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prmitch

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About prmitch

  • Birthday 07/04/1947

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    Sauquoit, New York, USA
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    Marine engineering, ship modeling, maritime and naval research, sailing

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  1. Michael, The fix was for the "Seaways' Ships in Scale (SSiS)" vol 1 and vol 2 only. I'll work on the "Original Ships in Scale (OSiS)" and "Model ShipBuilder (MSB)"sets tomorrow or Monday. The code needs to be modified somewhat as the index file structures are different from that of the "Seaways' Ships in Scale (SSiS)" vol 1 and vol 2 collection. I'm glad the "Seaways' Ships in Scale (SSiS)" vol 1 and vol 2 fix worked for you. I should have a fix for the NRJ Vol 1-40 searchable index later in the week.
  2. All, The newer browsers handle JavaScript a bit differently than the older versions which required me to make some minor revisions to the code. I have revised and attached the search file NAV.HTM for the Seaways Ships in Scale Volumes 1-10 collection for use on hard drive installations ONLY (it won't work for the CDs since you can't copy the file to the CD). I have successfully tested the fix on both a Windows PC and a Mac using the latest versions of the following browsers: Chrome 84.0.4147.105 (Win 10 & Mac OS-X Catalina) Firefox 79.0 (Win 10 & Mac OS-X Catalina) Opera 70.0 (Win 10) & 70.0.3728.71 (Mac OS-X Catalina) Microsoft Edge 84.0.522.50 (Win 10 & Mac OS-X Catalina) Safari 13.1.2(13609.3.1.5) (Mac OS-X Catalina) This fix is for the Seaways Ships in Scale Volumes 1-10 collection ONLY - the Volumes 11-20 search should work OK as is. If the current search function is presently working OK for you then this fix is optional - this fix should also run OK if you are running an older browser. Please perform the following steps in order to implement the fix: Close all open browsers. Navigate to the file folder on your hard drive containing the Seaways Ships in Scale Volumes 1-10 collection. Rename the existing NAV.HTM file to something like NAV_orig.HTM so that you can restore it if necessary. Copy the attached NAV.HTM file into the folder. Open your browser and load the collections HOME.HTM or index.htm page (it doesn't matter, they are the same thing). Click on the "Find Article" link to open the search page. Enter you search term(s) and click the "Find" button (or hit return). The search results will open in a new browser tab. If it doesn't work the first time, try refreshing the page. Sometimes the old version of the page is held in the browser's cache - refreshing the page will clear the cache. Please let me know how this works for you. I will work with Kurt to roll out the change on a wider basis. Thank you, NAV.HTM
  3. Ahoy, Paul Mitchell here. I'm the developer of the NRG and Seaways CD sets/digital archives. I am looking into the issue which appears to be related to how more modern browsers handle javascript. I will post a fix as soon as I develop one. BTW I have found similar issues on Mac OS-X also. In the interim for the Seaways archives, you can open the CUMINDX.JS file using a text editor such as notepad and search for your search term within this file. The following is a typical entry: "THE MARBLEHEAD SCHOONER- SIR EDWARD HAWKE|ALLER, R. C.|SCHOONER, HAWKE|SIR EDWARD HAWKE|MODEL CONSTRUCTION|ARMED SCHOONER|SOLID HULL|I|1|JAN FEB 1990|52-56|VOL_01/NO_1/PAGE_52.HTM", The portion of the entry highlighted in blue represent the Volume #, Issue #, Months & Year, and page(s). The portion of the entry highlighted in orange represent the the subdirectories and file name of the article. IMPORTANT: Do not make any changes to the CUMINDX.JS file! Thank you for your patience,
  4. Early U.S. Navy Carrier Raids, February-April 1942: Five Operations that Tested a New Dimension of American Air Power By David Lee Russell Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2019 7” x 10”, softcover, vii + 197 pages Illustrations, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. $39.95 ISBN: 9781476638614 From February through April in 1942, the United States Navy launched a series of aircraft carrier raids against the Empire of Japan. Although the raids were pinpricks, with little material impact, they proved critically important. Early U.S. Navy Carrier Raids February–April 1942: Five Operations That Tested a New Dimension of American Air Power, by David Lee Russell, shows exactly how important the five raids were. The February carrier raids on the Marshall and Gilbert Islands, Rabaul, and Wake and the Marcus Islands, a March raid on Lae and Salamaua in New Guinea, and the April Doolittle Raid on Japan were the first offensive operations in the Pacific by the United States Navy following Japan’s attacks in December 1941. The author devotes a chapter to each raid, with an opening chapter introducing the situation, and a final chapter placing the results of the raids in the context of the overall war and their significance to its outcome. Each raid gets a detailed examination. Russell presents the planning, execution and outcome of each set of raids. He documents each American attack and each Japanese counterattack occurring during the raid. These are accompanied by a generous assortment of maps and illustrations, helping readers better understand the action in each raid. Russell makes comprehensive use of primary sources, such as operations orders, after-action reports and wartime analyses. These are extensively quoted in each chapter, adding immediacy to his descriptions. He backs this up with post-war analyses. The book covers some of the most dramatic episodes of World War II. The clearest example is that of the Doolittle Raid. Other incidents include “Butch” O’Hare single-handedly breaking up an attack on Lexington. He earned “ace-in-a-day” status, credited with shooting down five G4M bombers in a few minutes’ fighting. It also offers a look at men who played