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Naval History

  • World War II Magazine

    In the Grip of Black Water

    When a torpedo fatally struck an American submarine, a new battle began. OCTOBER 6, 1944: THE PACIFIC The weather was deteriorating rapidly, waves doubling in size every hour. As angry green breakers pounded the USS Tang, the submarine’s...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Book Review: Operation Storm

    Operation Storm: Japan’s Top Secret Submarines and Their Plan to Change the Course of World War II By John J. Geoghegan. 496 pp. Crown, 2013. $28.  Among the Japanese Navy’s numerous and exotic technical innovations was the...

  • World War II Magazine

    True Fiction: The Caine Mutiny

    Why a classic World War II story always matters. Herman Wouk’s The Caine Mutiny may be the greatest American novel of World War II. This 1951 study of men at war with a foreign foe and with each other spent 122 weeks on the New York...

  • World War II Magazine

    Letters from Readers- World War II June 2013

    Art for the Ages MY FATHER, Albert A. Linder, made “trench art” items like the ones in January/ February’s “Time Pieces” while stationed at Pearl Harbor during the war. He was a machinist first class. He helped raise and repair...

  • World War II Magazine

    What If Japan Had Won at Midway?

    IT IS JUNE 4, 1942. Spearheaded by four aircraft carriers, the Japanese mobile task force steams toward Midway Atoll in the Central Pacific, hoping to lure into battle the remnants of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The Japanese do not know that,...

  • World War II Magazine

    Torpedoes in Paradise

    Yes, the Germans and the Japanese did collaborate. No, it didn’t do much good. The USS Sea south of Borneo the afternoon of April 23, 1945. The submarine’s skipper, Lieutenant Commander Herman E. Miller, had come to trust the uncannily...

  • World War II Magazine

    Goliath Unleashed: Japan’s Supership

    When Japan’s supership finally took aim at its intended enemy during history’s greatest naval battle, the result was not at all what the Japanese had envisioned. Thursday morning, October 25, 1944, found the battleship Yamato steaming...

  • HistoryNet

    War of 1812: British Amphibious Operations

    The Royal Navy’s control of the sea threatened America’s Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico coasts. When the United States declared war on Britain to begin the War of 1812, American land and sea forces were woefully ill prepared to take...

  • HistoryNet

    What Next, General?: Nelson at Trafalgar, 1805

     “WOODEN WALLS” It is October 18, 1805, as you assume the role of British Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson. Due to your aggressiveness, exceptional tactical skill and ability to inspire your crews in numerous naval battles, you have...

  • HistoryNet

    Sinking An Ally, 1940

    After France surrendered to Germany, Britain’s Royal Navy smashed the French fleet at Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria. The popular narrative of World War II is typically summed up thus: In a consistent show of staunch unity, Allied forces came...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Emperor Vs. Pirate: Tunis 1535

    Suleiman’s proxy, pirate Khair ad-Din “Barbarossa,” bet that he could defend Tunis against Charles V’s massive invasion force. He was mistaken. In the winter of 1533–1534, hundreds of skilled craftsmen filled the shipyards and...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Death Boards the Essex

    U.S. Navy captain David Porter bore the elements of greatness—but his epic 1812 Pacific voyage led to a Shakespearean final act. At age 32 in 1812, David Porter Jr., the son of a Revolutionary War seafarer, was a proud, ambitious man in...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Behind the Lines: Scuttled at Scapa Flow, 1919

    The final cruise of the German High Seas Fleet. It was 9:30 a.m. when the German High Seas Fleet came sweeping out of the morning fog lying low over the North Sea. Ahead of them lay Scotland’s Firth of Forth. Overhead, the smoke from 70...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Mid-Atlantic Brawl

    Halloween 1943: A no-holds-barred fight breaks out between crews of USS Borie (DD-215) and U-405, with weapons from torpedoes to tommy guns. For most of the World War II Battle for the North Atlantic, sailors on outmoded U.S. Navy...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Book Review: In the Hour of Victory

    In the Hour of Victory: The Royal Navy at War in the Age of Nelson  By Sam Willis. 416 pages. W. W. Norton, 2014. $35.00 This big handsome book grew out of naval historian Sam Willis’s discovery in the British Library of a forgotten...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Book Review: Give Me a Fast Ship

    Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America’s Revolution at Sea  By Tim McGrath. 560 pages. NAL Caliber, 2014. $26.95 Yes, there really was a naval component to the American Revolution, but it was by no means well...