War at Sea: A Naval History of World War II

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byNathan Miller

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History records few more gripping dramas than the naval history of World War II. It was the last great sea war, but in the half century since the final battles of that struggle, the conflict has receded into the past. Narvik, the Battle of the Atlantic, Midway, and the Philippine Sea are tothe current generation as remote as Waterloo and Gettysburg. In War at Sea, Nathan Miller brings the story of these monumental events--and the achievements, suffering, and heroism of those who served at sea during World War II--to the attention of readers who have only a nodding acquaintance withit. In doing so, he illuminates in dramatic fashion the costly mistakes and the blunders, the great skill and courage of the Allied commanders, tactical leaders, and enlisted men that denied the Axis powers victory. From the sinking of the British passenger liner Athenia on September 3, 1939, by a German U-boat (against orders), to the Japanese surrender on board the Missouri, on September 2, 1945, War at Sea covers every major naval battle of World War II in one fascinating volume. In gripping detail,Miller recounts the major operations of the British, German, American, Japanese, Italian, Canadian, and Russian navies. Based on recently released Ultra intelligence information the Allies procured from their deciphering of coded messages passed by their enemies, ship logs, official reports,interviews with surviving servicemen, and personal accounts and anecdotes from the men who manned the ships and the aircraft, Miller gives a human face to the daily routine of life at sea--from being torpedoed to living in the confines of a submarine for weeks at a time. Miller also details thepolitical and historical backgrounds of each navy and analyzes the strategies of the combatants. He goes on to show how new technology, such as aircraft carriers and submarines, pushed aside the battleship and changed the course of the war and modern warfare. Too often today, war is viewed as a bloodless computer game complete with "smart" bombs, guided missiles, and "surgical strikes." In reality, war is about death. It is a mixture of boredom, exhaustion, and sudden and terrifying moments of horror. This is particularly true of war at sea. Oneminute a ship can be steaming peacefully on a calm ocean; in the next it can be ripped apart by torpedoes with its crew fighting for their lives in a cauldron of flaming oil or scalding steam. War at Sea tells the true story of naval warfare during World War II, capturing the drama, suspense, andnarrow triumph of the Allied forces in the great battle to secure the seas.

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From Our Editors

From the sinking of the British passenger liner Athenia on September 3, 1939, by a German U-boat (against orders) to the Japanese surrender on board the Missouri on September 2, 1945, War at Sea covers every major naveal battle of World War II. "A first-rate work and the best history of its kind yet written".--Vice Admiral William P. M...

From the Publisher

History records few more gripping dramas than the naval history of World War II. It was the last great sea war, but in the half century since the final battles of that struggle, the conflict has receded into the past. Narvik, the Battle of the Atlantic, Midway, and the Philippine Sea are tothe current generation as remote as Waterloo a...

Nathan Miller, a journalist, historian, and naval scholar, is the author of twelve books of history and biography, including The U.S. Navy: A History, which is used as a textbook at the U.S. Naval Academy, and the widely acclaimed Theodore Roosevelt: A Life. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:608 pages, 9.17 × 6.06 × 1.02 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195110382

ISBN - 13:9780195110388

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From Our Editors

From the sinking of the British passenger liner Athenia on September 3, 1939, by a German U-boat (against orders) to the Japanese surrender on board the Missouri on September 2, 1945, War at Sea covers every major naveal battle of World War II. "A first-rate work and the best history of its kind yet written".--Vice Admiral William P. Mack, U.S.N. (Ret.). 30 photos

Editorial Reviews

"War at Sea is history at its most entertaining and informative, and its fresh details will be a welcome surprise to naval history buffs who think they know the full story. Naval operations are fitted neatly into the overall story of World War II. The book is so comprehensive yet so finelycrafted that it reminds me of a beautiful model of a ship of the line."--Vice Admiral George P. Steele (Ret.), former Commander of the Seventh Fleet, U.S. Navy