starring roles in the Pacific War, from admirals like William Halsey to pilots, like Wade McCluskey and John Thatch, who played critical roles at Coral Sea and Midway. This book is of primary interest to naval historians. Those focused on maritime history or pre-twentieth century naval history will probably give it a pass. Similarly, while interesting to read, ship modelers will find little of interest. For those interested in World War II United States carrier operations, it is a must read, if not a must have. Those interested in World War II naval operations, especially those whose focus is the Pacific theater will find it useful. It is also useful for wargamers gaming carrier air combat. The appendices have full orders of battles for the American task groups committed to each raid. However, it is weaker in providing Japanese orders of battles. Readers learn what the American actually encountered, but not what the Japanese potentially had. Early U.S. Navy Carrier Raids February–April 1942 offers a well-written account of a series of operations that, while minor, were significant. All (except for the Doolittle Raid) are largely forgotten today. Russell offers readers a fresh look at them in this book. Mark Lardas League City, Texas This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  5. Minding the Helm: An Unlikely Career in the U.S. Coast Guard By Kevin P. Gilheany Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2019 6-1/4” x 9-1/4”, hardcover, viii + 269 pages Photographs, notes, bibliography, index. $24.95 ISBN: 9781574417500 The perils of traveling the world’s waters demands only brave souls serve aboard a seagoing vessel, and requires the most valiant souls to save them when they are distressed. The United States Coast Guard, formed from a merger of the United States Life-Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service in 1915, has a rich tradition in endangering their own lives in order to save those in need throughout American waters. Many have sought to join the ranks of these brave individuals including Kevin P. Gilheany, who dreamt of enlisting in the Coast Guard as a young boy in Manhattan. In Minding the Helm: An Unlikely Career in the U.S. Coast Guard, Retired Chief Warrant Officer Gilheany candidly describes his time and adventures in the United States Coast Guard. Through his service, Officer Gilheany accomplished his youthful aspiration of going to sea, along with experiences only obtained through military service. After progressing through boot camp, he received his first orders to report aboard the cutter Bear, after a brief spell aboard Gallatin in New York. From there, Quartermaster Gilheany served onboard the Coast Guard’s sail training vessel Eagle, in New Orleans as quartermaster of the buoy tender Wedge, and as an operation controller at Long Island’s Moriches Station before finally returning to New Orleans. He provides tremendous insight into the day-to-day activities enlisted men in the Coast Guard experience, as well as the characters and friendships encountered along the way. Additionally, the author includes snippets of Coast Guard history to supplement his narrative. All reveal the honor Gilheany attaches to his service in the Coast Guard. While he recounts his professional and personal development, Officer Gilheany offers his own perception into the many major events that occurred during his service. Serving from the 1980s to the early 2000s, he witnessed the Challenger explosion, as well as the 9/11 attacks either firsthand or through exercises in their aftermath. For instance, the reader experiences the surreal sensation of watching the World Trade Center, a building he had viewed on the New York skyline since his childhood, fall. Instances like these deepen the audience’s understanding of his dedication towards his country through his Coast Guard service. In his eyes, he had been blessed with the ability to serve and strode to make a difference in the wake of each of these tragedies. Perhaps the most entertaining part of Gilheany’s memoir are his recollections of his fellow crewmembers. Often, he fondly remembers the friendships he cultivated throughout his service; he also recalls the individuals and characters who irritated him beyond comprehension. The New York native frequently had to suppress his natural urge to speak against the sloth and unprofessional behavior displayed by his colleagues throughout his assignments, but he never let it prevent him from performing his duties. That attitude helped the young misfit from New York enjoy such a lengthy and successful military career. Kevin P. Gilheany’s, Minding the Helm: An Unlikely Career in the U.S. Coast Guard, showcases his exemplary two and a half decade military career. Joining the Coast Guard helped him develop personally and allowed him to accomplish his childhood dreams. His book brilliantly captures his perspective on his service and his character, molded through constant adversity. Historians and enthusiastic readers alike will appreciate Retired Chief Warrant Officer Gilheany’s rendition of his career serving in the United States Coast Guard. Will Nasiff East Carolina University This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  6. The Man Who Discovered Antarctica: Edward Bransfield Explained By Sheila Bransfield Barnsley: Frontline Books, 2019 6-1/4” x 9-1/4”, hardcover, xviii + 318 pages Photographs, notes, bibliography, index. $49.95 ISBN: 9781526752635 A young Irish sailor pressed into the Royal Navy at the outset of the Napoleonic Wars might not be an expected candidate for achieving exploratory milestones in the service. This is, however, exactly the story that Sheila Bransfield seeks to bring to life in The Man Who Discovered Antarctica, a work which tracks this young man—Edward Bransfield—from the turn of the century Ireland across the seas of the globe, from ship to ship, and into their furthest southern reaches. This book belongs to a genre which seeks to restore to the collective memory someone who has dropped out of it, and Bransfield the author is