Modern Era Naval Non-Fiction Section



Famous Ships

Ships & Design


ME Naval Non-Fiction - Biographical

Non-Fiction books which are biographies of specific officers or men, discussion of a particular officers tactics or battles, etc in the Modern Era.

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Author :: Nick Hewitt
First Published by :: Imperial War Museum
Format :: PB
Date :: 12 May 2016
ISBN-10 :: 1904897576
ISBN-13 :: 9781904897576

On 6 June 1944, HMS Belfast supported troops in action on the beaches of Normandy in the campaign to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany. This book recounts this extraordinary story, focusing on the dramatic events of 6 June but setting the context of the ship's history in the Arctic Convoy Service and Battle of North Cape. It describes the build-up to D-Day as seen and experienced by Belfast's people, and explains her role in the longer Battle for Normandy. Using first-hand accounts from IWM's rich collection of oral testimonies, diaries, and memoirs along with over 200 colour photographs, HMS Belfast at D-Day brings to life her leading role in the largest invasion operation in history.

Firing on Fortress Europe: HMS Belfast at D-Day

Author :: James Barrington
First Published by :: Endeavour Press
Format :: Kindle
Date :: 10 May 2012
Spring 1982. The government of Argentina seizes control of an obscure group of islands in the South Atlantic. And the Falklands War, the last great naval conflict of the 20th century, is about to begin.

On board the HMS Illustrious a young naval officer started keeping a diary of the voyage to the South Atlantic - the story of a young man embarking on a terrifying adventure from which he couldn't know if he would return alive.

Ghost-written from the original diaries by the best-selling military thriller writer James Barrington 'Falklands: Voyage To War' gives a fascinating glimpse into the psychology of a junior officer going into conflict for the first time. The anxiety, anticipation and excitement are captured in brilliant detail, as is the intense planning and preparation that went into recapturing the island.

It is a unique insight into one of the most famous British military victories.

Falklands: Voyage To War

Author :: Ian Atkinson
First Published by ::
Format :: HC
Date :: 30 September 2013
ISBN-10 :: 1784070416
ISBN-13 :: 9781784070410

A Memoir of a Royal Navy Career

In the summer of 1978, a naive young man left school with a few mediocre qualifications, no real ambition, absolutely no idea what he was going to do next, and a job in the Royal Navy wasn't even on the radar. As for his knowledge of the Navy, the author had only seen a TV series called 'Warship'. Just how hard could it be? 32 Years Man and Buoy charts Ian Atkinson's Naval career through the highs and lows of basic training before spending more than half of his life serving his Queen and country. The author's recollections are an honest and humorous account of an immensely enjoyable career. He makes some monumental mistakes along the way as he slowly matures from a barely capable Marine Engineering Mechanic to the dizzy heights of a Chief Petty Officer Submariner. Serving on frigates, destroyers and submarines throughout his long career, Ian Atkinson had a lot of laughs and shed a lot of tears through times that were good, bad and sometimes downright ugly. Nobody ever said it would be plain sailing.

32 Years Man & Buoy

Author :: Claud Aldrich
Format :: PB
Date :: 5 December 2006
ISBN-10 :: 1530610222
ISBN-13 :: 9781530610228

This is a story of a poor boy, one of nine children (seven boys and two girls), who was drafted into the United States Navy. He experienced an entirely new world. It was a rude awakening for him. He had to shape up and learn the facts of life of surviving on a warship in a time of war. He had to learn how to be in harm's way and survive.

This story is about a sailor on the new destroyer, named for Captain Van Valkenburg of the USS Arizona, who is still entombed in that famous battleship. Claud tells of the destroyer at war, being attacked many times by planes with bombs, torpedos, Kamikazes and going to the aid of many stricken ships along the way. We called ourselves the "Tin Can Sailors".

After the war, Claud returned to the states and home. He reunited with the shipmates at reunions 50 years later.

Written by a torpedoman, who was there and thankfully, came back all in one piece.

A Boy, a Ship, and a War

Author :: Peter Padfield
First Published by :: Gollancz
Format :: HC
Date :: 16 February 1984
ISBN-10 :: 0575031867
ISBN-13 :: 9780575031869

Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz was a major military commander in the Second World War. His name will always be associated with his attempt to cut Britain’s supply lines with U-boats deployed in mass ‘pack’ attacks on convoys in the Atlantic. Research in the German naval archives has allowed Peter Padfield to describe the evolution of the strategy and the demands Dönitz placed on his commanders and crews. Triumphant in the early war years, Allied countermeasures eventually turned the tables and the hunters became the hunted. Yet, as the life expectancy of U-boat men on operations fell to a matter of weeks Dönitz continued to send out his young men to probable violent death.

Just why is the theme of this book: far more than a study of war at sea, it is a portrait of a sensitive officer who proved his ability as a U-boat commander in the First World War and preserved an ice-cold leadership veneer, yet was personally insecure and a fantasist in need of a cause to serve. He found it in the person of Adolf Hitler. An early convert to Nazism – contrary to the non-political image of him constructed by his peers after the lost war – he followed the Führer with blind fanaticism to the end. Rewarded by promotion to Commander-in-Chief of the German navy, finally Hitler appointed him his successor, and he became the last Führer of the Third Reich. This is the story of a personal tragedy played out within the greater tragedy of a nation.

Dönitz: The Last Führer

U.S. Navy Codebreakers, Linguists, and Intelligence Officers against Japan, 1910-1941This unique reference presents 59 biographies of people who were key to the sea services being reasonably prepared to fight the Japanese Empire when the Second World War broke out, and whose advanced work proved crucial. These intelligence pioneers invented techniques, procedures, and equipment from scratch, not only allowing the United States to hold its own in the Pacific despite the loss of much of its Fleet at Pearl Harbor, but also laying the foundation of today's intelligence methods and agencies.

One-hundred years ago, in what was clearly an unsophisticated pre-information era, naval intelligence (and foreign intelligence in general) existed in rudimentary forms almost incomprehensible to us today. Founded in 1882, the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)--the modern world's "oldest continuously operating intelligence agency"--functioned for at least its first forty years with low manning, small budgets, low priority, and no prestige. The navy's early steps into communications intelligence (COMINT), which included activities such as radio interception, radio traffic analysis, and cryptology, came with the 1916 establishment of the Code and Signals Section within the navy's Division of Communications and with the 1924 creation of the "Research Desk" as part of the Section. Like ONI, this COMINT organization suffered from low budgets, manning, priority, and prestige.

The dictionary focuses on these pioneers, many of whom went on, even after World War II, to important positions in the Navy, the State Department, the Armed Forces Security Agency, the National Security Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency. It reveals the work and innovations of well and lesser-known individuals who created the foundations of today's intelligence apparatus and analysis.

© 2008-2023 David Hayes (Astrodene)