The United States Navy: 200 Years

Edward L. Beach, Jr., Author Henry Holt & Company $24.95 (564p) ISBN 978-0-03-044711-2
As the author shows in this affectionate but balanced account, naval history before 1941 was largely a matter of growth and development, with only sporadic fighting (less than 60 hours of actual naval warfare, he estimates). Although he has much to say of interest about the formative years, it is generally by way of introduction to his vigorous account of the navy in World War II, when the navy was severely tested and stretched to the limit of its resources. The focus throughout is more on technical innovation and reform than battle tactics, and Beach introduces all of the key figures. Among them: Admiral William Sims, who brought about a quantum leap in the navy's offensive power in the late 19th century; Lt. Commander Dudley Morton, instrumental in the development of torpedoes that worked (in 1942 the failure rate was over 90% ); and Commander Joseph Rochefort who, in his indirect contribution to the victory at Midway, ""made more difference, at a more important time, than any naval officer in history.'' Beach wrote Run Silent, Run Deep. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (May 19)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Paperback - 978-0-395-43289-1
Paperback - 564 pages - 978-0-395-55996-3
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