uniquely qualified to do so—she has not just written about him but has also aided in other efforts to restore knowledge of his life, as in her efforts at preserving his grave. The book is bursting with information about the world through which Bransfield the subject moved, making it not just the narrative of an individual but of a life in and through time. This also makes it an interesting read for people with all levels of understanding around nineteenth-century maritime history, as the narrative is not confined just to him and does not assume vast knowledge on the part of the reader. The abovementioned strengths of the book—following the trail of an important but also ordinary man through the upheavals of the first half of the nineteenth century—can at times also be its weakness. This is especially apparent in the first few chapters, which write on Bransfield’s early years in the Navy. Bransfield himself disappears from the text at times, subsumed under the actions of captains and commanders. A reading of this period his life as it might have been experienced by Bransfield himself, from the lower deck, might tie the context and the individual more closely. Sometimes contextual information may feel disjointed, as when a single paragraph about the abolition of the slave trade appears in the midst of describing HMS Royal Sovereign’s patrol of Cadiz, and might have been better suited for a note. Where The Man who Discovered Antarctica truly picks up strength is around chapter 9 or 10, as Edward Bransfield begins to rise through the ranks of the navy and his life and the contextual information become more securely intertwined. Chapter 19, which covers Bransfield’s journey to the Antarctic aboard the two-masted brig Williams, is particularly rich. On the whole the book is a fast-paced and far-ranging narrative, expansive as the environment and person who together create the narrative. Bransfield the author’s absorption in her source material is apparent in more than just the information presented; at times the text takes on the cadence of a logbook, making the rhythm of seafaring life felt and not just learned through the course of the book. Beginning with impressment and closing with his return to England following his Antarctic expedition, Edward Bransfield’s naval career is a fascinating story, and Sheila Bransfield’s book is the definitive treatment of his life. Brooke Grasberger Brown University This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  7. The Capture of the USS Pueblo: The Incident, the Aftermath and the Motives of North Korea By James Duermeyer Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2019 6” x 9”, softcover, x + 199 pages Photographs, notes, bibliography, index. $49.95 ISBN: 9781476675404 For me, as a 33-year intelligence officer. this book was fascinating in its detail and documentation, Commander Duermeyer did a great job of clearing the mist of intelligence and the military argot in the introduction and first chapter. He did an outstanding lay out of the interaction between the Navy and the National Security Agency (NSA). which greatly helped in understanding how and why the capture was carried off without support from our military. Fallowing the groundwork explanation of the Intelligence issues, Duermeyer goes into a detailed discussion of leadership and risk assessment. He is very critical of both the Navy and NSA analysis of risk plus the failure of leadership. He is spot on with his comments and assessment from the President on down the chain of command. Despite numerous incursions and continued low intensity conflict perpetrated by North Korea (NOKO). the Navy and NSA continued to rely on the “12-mile” credo and assessed Pueblo’s risk at low. This was true throughout both chains of command. A true failure to face the reality of risk in order to maintain the Republic of Korea (ROK) forces then fighting with the United States in Viet Nam and not open a second front with Korea. Weltpolitik dominated the decision makers thinking. Duermeyer does an excellent job of analyzing the reactions of Pueblo’s crew and its captain, Commander Bucher. Also examined are the intelligence community, South Korea, and the Washington arena (White House situation room); all put into the historic context of the Johnson era and Viet Nam, then the reactions of Congress; all well documented. Congressional reaction was predictably hawkish on one side and cautious to the point of inaction on the other side; the result was no real leadership. In summary, President Johnson is rightfully marked as the top decision maker who failed Pueblo and its crew. Of course, Viet Nam was the ten-ton gorilla in the room throughout the eleven-month period of captivity. The most interesting and relevant chapter was on why NOKO captured Pueblo. It provides an insight into the issues involved with today’s negotiations with Kim Il-Un. His father, Kim Il-sung, instituted the harsh imposition of juche, a doctrine meaning North Korea must be regarded by the world powers as being equal or superior to them and that North and South Korea had to be reunited under the North’s dictatorship. This doctrine was and is imposed on the mind and souls of all NOKO citizens and those that did not or do not bent to the Greater Good of the country are tortured into submission or executed. Torture was used on the entire crew in the belief that they could be turned to the communist way. The more torture the more the crew turned to God and country; in the end Kim’s propaganda and mistreatment failed. Though NOKO thought they had humbled the United States and the Central Intelligence Agency, they failed. The doctrine of juche is still very much in the mind and actions of Kim Il-un and, therefore, all of the current negotiations need to take this into account. This book is one that I highly recommend to all scholars and political historians. Edward E. Quan Greenwood Village, Colorado This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  8. The British Civil Wars at Sea, 1638-1653 By Richard J. Blakemore & Elaine