More by Spencer C. Tucker

Brave, energetic, intensely patriotic, Stephen Decatur is America's first great naval hero after John Paul Jones. His short and dramatic life is a story of triumph and tragedy told by the noted historian and author of some twenty books, Spencer Tucker. Decatur's raid into Tripoli Harbor in 1804 to burn the Philadelphia, a prized U.S. warship captured when it ran aground during the Barbary Wars, earned him international fame. An admiring Horatio Nelson described the feat as "the most bold and daring act of the age." Explaining the tremendous impact Decatur's action had on the early U.S. Navy, the author notes that it set a standard of audacity and courage for generations of future naval officers. At the age of twenty-five, Decatur was promoted to captain, becoming the youngest naval officer ever to attain that rank in the U.S. Navy. The book fully examines Decatur's astonishing achievements as it chronicles his rapid rise in the Navy, including his command of the Constitution and the United States, during the War of 1812, when he captured the British frigate Macedonian off the Azores. The book also recounts the cruise that many call his greatest triumph: Decatur sailed into the Mediterranean with a nine-ship American squadron to punish the dey of Algiers for taking American merchant shipping, securing peace with Algiers and keeping other Barbary states quiescent. Lionized by a grateful American public upon his return, Decatur offered a toast at a reception in his honor that is now legendary, "Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong!" In describing Decatur's life, the author also examines Decatur's relationshipwith James Barron, a Navy captain who fatally shot Decatur during a 1820 duel.
The beach landings at Normandy, France, in June of 1944 were of critical importance in the outcome of World War II, and as a consequence, served to determine the economic and political state of the modern world as we know it. This latest reference book edited by esteemed historian Spencer C. Tucker supplies easy-to-understand overview entries on the Normandy Invasion ("Operation OVERLORD") and the European Theater in World War II as well as entries treating specific topics such as key individuals, technical innovations, weapons systems, command structures, terrain and logistical difficulties, and the role played by weather.

Readers will come to understand why the eventual success of the Allied forces in the D-Day operations was so hard-fought and came at a tremendous cost of life. The book addresses the immense difficulty of supplying tens of thousands of soldiers—many of them inexperienced in combat—and countless tons of equipment and vehicles to the invasion force from over the beaches, after most of the teams landed in the wrong locations, and when many command structures were wiped out almost immediately upon landing; and it explains how these factors impacted the combat on the ground and resulted in the Allied forces' careful planning going awry. The book also describes the elaborate deception carried out by the Allies regarding the invasion landing site and how these efforts impacted battle developments, and it presents nine primary documents that treat various aspects of the battle, including the lengthy Allied plan for the invasion and primary sources of directives regarding the battle and technical innovations.

" John D. Imboden is an important but often overlooked figure in Civil War history. With only limited militia training, the Virginia lawyer and politician rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Confederate Army and commanded the Shenandoah Valley District, which had been created for Stonewall Jackson. Imboden organized and led the Staunton Artillery in the capture of the U.S. arsenal at Harper's Ferry. He participated in the First Battle of Bull Run/Manassas and organized a cavalry command that fought alongside Stonewall Jackson in his Shenandoah Valley Campaign. The Jones/Imboden Raid into West Virginia cut the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and ravaged the Kanawha Valley petroleum fields. Imboden covered the Confederate withdrawal from Gettysburg and later led cavalry accompanying Jubal Early in his operations against Philip Sheridan in Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Imboden completed his war service in command of Confederate prisons in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Spencer C. Tucker fully examines the life of this Confederate cavalry commander, including analysis of Imboden's own post-war writing, and explores overlooked facets of his life, such as his involvement in the Confederate prison system, his later efforts to restore the economic life of his home state of Virginia by developing its natural resources, and his founding of the city of Damascus, which he hoped to make into a new iron and steel center. Spencer C. Tucker, John Biggs Professor of Military History at the Virginia Military Institute, is the author of Vietnam and the author or editor of several other books on military and naval history. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.
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