Modern Era Naval Non-Fiction Section



Famous Ships

Ships & Design


ME Naval Non-Fiction - Famous Ships

Non-Fiction books which are about specific famous ships from the Modern Era

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Author :: John D Broadwater
First Published by :: Texas A&M University Press
Format :: HC
Date :: 30 March 2012
ISBN-10 :: 1603444734
ISBN-13 :: 9781603444736

A hundred and fifty years ago, naval warfare entered a new phase with the introduction of ironclad vessels. On March 9, 1862, the USS Monitor, prototype of this new class of warships, fought the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads, Virginia, after the Virginia had ravaged the Union fleet blockading the James River, sinking larger, seemingly more powerful wooden warships in a potent demonstration of the power of an armored, heavily-gunned, steam-powered warship.

In the world’s first clash between iron-armored warships, Monitor and Virginia exchanged gunfire at close range for nearly four hours. Neither inflicted serious damage on the other. While a technical stalemate, the events at Hampton Roads changed naval warfare forever. In the United States and abroad, iron and steam would soon replace wood and sail for warship construction. Less than nine months later, the now-famous Monitor was under tow, heading south to Beaufort, North Carolina, when she sank in heavy seas, with substantial loss of life.

Monitor was a total and irretrievable loss; even the location of her final resting place became a mystery. Not until 1973 was the inverted hull located, and in 1974 excavation of the wreck began, under the auspices of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in partnership with the US Navy. The decision to place the Monitor in a protected zone—a national marine sanctuary—marked another historic first for the vessel. The story of this decision, the raising of the turret, and the subsequent management of the historic resource adds another layer of history to the Monitor’s fascinating story.

Sidebars in the book flesh out details and add anecdotal color to the story of Monitor and of the efforts to preserve and interpret the site. Lavish illustrations (photographs, site drawings, and artifact sketches) complement the informative and highly readable account by the archaeologist who planned and directed the major expeditions that resulted in recovery of many of the Monitor’s most significant objects, as well as the remains of two Union soldiers who were only recently interred in Arlington National Cemetery, more than 150 years after their deaths.

USS Monitor: A Historic Ship Completes Its Final Voyage

Author :: Edward P. Stafford
First Published by :: Random House
Format :: HC
Date :: 1962
A lasting tribute to the USS Enterprise, this heavily illustrated, new edition tells the classic tale of the carrier that contributed more than any other warship to the naval victory in the Pacific. The original book, published in 1962, has remained one of the most celebrated World War II stories for more than four decades.

The Big E participated in nearly every major engagement of the war against Japan and earned a total of twenty battle stars. The Halsey-Doolittle Raid; the Battles of Midway, Santa Cruz, Guadalcanal, the Philippine Sea, and Leyte Gulf; and the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa are all faithfully recorded from the viewpoint of the men who served her so well.

This superb study of a great ship, her crew, and the action they saw has been called one of the finest pieces of naval writing to emerge from the war. Author Edward Stafford mined genuine nuggets from the mountain of research and lengthy interviews he conducted to write this book. He answers questions such as: What was it like to be inside the cockpit of a Dauntless dive bomber as it bored in on its target or what kind effort was required to unstick the ship's huge rudder when it was damaged by a bomb? Literate and scholarly as well as highly dramatic, the book will appeal to historians and the general public alike.

The Big E: The Story of the USS Enterprise

Author :: Edward P. Stafford
First Published by :: William Morrow & Co
Format :: HC
Date :: June 1984
Manned almost entirely by reservists, the USS Abercrombie (DE343) and her sister ships did the dirty work of the Pacific War. They escorted convoys, chased submarines, picked up downed pilots, and led the landing craft to the invasion beaches, yet they received little credit and less glory. This book is a stirring tribute to their heroic efforts, written by a naval officer who served in the Abercrombie during the war and later became a best-selling author. First published in 1984, it has long been acclaimed for presenting a view of the navy as the sailors actually saw it--the joys and pains, the humor and gravity, the successes and defeats.

Ed Stafford provides an authentic, day-by-day account of life on board DE343, from the Battle of Leyte Gulf and picket duty against kamikazes at Okinawa to the signing of the peace treaty in Tokyo Harbor. To create an accurate picture he consulted ship logs and after-action reports and interviewed members of the crew. Although the book focuses on events in a particular warship, it tells the story of every small ship and their valiant crews that rose to the challenge and fought with everything they had until the war was won.

Little Ship, Big War: The Saga of DE343

Author :: Edward P. Stafford
First Published by :: Naval Institute Press
Format :: HC
Date :: 15 March 1993

In a wartime Navy of giant carriers and battleships, tiny wooden subchasers did not command much attention. Yet these 110-foot warships, manned mostly by inexperienced reservists, performed vital chores for the fleet everywhere there was action in World War II. They led landing craft right up to the assault beaches, protected them from fire, fought off air attacks, swept for mines, laid down smoke screens, and patrolled the sea for killer submarines. One such doughty little ship, subchaser 692, is the subject of this book.

Told by 692's commanding officer Ed Stafford, then a twenty-four-year-old lieutenant (jg) on his first warship, the story follows the thirty-man crew as they scrapped their way through the war, including action during the July 1943 invasion of Sicily. Filled with humor, tension, poignancy, and moments of high drama, this volume leaves today's readers with a vivid image of life on a very small ship in a very big war.


HMS Cavalier is a C -Class destroyer, one of 96 War Emergency Programme destroyers that were ordered between 1940 and 1942. She saw action on convoy duty off Russia, and later, in 1945, was sent to the Far East where she provided naval gunfire support during the battle of Surabaya. She continued with the British Pacific Fleet until May 1946. Now designated as a war memorial to the 142 RN destroyers and 11,000 men lost during WWII, she is on display at Chatham Historic Dockyard. As is the case for many museum ships there is a surprising shortage of informative and well illustrated guides, for reference during a visit or for research by enthusiasts - ship modellers, naval buffs, historians or students. This book, in the Seaforth Historic Ship series, redresses the gap. Containing more than 200 specially commissioned photographs, the book takes the reader on a superbly illustrated tour of the ship, from bow to stern and deck by deck. Significant parts of the vessel for example, the gun turrets and engine rooms are given detailed coverage both in words and pictures, so that the reader has at hand the most complete visual record and explanation of the ship that exists. In addition, the importance of the ship, both in her own time and now as a museum vessel, is explained. No other book offers such superb visual impact nor brings the ship so vividly to life.

HMS Cavalier: Destroyer 1944

This book tells the story of the great Royal Navy cruiser HMS Sheffield, affectionately known as Old Shiny, before, during, and after World War II. The lives of the common sailors at sea in wartime are realistically portrayed, and a mass of operational history is provided.

HMS Sheffield: The Life and Times of 'Old Shiny'

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