Murphy Woodbridge, Sussex: The Boydell Press, 2018 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xiv + 225 pages Illustrations, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. $115.00 ISBN: 9781783272297 In The British Civil Wars at Sea: 1638-1653, Richard Blakemore and Elaine Murphy offer a concise, yet thoroughly researched account of the British civil wars from a naval perspective. This is a long overdue study and a largely neglected aspect of the British civil wars and naval history. A refreshing aspect of this work this that it strays from previous fashions of Anglocentrism and embraces a more holistic view of the civil wars by analyzing Royalist, Confederate, and Scottish naval activities. Discussions of Confederate naval efforts are particularly intriguing, especially the Confederation’s attempts to develop a naval administration from scratch and wage war at sea using privateers. Scottish naval efforts are only touched on briefly and are discussed more in terms of clan rivalries. The authors do make it clear, however, that after 1644 the Scots relied heavily on Parliament’s warships. When Parliament is examined the authors convincingly argue that the civil wars had a transformative effect on the navy by elevating it from a position of vulnerability in 1639 to a well-honed instrument of national security by the First Anglo Dutch War. They argue that this transformation took place when Parliament instituted state-control over the navy. This was followed by augmenting the naval administration, investing in infrastructure, and shipbuilding programs. Such activities necessitated improved revenue collection and lines of credit. These developments not only allowed Parliament to wage a more successful war at sea than its opponents, but it moved Britain more in the direction of a fiscal-military state. By changing the political nature of the navy, parliament brought forth a new crop naval officers that rose to prominence during the wars. An important theme throughout this work is the role of navies in support of ground forces. Not only did navies secure supply lines and logistically support armies, but they were instrumental in providing relief to beleaguered coastal garrisons or enforcing blockades against enemy held ports. The authors are careful, however, not to overemphasize the role of navies in the success of campaigns by pointing out their limitations. The book, however, demonstrates that naval support was key in facilitating a successful land campaign. This point is keenly felt with the navy assisting Cromwell in the conquest of Ireland and Scotland. Although the coastal regions of the British Isles provided the primary theater of operations, the authors impress upon the reader that the civil wars had a larger impact on the Atlantic World. Naval activities extended to the Azores, Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Bermuda, and the American colonies. This is a thoughtful and well-written book. Blakemore and Murphy successfully navigate the confusing political and religious turmoil of the period. Furthermore, they do not dwell heavily on tactics and technology, as it is not essential to this work. Instead, they provide just enough background to enhance their analysis and their voluminous footnotes indicate where readers can find more information. Consequently, this book should find broad appeal amongst scholars and students. David Bennett North Carolina Maritime Museums This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  9. Sailing School: Navigating Science and Skill, 1550-1800 By Margaret E. Schotte Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019 7-1/4” x 10-1/4”, hardcover, xi + 297 pages Illustrations, glossary, notes, bibliography, index. $59.95 ISBN: 9781421429533 The question of how one becomes a proficient sailor has long been a subject of debate and speculation within maritime history. At what point does a green hand become and able seaman? Which skills were considered essential in an era before state-regulated licensing? Navigators were among the earliest class of seaman to undergo regulatory exams which assessed their knowledge, skills, and preparedness to undertake the critical task of guiding ships from one safe harbor to the next. This professionalization and regulation of navigators’ skills resulted in a body of texts, manuals, workbooks, and logbooks which give insight into how these skills were taught, practiced, and retained by practitioners. As sailing routes rapidly expanded in the early modern period, so too did the skills and techniques that a navigator was required to understand. ‘Small’ coastal navigation was increasingly augmented with the need for ‘large’ transoceanic navigational techniques. Coastal pilots memorized coastlines, tides, and counted moon phases on their knuckles, and were largely trained through shipboard experience. However, increasing mathematization of the craft required that transoceanic navigators master trigonometry, memorize formulas, and adapt to new instruments by which to measure their position on the globe. In this book, Schotte adapts her dissertation into a detailed, transnational study of how navigators were trained, evaluated, and the texts and tools they employed along the way. Schotte mines archives throughout Europe, particularly Spain, The Netherlands, France, and England. Using textual and content analysis approach, she outlines which techniques and skills were most favored by different nations throughout time. What emerges is a strikingly similar trajectory in the techniques used by navigators throughout Europe, even though the timeline of adoption and the emphasis of topics differed from nation to nation. This study reveals how the proliferation of print and literacy improved the training of navigators until it was an essential skill. Despite the growth in classroom learning, the need for practical, shipboard experience was crucial. Nations often struggled to find the right balance of book learning and shipboard experience, and this ‘pendulum’ often swung back and forth throughout