Craig L. Symonds
- Title: Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History
- Author: Craig L. Symonds
- ISBN: null
- Page: 119
- Format: Kindle Edition
From thunderous broadsides traded between wooden sailing ships on Lake Erie, to the carrier battles of World War II, to the devastating high tech action in the Persian Gulf, here is a gripping history of five key battles that defined the evolution of naval warfare and the course of the American nation.Acclaimed military historian Craig Symonds offers spellbinding narrativFrom thunderous broadsides traded between wooden sailing ships on Lake Erie, to the carrier battles of World War II, to the devastating high tech action in the Persian Gulf, here is a gripping history of five key battles that defined the evolution of naval warfare and the course of the American nation.Acclaimed military historian Craig Symonds offers spellbinding narratives of crucial engagements, showing how each battle reveals the transformation of technology and weaponry from one war to the next how these in turn transformed naval combat and how each event marked a milestone in American history Oliver Hazard Perry s heroic victory at Lake Erie, one of the last great battles of the Age of Sail, which secured the Northwestern frontier for the United States The brutal Civil War duel between the ironclads Monitor and Virginia, which sounded the death knell for wooden hulled warships and doomed the Confederacy s hope of besting the Union navy Commodore Dewey s stunning triumph at Manila Bay in 1898, where the U.S displayed its new navy of steel hulled ships firing explosive shells and wrested an empire from a fading European power The hairsbreadth American victory at Midway, where aircraft carriers launched planes against enemies 200 miles away and where the tide of World War II turned in the space of a few furious minutes Operation Praying Mantis in the Persian Gulf, where computers, ship fired missiles, and smart bombs not only changed the nature of warfare at sea, but also marked a new era, and a new responsibility, for the United States.Symonds records these encounters in detail so vivid that readers can hear the wind in the rigging and feel the pounding of the guns Yet he places every battle in a wide perspective, revealing their significance to America s development as it grew from a new Republic on the edge of a threatening frontier to a global superpower.Decision at Sea is a powerful and illuminating look at pivotal moments in the history of the Navy and of the United States It is also a compelling study of the unchanging demands of leadership at sea, where commanders must make rapid decisions in the heat of battle with lives and the fate of nations hanging in the balance.
Recent Comments "Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History"
Another classic from the author. This one looks at 5 battles that changed the course of U.S. history as well as the outcomes.
Solid historical accounting, as always.
Decision at Sea covers the Battle of Lake Erie (1813), Hampton Roads (1862), Manila Bay (1898), Midway (1942), and Operation Praying Mantis (1988). As something of a bonus, the prologue covers the Battle of the Chesapeake (1781) and recent operations in the Persian Gulf.With the exception of Midway, these battles do not ordinarily make the list of the "greats," which definitely adds to the interest, since (outside of Midway and the Monitor vs. the Virginia [ex-Merrimack] at Hampton Roads) these [...]
So far so good. I'm nearing the end of the second key naval battle Symonds discusses, which means I finished reading about Oliver Hazard Perry's battle on Lake Erie. Symonds unfolded the story of that naval battle and the days leading up to it like a novel. Stripped of the lesser details and unnecessary background information - the first two chapters have been factual storytelling at its best. If the rest of the book keeps up the pace and excitement, I would recommend it as a highly readable sum [...]
As a fiction writer I find a lot of research material to be less than thrilling. Fortunately, Symonds' structure and prose make each of the five battles recounted here accessible and just plain fun to read. Granted, once the author moves from the actual history to projections of how history was changed by each, we enter the realm of speculation, but, Symonds acknowledges this up front. I especially found his comments following The Battle of Manila Bay to be particularly compelling: how one milit [...]
A solid and accessible offering that mixes the larger historical picture with the lived impact of command decisions on individuals. Underlying Symonds's narrative is a focus on the technological advances that, while they have undergirded naval development worldwide, contribute to American dominance on the seas. The book boarders on the jingoistic at times, and those well versed in military history will find some of the chapters uninformative (the Monitor and Virginia and the Battle of Midway, fo [...]
The good: A very detailed analysis of four battles (the last is more a series)that had a profound effect on American history. Minutely researched descriptions of the battles, their place in history, and how they affected American history. Great fir people who love naval history.The bad: Anytime you try to extrapolate that one one naval engagement changed overall history (not just naval history) you are walking into the realm of conjecture. The author acknowledges this in the acknowledgements. I [...]
Five major battles in US Naval History - each of which had a huge impact on US National History.A book written by a teacher, rather than an writer. It was a different perspective, as the author discussed why he thought this battle was a milestone in US History.An interesting book for me, as I had never spent significant time reading about Perry's victory on Lake Erie, the Monitor vs the CSS Virginia, Dewey's victory in Manila Bay, or the events in the Persian Gulf against the Iranian Navy in Ope [...]
I probably don't read enough naval history. It's just not my thing - but I enjoyed this book. It is well-written and engaging. Symonds examines pivotal naval battles in American history--Lake Erie, Hampton Roads, Manila Bay, Midway, and Praying Mantis. The Introduction also includes a short narrative and analysis of the Battle of the Capes in the American Revolution. These battles allow Symonds to examine both developments in naval technology, operations, and strategy but also in American histor [...]
The author is clearly an expert on naval history. However, he stretches too far in assessing the importance of these naval battles. As a synopsis of the role of technology in naval warfare he is spot on. But as he tries to draw social and political conclusions from the increasing reliance on training and technology in war at sea, he overstates his case. His style is a wonder to behold. He takes battles at sea which are notoriously difficult to describe and explain and makes them clear and even g [...]
I had already read his book on the Battle of Midway, so that portion of this book was somewhat redundant. He is a gifted writer, able to take a lot of facts but still keep the narrative easy to read. Putting each of these battles in historical context and showing just how quickly naval warfare has developed was an interesting historical exercise. I found the section on Operation Praying Mantis to be a great illustration of just how quickly ship captains have to make decisions with fateful conseq [...]
This is a great overview of the advancement of the United States as a player on the world stage from the point of view of its naval forces. Starting from a battle where the major difficulty was getting any ships at all built and into position, it shows how much the US Navy has changed, and with it the attitudes of the country towards war, foreign powers, and world responsibilities.
It is a great overview of 5 major naval battles throughout the US history and describes how they influenced US history on a large scale. It also ended with a great prologue describing modern naval warfare and how it changed after 9/11. Great history, but also a fun read.
It's hard to rate a book about naval history with five stars, but if I were judging it among other books about naval history I'd give it five stars. This book takes something that sounds as boring as 'naval history' and made the subject enjoyable, exciting, and fun to read. Good book.
A good account of five "pivotal" naval battles of US history.
A well written and interesting book. What is fun is to compare Symonds' chapter on Midway to his book on Midway. His understanding of the battle has changed.
I thought I knew a lot about each of the battles discussed in this book. I was wrong. This is a must read for any military history buff.
Really good book. Well written and interesting subjects. Pretty good synopsis of the two gulf wars.
This is a really nice book, the epilogue finalize a turn that started with the battle for Manila bay that was unexpected for me, since I never saw the US from that perspective. Nice read.
I discovered this book at library, really liked it.
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