Author of Lincoln and His Admirals (winner of the Lincoln Prize), The Battle of Midway (Best Book of the Year, Military History Quarterly), and Operation Neptune (winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature), Craig L. Symonds ranks among the country's finest naval historians. World War II at Sea is his crowning achievement, a narrative of the entire war and all of its belligerents, on all of the world's oceans and seas between 1939 and 1945. Here are the major engagements and their interconnections: the U-boat attack on Scapa Flow and the Battle of the Atlantic; the "miracle" evacuation from Dunkirk and the scuttling of the French Navy; the pitched battles for control of Norway fjords and Mussolini's Regia Marina; the rise of the Kidö Butai and Pearl Harbor; the landings in North Africa and New Guinea, then on Normandy and Iwo Jima. Symonds offers indelible portraits of the great naval leaders-FDR and Churchill (self-proclaimed "Navy men"), Karl Dönitz, François Darlan, Ernest King, Isoroku Yamamoto, Louis Mountbatten, and William Halsey, while acknowledging the countless seamen and officers of all nationalities whose lives were lost during the greatest naval conflicts ever fought. World War II at Sea is history on a truly epic scale.
Readers also enjoyed
World War II at Sea Review
- January 1, 1970Doug CorneliusI try to keep looking for ways to interact with my kids in new ways. My son loves reading about military history, so I though I would add a book on that topic to my reading list. Reading it together would give us more things to talk about.Oxford University Press was kind enough to send me a review copy of its upcoming release: World War II at Sea: A Global History by Craig L. Symonds. My son and I jumped in and enjoyed this narrative of the naval war and all of its belligerents, on all of the wo I try to keep looking for ways to interact with my kids in new ways. My son loves reading about military history, so I though I would add a book on that topic to my reading list. Reading it together would give us more things to talk about.Oxford University Press was kind enough to send me a review copy of its upcoming release: World War II at Sea: A Global History by Craig L. Symonds. My son and I jumped in and enjoyed this narrative of the naval war and all of its belligerents, on all of the world’s oceans and seas, between 1939 and 1945.If that sounds like a lot. It is. At almost 800 pages, it’s a tremendous collection of the events of World War II through the lens of big steel ships.I have to admit, I knew bits and pieces of World War II history, but I never put it all together to figure out the chronology of events and how they related to each other.The book opens with 1930 London Conference, an early attempt at an arms treaty. The goal was to limit the tonnage of naval ships to prevent a build up in naval power among Great Britain, France, Italy, the United States and Japan. The arguments over the numbers of battleships at the beginning of the war become out of touch. Mr. Symonds shows how these limitations on naval warfare become misplaced as the strategies and purpose of the navies changed rapidly during the war. WWII brought major technological advances in warfare that radically changed naval strategy. That conference failed to address aircraft carriers. By the end of the war, aircraft carriers were the key naval strength.World War II at Sea covers all of these major engagements and their interconnection with other aspects of the conflicts:the U-boat attack on Scapa Flowthe Battle of the Atlanticthe “miracle” evacuation from Dunkirkthe battles for control of Norway fjordsMussolini’s Regia Marina, the fourth-largest navy in the world, but ineffective for a lack a fuelJapanese naval power of the Kidö ButaiPearl HarborMidwaythe forced neutrality of the French navy and eventual scuttlingthe landings in North Africa and into Italythe Normandy invasionI found the story-telling to be top notch. It’s not easy to keep no many battles, ship and personalities in context. I found Mr. Symonds to have done a masterful job of illuminating the mechanics of large-scale warfare in water and the key role it played.As for my son, he knew most of this information separately. He appreciated so much being put together in place to add more context to the underlying events. He felt it was too brief at times for the areas he wanted to dive more deeply into.more
Write a review