the period and according to the priorities of each locale. The work is thoroughly researched, analyzed, and includes a multitude of descriptive end notes and citations. Schotte frequently includes passages of narrative description, illustrations, engravings, diagrams, and images from manuscripts which help break up and bring clarity to heavily technical sections. Admittedly, the nuance of Euclidian geometry, trigonometry, and logarithms as applied to navigation may be a bit lost on readers with a soft grounding in mathematics. However, Schotte does an admirable job explaining the principles of such technical skills, and how navigators applied that information to solve navigational problems both in the classroom and on the decks of their ships. There is surprisingly limited discussion of the chronometer its effect on navigational practice. However, this omission is understandable when recognizing that the technology came into use towards the end of the period, and that the topic has been covered at length in other volumes. The final chapter narrates how one English navigator, Edward Riou, was able to steer a foundering vessel to safety despite challenging weather conditions and a missing rudder. This chapter beautifully encapsulates how proficient navigators were required to balance technical and practical skills and be well versed in a variety of navigational techniques, both old and new, in order to solve problems at sea. Overall, Sailing School is and extremely informative look into the practice and transmission of navigational knowledge in Europe during the scientific revolution, and how text helped to codify and communicate that information to new practitioners. Kendra Lawrence East Carolina University This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  10. Confederate Ironclads at War By R. Thomas Campbell Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2019 7” x 10”, softcover, vii + 268 pages Illustrations, appendix, notes, bibliography, index. $49.95 ISBN: 9781476676401 The name R. Thomas Campbell is well-known to anyone who has studied the history of the Confederate Navy over the past two decades. Campbell has published no fewer than twenty books in the last quarter century, either as author or editor, all on a variety of Confederate naval topics. In this reviewer’s opinion, his best work was Storm Over Carolina, published in 2005. Campbell’s work has also been published in numerous periodicals. His latest release, Confederate Ironclads at War, is a useful volume for anyone interested in the Confederate Navy. Through the histories of individual ships, Campbell tells the story of the Confederates’ quest to procure and produce ironclads throughout the war. He argues that although the Confederate Navy exhibited “unsurpassed resourcefulness, courage, and ingenuity,” in the end it was “too little too late.” The Introduction nicely summarizes the challenges faced by the Confederate Navy and the logic behind its ironclad construction program. This is followed by fourteen chapters on individual ironclads and an appendix listing the officers and crew members for six of those ships. A glance at the chapter notes and bibliography reveals a vast array of both primary and secondary sources. Campbell tends to include large block quotes from primary sources in the narrative, though not as frequently as in his earlier works. Otherwise, his writing is very clear, concise, and engaging in most instances, and the book is well-illustrated throughout, though a few images appear more than once. Aside from a few typos, the book is well-edited and handsomely produced. Unfortunately, as with all this publisher’s books, the price is somewhat steep, in this reviewer’s opinion. Campbell selected the best-known of the Confederate ironclads for inclusion in this work, but not all receive equal treatment. Chapters on CSS Virginia, CSS Albemarle, and CSS Arkansas are the longest in the book, likely because they possess the most compelling stories. Curiously, CSS Jackson receives a scant four pages, three of which are images, and the single page of text is reprinted by permission from another source and author. This leads one to wonder if this ship was included only because its remains are now housed at the National Civil War Naval Museum. The remaining ten chapters are all roughly equal in length. Having produced so much material on the Confederate Navy throughout his career, one must question whether Campbell has anything new to say about the subject and, unfortunately, the answer appears to be “no.” He admits in the introduction that two complete chapters, “The Blockade is Broken” and “The Last Ironclad, the CSS Stonewall” are reprinted from his 1997 book Southern Fire: Exploits of the Confederate States Navy. In addition, much of the information found in the remaining chapters is almost certainly reworked from previous books and articles as well. However, this does not necessarily detract from the value of this book. Many of Campbell’s older works are out of print and the publishers of those books no longer exist. Therefore, Confederate Ironclads at War will appeal to a new generation of readers with an interest in the Confederate Navy. Andrew Duppstadt North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  11. Captain Kidd’s Lost Ship: The Wreck of the Quedagh Merchant By Frederick H. Hanselmann Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2019 6-1/4” x 9-1/4”, hardcover, xxii + 198 pages Illustrations, drawings, tables, maps, bibliography, index. $85.00 ISBN: 9780813056227 The allure of pirates has spanned generations, inspiring numerous fictional works and a myriad of historical and archaeological research to understand the lives of these nationless sailors. In recent decades, archaeology has begun to embrace the study of pirates and methodically explore their resources, including vessels, as significant cultural resources. Frederick Hanselmann, the director of the Underwater Archaeology and Exploration Program at the University of Miami, has spent his career working throughout