience of the war in the Pacific, from the suffocating heat and humidity to the unique terror of fighting in tall, razor-sharp grass and in crocodile-infested jungle streams against a concealed enemy. In understated yet graceful prose, Tregaskis details the first two months of the campaign and describes the courage and camaraderie of young marines who prepared for battle knowing that one in four of them wouldn’t make it home.
An instant bestseller when it was first published in 1943 and the basis for a popular film of the same name, Guadalcanal Diary set the standard for World War II reportage. Hailed by the New York Times as “one of the literary events of its time,” it is a masterpiece of war journalism whose influence can be found in classic works such as John Hersey’s Hiroshima, Michael Herr’s Dispatches, and Dexter Filkins’s The Forever War.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Richard Tregaskis including rare images from the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming.
See Robert Leckie's story in the HBO miniseries The Pacific
Here is one of the most riveting first-person accounts ever to come out of World War II. Robert Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1942, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In Helmet for My Pillow we follow his odyssey, from basic training on Parris Island, South Carolina, all the way to the raging battles in the Pacific, where some of the war’s fiercest fighting took place. Recounting his service with the 1st Marine Division and the brutal action on Guadalcanal, New Britain, and Peleliu, Leckie spares no detail of the horrors and sacrifices of war, painting an unvarnished portrait of how real warriors are made, fight, and often die in the defense of their country.
From the live-for-today rowdiness of marines on leave to the terrors of jungle warfare against an enemy determined to fight to the last man, Leckie describes what war is really like when victory can only be measured inch by bloody inch. Woven throughout are Leckie’s hard-won, eloquent, and thoroughly unsentimental meditations on the meaning of war and why we fight. Unparalleled in its immediacy and accuracy, Helmet for My Pillow will leave no reader untouched. This is a book that brings you as close to the mud, the blood, and the experience of war as it is safe to come.