Saturday 19 January 2013
(Photo: On 3 August 1804 an American Squadron, including USS Constitution, attacked Tripoli during the U.S. war against the Barbary corsairs. This oil painting entitled “Decatur Boarding the Tripolitan Gunboat,” by Dennis Malone Carter, depicts Lieutenant Stephen Decatur (lower right center) in mortal combat with a Tripolitan Captain. NHHC photo NH 44647-KN. See below: Intrepid Sailors: The Legacy of Preble's Boys and the Tripoli Campaign by Chipp Reid)
Beyond the usual carriers, submarines, cruisers, and destroyers, the U.S. Navy has deployed over the years a vast flotilla of vessels to serve in specialized roles and unusual missions. These uncommon warriors, called miscellaneous auxiliary (AG) and unclassified miscellaneous (IX) vessels, are the subject of this study. It provides individual histories, specifications, and illustrations of more than forty vessels, and concise directory listings for another 400 vessels. Some began their careers as powerful warships with impressive pedigrees and achievements. Others started out as prosaic commercial vessels but after joining the fleet, helped the Navy to win a war. From battleships to tugs, the group includes such historic warships as 'Old Ironsides,' Farragut's Hartford, and Dewey's Olympia, as well as such novel vessels as coal-burning side-wheeler aircraft carriers, Q-ships, and spy ships. No other book rivals the comprehensiveness of this naval reference work.
George C. Daughan, author of 1812: The Navy’s War “Beautifully written, Knights of the Sea delves deeply into the lives and motivations of the two young, but experienced captains who dueled to the death in the famous sea fight between the HMS Boxer and USS Enterprise, shedding new light on the British and American navies during a critical period in their histories.”
"Commodore Edward Preble's campaign against Tripoli in 1804 constituted a school in audacious naval tactics for a band of young officers who would distinguish themselves in the War of 1812. Chipp Reid's lively account of the exploits of 'Preble's Boys' provides an interesting introduction to one of the most fondly remembered generations of American naval leaders that includes Stephen Decatur, Isaac Hull, and Thomas Macdonough.
David Curtis Skaggs, author of Thomas Macdonough: Master of Command in the Early U.S. Navy and Oliver Hazard Perry: Honor, Courage, and Patriotism in the Early U.S. Navy
"Piracy off the coast of Somalia poses a significant challenge to the international community. In just the last five years, Somali pirates have hijacked more than 175 commercial vessels and taken more than 3,000 of their crew members hostage along one of the world's busiest and most vital shipping corridors, potentially disrupting both regional trade and the global supply chain. Moreover, links have emerged between the pirates and transnational criminal networks and terrorist groups, which give cause for even greater concern. Unlike the armchair analysts and pundits--many of whom have pontificated about this threat without ever having set foot anywhere near Somalia, much less ever encountering a Somali pirate--Rear Adm. Terry McKnight has chased the marauders on the high seas and brought some to justice as commander of an unprecedented international task force to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden. However, Pirate Alley is more than the memoir of a tour of duty; it is a comprehensive, but accessible, introduction to an important security issue and has the merit of offering practical policy guidance. . . . Highly recommended
J. Peter Pham, director, Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, Atlantic Council, and editor in chief, The Journal of the Middle East and Africa
1150P: Pirate Alley: Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia [Hardcover]RADM Terry McKnight USN (Ret.) with Michael Hirsh
Robert Middlekauff, author of The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789
“1812: The Navy’s War is a sparkling effort. It tells more than the naval history of the war, for there is much in it about the politics and diplomacy of the war years. The stories of ship-to-ship battles and of the officers and men who sailed and fought form the wonderful heart of the book. These accounts are told in a handsome prose that conveys the strategy, high feeling, and courage of both British and Americans. In every way this is a marvelous book.