the Spanish Main and analyzing the political and economic interactions between the colonial empires throughout the area. Through his work, Captain Kidd’s Lost Ship: The Wreck of the Quedagh Merchant, he brings the varying empires and their interactions together around Captain William Kidd and the age of piracy. Hanselmann’s work not only provides significant evidence that the wreck off Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic is in fact Quedagh Merchant; in doing so, he also offers a framework for contextualizing a shipwreck within a larger historical narrative and creating a viable management and interpretation plan for a shipwreck site. In characterizing the wreck as Quedagh Merchant, Hanselmann first addresses the theoretical frameworks used to connect the broader historical trends with the individual actions of those involved with the physical remains of the site in the Dominican Republic. He focuses his framework around multiscalar world-systems and individual agency as symbolized in the shipwreck site and its global story. Delving directly into the global and individual histories at play, Hanselmann contextualizes the connections and power roles that developed between the British, their Indian counterparts, and the American colonies in the larger world that Indian Ocean piracy and Captain William Kidd navigated through. The in-depth historical context provided the basis for laying the groundwork for exploring the shipwreck. Hanselmann moves his framework, and argument, forward by next addressing the site itself. He lays out the archaeological methodology used to investigate the site before providing the hypothesis developed concerning the identity of the wreck. Observations noted about the form and function of the wreck outlined in the hypothesis were compared to the historical research. Through this comparison, he provided compelling evidence the wreck is indeed the Indian vessel, Quedagh Merchant, captured by Captain William Kidd. To complete his framework, Hanselmann covers the structures now in place to not only protect the site, but to also interpret the site and use it as a part of the tourism of the Dominican Republic. By the end, Hanselmann successfully argues the vessel is Quedagh Merchant and shows a useful framework for theoretical analyzing a shipwreck site and providing meaningful management and interpretation. While the work is filled with many direct quotes that make reading a little dense, Hanselmann is able to use these quotes effectively to aid in laying his theoretical approach, historical research, and management overview. These features, and quotes accompanied by well-placed images and tables, allow him to present a strong argument for the identity of the shipwreck site off Catalina Island, its place in the global piratical and colonial history of the late seventeenth century, and feasible management and interpretation strategies. Captain Kidd’s Lost Ship is not only a compelling work for any person interested in piracy, but also a fundamental example of using a clear theoretical framework for analyzing and interpreting a shipwreck site. Allyson Ropp St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  12. Before the Battlecruiser: The Big Cruiser in the World’s Navies, 1865-1910 By Aidan Dodson Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing, 2018 Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2018 9” x 11-1/4”, hardcover, 304 pages Photographs, diagrams, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. $57.95 ISBN: 9781473892163 The historiography of warship technology in the second half of the nineteenth century is dominated by analysis and discussion of developments in battleship design, essentially, the competition between protection and artillery that culminated in the emergence, in the very early 1900s, of the dreadnought type. Battleships also became the defining metric for contemporary determination of relative naval power. Aidan Dodson’s Before the Battlecruiser, however, illuminates the development of “big cruisers” during the same period. In general, these vessels, compared with their battleship contemporaries, were faster, not quite as heavily armed, and less well protected. They were constructed to serve as major warships in more distant waters, as commerce raiders, or as fast scouts for the battlefleet. Just as battleship development culminated in the dreadnought type, so these large cruisers evolved into the battlecruisers of the early 1900s. But this story has received very little previous attention. Much more has been written about torpedo boats and destroyers or submarines than on these large cruisers. This lack of attention is quite remarkable because the technological developments embodied in these cruisers made them major factors in and drivers of contemporary naval doctrines. Their development and use as powerful, long-ranged raiders underpinned a major thread of naval strategy built around campaigns against commerce rather than decisive encounters between battlefleets. Their construction and deployment as capital ships outside European waters enabled and then consolidated much of Europe’s colonial expansion in the later nineteenth century. Their ultimate emergence and deployment as heavily armed fast elements for battlefleets drove efforts to develop true fast battleships. The most remarkable detail that emerges from Before the Battlecruiser is sheer scope of the big cruisers’ operational contributions during this period. Big cruisers, either in their own right or as major components of battlefleets, engaged in almost every significant naval combat, and a host of lesser skirmishes, during the later nineteenth century. Cumulatively, these ships saw appreciably more action than their battleship contemporaries. Dodson’s exposition of this story is presented in two sections. A very thorough analysis and description of the origins, development, and operational employment of these bog cruisers fills the first half of the book. This text is supported by a quite excellent selection of photographs, all clearly