The U.S. Naval Institute on the Marine Corps at War

Naval Institute Press
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The U.S. Naval Institute Wheel Books provide valuable information, pragmatic advice, and cogent analysis on topics important to all naval professionals. Drawn from the U.S. Naval Institute's vast archives, the series combines articles from the Institute's flagship publication Proceedings, selections from the oral history collection, and Naval Institute Press books to create unique guides on a wide array of fundamental professional subjects.
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About the author

Thomas J. Cutler: THOMAS J. CUTLER, Lt. Cmdr., USN (Ret.), is also the author of A Sailor's History of the U.S. Navy and The Battle of Leyte Gulf, among other books, and is the recipient of the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Naval Literature.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Naval Institute Press
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Published on
May 15, 2016
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9781682470435
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Naval
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Focusing on the oceanic war rather than the war in the Great Lakes, this study charts the War of 1812 from the perspectives of the two opposing navies at sea—one of the largest fleets in the world and a small, upstart navy just three decades old. While American naval leadership searched for a means of contesting Britain’s naval dominance, the English sought to destroy the U.S. Navy and protect its oceanic highways. Instead of describing battles between opposing warships, McCranie evaluates entire cruises by American and British men-of-war, noting both successes and failures and how they translated into broader strategies. In the process, his study becomes a history of how the two navies fought the oceanic war, linking high-level governmental decisions about strategy to the operational use of fleets in the Atlantic and Caribbean and from the South Pacific to the Indian Ocean.

Unlike other books on the subject, this work offers a balanced appraisal of the oceanic war on the high seas, taking into account the strategic considerations of both combatants and how the leadership from each side assessed, planned, and implemented operational concepts. Drawing on a wealth of British and American archival sources, McCranie guides the reader through the strategic decision making processes on both sides of the Atlantic. He demonstrates vividly the impact of those decisions on the course of the war at sea, where the contest was close and deadly. Indeed, the author’s action-packed accounts of battles hold special appeal.


This study offers a more balanced appraisal of the war than most studies of the topic. Particularly important is the stress on understanding British strategic imperatives and the correlation between these imperatives and why Britain conducted the oceanic naval war in the manner it did. This study focuses on all cruises of American warships, not just those that terminated in battles so as to provide a more complete history of the naval war.
A portrait in words and photographs of the interwar Navy, this book examines the twenty-year period that saw the U.S. fleet shrink under the pressure of arms limitation treaties and government economy and then grow again to a world-class force. The authors trace the Navy's evolution from a fleet centered around slow battleships to one that deployed most of the warship types that proved so essential in World War II, including fast aircraft carriers, heavy and light cruisers, sleek destroyers, powerful battleships, and deadly submarines. Both the older battleships and these newer ships are captured in stunning period photographs that have never before been published. An authoritative yet lively text explains how and why the newer ships and aircraft came to be. Thomas Hone and Trent Hone describe how a Navy desperately short funds and men nevertheless pioneered carrier aviation, shipboard electronics, code-breaking, and (with the Marines) amphibious warfare - elements that made America's later victory in the Pacific possible. Based on years of study of official Navy department records, their book presents a comprehensive view of the foundations of a navy that would become the world's largest and most formidable. At the same time, the heart of the book draws on memoirs, novels, and oral histories to reveal the work and the skills of sailors and officers that contributed to successes in World War II. From their service on such battleships as West Virginia to their efforts ashore to develop and procure the most effective aircraft, electronics, and ships, from their adventures on Yangtze River gunboats to carrier landings on the converted battle cruisers Saratoga and Lexington, the men are profiled along with their ships. This combination of popular history with archival history will appeal to a general audience of naval enthusiasts.
“Wheel books” were once found in the uniform pockets of virtually all junior officers and many senior petty officers. Each small notebook was unique to the Sailor carrying it, but all had in common a collection of data and wisdom that the individual deemed useful in the effective execution of his or her duties. Often used as a substitute for experience among neophytes and as a portable library of reference information for more experienced personnel, those weathered pages contained everything from the time of the next tide, to leadership hints from a respected chief petty officer, to the color coding of the phone-and-distance line used in underway replenishments.

In that same tradition, the Naval Institute has created and aptly named the Wheel Book series, portable libraries culled from USNI’s vast array of information that has accumulated for more than a century. Articles from the Institute’s flagship publication Proceedings are combined with selections from USNI’s oral history program and from Naval Institute Press books to create unique guides on a wide array of relevant professional subjects.

Just as the “wheel books” of yesterday served the fleet well, the Naval Institute Wheel Books of today provide supplemental information, pragmatic advice, and cogent analysis on topics important to modern naval professionals.

The pinnacle of leadership in a military organization is command. Article 0801 of Navy Regulations defines both the authority and the responsibility of command as “absolute.” This Naval Institute Wheel Book provides practical guidance and food for thought that actual and would-be commanders can use to carry out that absolute authority while being absolutely responsible. Included in this specially-selected collection is the sage advice of those who have commanded as well as the expectations of those who are commanded. Aspirants as well as practitioners will do well to exploit this selected survey of what Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz described as the “one purpose” for entering the Navy.
#1 New York Times Bestseller

From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania

On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. 

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. 

Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.
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