printed and many rarely published before. The second half is a catalog of the more than two hundred ships of this type that entered naval service. The catalog presents the usual vital statistics one expects, supported by small sketch broadside representations to scale of the ships. A considerable number of these sketches either come from contemporary editions of Brassey’s Naval Annual or Jane’s Fighting Ships or are rendered in the same style. Before the Battlecruiser is a major contribution to the literature of naval development in the later nineteenth century. It is a beautifully presented, thoroughly analyzed, and lucidly written presentation of a long-neglected topic. It needs to find a place in the library of any serious student of warship history of the period. Christopher Conlan Philadelphia, Pennsylvania This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  13. The Colour Blue in Historic Shipbuilding from Antiquity to Modern Times By Joachim Müllerschön Norderstedt: BoD -Books on Demand, 2019 7-3/4” x 11”, hardcover, 200 pages Illustrations, notes, references. €76.80 ISBN: 9783749419883 Every once in a while a new book is published that defies simple classification but, simultaneously, turns out to contain so much useful and intriguing information that it cannot be ignored. The Colour Blue in Historic Shipbuilding is just such a work. Its title would classify it instantaneously as esoterica, of interest only to a minute audience of obsessive researchers, but the reality of this book is very different. One central component of Müllerschön’s work is a breathtakingly thorough chronological analysis of the pigments and binders used through history to manufacture blue paints. This alone makes The Colour Blue in Historic Shipbuilding essential reading for professionals working in most aspects of historic restoration, renovation, or reconstruction, well beyond the confines of maritime contexts. Within the narrower field of ship models, reference to this analysis will be essential for restorers of historic models and those wishing to create accurate new models. His chronology provides all the data necessary to ensure that the specific pigments and binders are appropriate for the period of the model. The second main component illustrates the use of this great variety of blue paints. Müllerschön draws on museum and gallery collections for images of models and contemporary artwork that demonstrate the range of usages through time. A third possibly quite fortuitous element is the history of ships and boats that Müllerschön’s illustrations create. It is quite possible to read The Colour Blue in Historic Shipbuilding as an outline history of shipbuilding from ancient Egypt to present-day recreations of historic vessels. A work like this ultimately stands or falls on the quality of its presentation. Print-on-demand works generally do not have a high reputation but The Colour Blue in Historic Shipbuilding defies this. The quality of image reproduction and typeface presentation is excellent and adds greatly to the work’s utility. The Colour Blue in Historic Shipbuilding confounds expectations. Its topic indeed is esoteric but the book’s content and presentation give it a wide-ranging value and importance far beyond the limitations of its title Paul E. Fontenoy Albuquerque, New Mexico This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  14. “Our Little Monitor” The Greatest Invention of the Civil War By Anna Gibson Holloway & Jonathan W. White Kent: The Kent State University Press, 2018 7-1/4” x 10-1/2”, hardcover, xix +283 pages Illustrations, tables, appendix, notes, bibliography, index. $34.95 ISBN: 9781606353141 Few Civil War ships have been as written about as USS Monitor. Many books and articles about the first-of-its-kind warship and the Battle of Hampton Roads, which served as its proving ground have been published. This new work by Anna Gibson Holloway and Jonathan W. White is positioned to become the definitive work about Monitor. This should come as no surprise, as there may be no one in the field as knowledgeable about this ship as Dr. Holloway. As curator of the USS Monitor Center at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia, she became immersed in the history, archaeology, and lore of one of America’s most famous warships, first turning that knowledge into a doctoral dissertation, and then this book, which deserves a place on the shelf of everyone with an interest in the American Civil War. Here, the story of Monitor is told with great care and detail, without becoming mired in minutiae. The book is divided into two parts. The first part, “The Monitor in History and Memory” details the history of Monitor from conception to demise to ultimate discovery and recovery. The opening chapter begins the story by discussing the standing of both the Union and Confederate navies at the outbreak of war and the conversion of USS Merrimack to CSS Virginia by the Confederates. From this starting point, the authors examine the politics of the Union Navy as its officers and other government officials debated building armored warships, until finally contracts were let for building Monitor and others. Chapters 3 and 4 cover the building of Monitor and the Battle of Hampton Roads. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 are quite possibly the most interesting in the book. Chapter 5 looks at Monitor in popular culture, beginning immediately following the battle. Songs and poems were written about the ship, many consumer items were produced using images of the ship and the battle, and national interest soared. Images of the ship continued to be used in advertising well into the twentieth century. Chapter 6 explores the thoughts of people across the spectrum immediately following the battle. While many in the country were ecstatic about this new era of naval history, the officers and sailors often viewed things differently. Though widely touted as heroes, many of the men on board did not agree. Some felt as though they had not even been in a battle, one officer stating, “we haven’t done much fighting, merely drilling the men at the guns a little.” Another wrote to his wife, “there isn’t even danger enough to give us any glory.” In 1866, Herman Melville wrote in a poem about the ship, “War shall yet be, but warriors/Are now but operatives.” These sentiments ring true today, as modern warfare has brought us to the point where drones can do much of the fighting and killing. Chapter 7 tells the story of the last two months of Monitor’s life, ending in the ship’s loss off Cape Hatteras, the details of which are still chilling today. The final chapter of the first part of the book conveys a very detailed account of the search for and discovery of the wreck, as well as the recovery of the engines and turret. The authors also discuss the attempt to identify the remains of two sailors found in the turret, and their eventual interment at Arlington National Cemetery, which provides a fitting ending to the story. The second part of the book is a collection of original documents related to the Monitor, each with added context. Some are letters written about the ship or life on board; others are articles from a variety of newspapers nationwide. There are stunning, full color photographs of designs for other types of ironclads, improvements to Monitor, and other various and sundry inventions that were sent to President Lincoln. This portion of the book is not only interesting to read, but also a good reference. The Kent State University Press did a marvelous job producing this book. The pages are glossy like a textbook, but of heavier stock. The full color illustrations throughout bring the book to life. Aside from the Mariner’s Museum collections, material from the Library of Congress, National Archives, and NOAA are used extensively. The quality of this volume is impressive. The research is excellent, the bibliography is solid, and the writing is fluid. Highly recommended! Andrew Duppstadt North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  15. U.S. Navy Auxiliary Vessels: A History and Directory from World War I to Today By Ken W. Sayers Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2019 7” x 10”, softcover, vii + 353 pages Photographs, glossary, notes, bibliography, index. $45.00 ISBN: 9781476672564 Military men often say. “Amateurs talk tactics. Professionals talk logistics.” What is true for the army and air force goes double for the navy. You cannot fight if you cannot get there. Since steam replaced sail you cannot get there unless you have fuel. Even if you have fuel, you cannot win without the food, supplies, and ammunition to fight. U. S. Navy Auxiliary Vessels: A History and Directory from World War I to the Present, by Ken W. Sayers, brings much needed attention to one of the most important, yet often overlooked part of the United States Navy: its fleet logistics chain. The book provides a ready reference to the ships that have made up this force for over 100 years. Sayers divides his book into three parts. Part I covers Combat Logistics and Fleet Support Ships. Combat logistics ships have the capability of providing underway replenishment to fleet units. Fleet support ships operate on open ocean to support combatant forces. Part II covers Support Ships, vessels designed to provide general support to combatant forces or shore bases. Part III is a directory of inactive United States Navy auxiliary ships. Within each section, ships are sorted by type, alphabetically by United States Navy code (AKA, AO, etc.) A brief explanation of the purpose of that type of auxiliary is provided, followed by a history of the class: when it was first used, and the subsequent use and eventual abandonment of the type (if applicable). This is followed by a roster of all ships of that type used by the Navy, selected specifications of the important classes of these ships, and histories of the significant ships in the type discussed. Service dates of the ships not given individual histories are listed in the notes section at the end of each section. One interesting result of this sorting is the most modern types of auxiliaries tend to be listed first, as today’s navy leans more heavily on combat logistics and fleet support ships than on support ships not designed for open ocean work. Another interesting observation is the increasing trend towards multi-mission combat logistics ships in the modern navy. The fleet tanker and underway replenishment ship of World War II have merged into a single ship capable of delivering “beans, bullets, and black oil.” While not a comprehensive history of every auxiliary (which would likely require a library needing a ship to carry) the selected history approach used by Sayers allows U. S. Navy Auxiliary Vessels to provide a comprehensive overview of 103 years’ worth of United States Navy auxiliary ships. The histories are brief, but informative, and the text is not dry. It is engaging and readable. He even lists Constitution in the Support Ships section, making a credible defense of that placement. In all, U. S. Navy Auxiliary Vessels is a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in the modern navy, from World War I on, especially readers seeking information on post-World War II auxiliary ships. It delivers detailed information in a concentrated package. Mark Lardas League City, Texas This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.

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If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

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The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since 1955. The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you the correct details to build. The Journal is available in both print and digital editions. Go to the NRG web site (www.thenrg.org) to download a complimentary digital copy of the Journal. The NRG also publishes plan sets, books and compilations of back issues of the Journal and the former Ships in Scale and Model Ship Builder magazines.

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