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Naval Battles of the 20th Century [Hardcover]

By Richard Hough (Author)
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Item description for Naval Battles of the 20th Century by Richard Hough...

Overview
The great battles at sea over the last 100 years, from the first major engagement between ironclad fleets in 1905, to the battles of Midway and Guadalcanal, are detailed in this account that are graphically reconstructed for the reader. Illustrations.

Publishers Description
The major naval powers -- Britain, America, Russia, and Japan -- have all played a part in the theater of war at sea over the last one hundred years. Naval fighting has always been a rapidly developing affair, and in no century have changes been so swift and fundamental. This book is a detailed account of the bloody and tragic battles that took place and of the shifting pattern in the status of the naval powers, sometimes masking its effect on our history today.

In 1905, when this book begins, the first major engagement between ironclad fleets -- the Battle of Tsu-Shima -- took place in the Far East and decided the outcome of the Russo-Japanese war in Japan's favor. What follows are the mighty sea battles of our century, graphically reconstructed for the reader. Victories, defeats, and mutinies at sea, from the battle with the Bismarck to the battles of Midway and Guadalcanal, are all recorded in sometimes horrific detail. This is a moving testament to battles the likes of which changed the world.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Naval Battles of the 20th Century by Richard Hough has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Library Journal - 04/01/2001 page 115


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Item Specifications...


Studio: Overlook Hardcover
Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.29" Width: 6.34" Height: 1.14"
Weight:   1.34 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2001
Publisher   Overlook Hardcover
Age  18
ISBN  1585670405  
ISBN13  9781585670406  


Availability  0 units.


More About Richard Hough


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! About the Author:
Richard Hough, a well-known naval historian, is author of the acclaimed The Fleet that Had to Die and numerous other books.


Richard Hough was born in 1922 and died in 1999 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Arup Arup, Sydney, Australia Arup, Sydney, Australia Arup, Sydney, Aus.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Military > Naval
3Books > Subjects > History > World > 20th Century



Reviews - What do customers think about Naval Battles of the 20th Century?

A Good Read, Informative and Well Written   Jul 29, 2004
I've read the preceding reviews here of this book, and they give this book a bum rap, but I think they miss the point. You don't criticize an apple for failing to be an orange. This book is not, and does not pretend to be, a heavyweight, exhaustive, scholarly treatment for naval professionals and buffs. You won't find a Samuel Eliot Morison level of thoroughness, detail, analysis, and documentation here. Instead it is a readable, well-written, informed, brief account of major twentieth-century naval battles, as selected and described by a British naval historian, intended for the lay reader. When such major battles as Jutland (38 pages), Midway (15 pages), and Leyte Gulf (20 pages), each of which has been the subject of full-scale books in its own right, are treated at such summary length here, it is obvious that this book is an exercise in synthesis, not analysis. It is a popular book, in the good sense of that term. If that's not what you want, look elsewhere. The book was a selection of the Military Book Club.

My edition has a blurb from ex-Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, writing in The Wall Street Journal: Hough is a good storyteller with a refreshing, breezy style. That's an apt and fair summary: the emphasis is on good storytelling. The author has chosen 13 naval battles, each receiving a chapter, starting with the battle of Tsu-Shima (Russo-Japanese war) of 1905 and concluding with the battle for the Philippines of 1944, and has told their stories succinctly (chapters range from 10 to 38 pages; the text of the book is only 282 pages). Some maps are provided, where the author judged the complexity of the battle warrants, and there is a select, chapter-by-chapter bibliography.

My complaints are that more maps might well have been provided (e.g., no map for the battle of Midway), that the selection of illustrations is meager and inadequate, and that various errors bespeak careless preparation. Particularly in the last quarter of the book there are some silly and typographical errors that indicate a serious failure to proofread; a few of them are glaring, even egregious, but obvious (e.g., 7 May on p. 223 should read 7 June; From their base at Rabaul, the United States reinforced. . . . on p. 227 should read Japan instead of US; Admiral Halsey on p. 243 should read Admiral Nimitz; Admiral Clifton Spruance on p. 267 should read Raymond Spruance).

Strengths are that Hough was a good choice to write a book of this type: the writing is polished, spare, and lean; Hough is adept at painting a vivid picture with a few deft, broad strokes, at conveying much in little space. The narration of the battles unfolding is convincing yet economical, the writing colorful and incisive, with an eye for the telling detail, whether of personal character or physical description. Hough is even-handed and balanced, free from British bias or chauvinism. In several instances the author, a distinguished British naval historian with a number of books in the field to his credit, has personally interviewed survivors of these battles.

Perhaps because (unlike the other reviewers) I wasn't expecting this book to be what it clearly is not, I found it highly readable and informative, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So take the negative reviews here with a grain of salt. And for anyone interested, there are full, dramatic, memorable accounts of the battles of Midway and Leyte Gulf in Herman Wouk's War and Remembrance.
 
A Good Read, Informative and Well Written   Jul 28, 2004
I've read the preceding reviews on this site.com of this book, and they give it a bum rap, but I think they miss the point. You don't criticize an apple for failing to be an orange. This book is not, and does not pretend to be, a heavyweight, exhaustive, scholarly treatment for naval professionals and buffs. You won't find a Samuel Eliot Morison level of thoroughness, detail, analysis, and documentation here. Instead it is a readable, well-written, informed, brief account of major twentieth-century naval battles, as selected and described by a British naval historian, intended for the lay reader. When such major battles as Jutland (38 pages), Midway (15 pages), and Leyte Gulf (20 pages), each of which has been the subject of full-scale books in its own right, are treated at such summary length here, it is obvious that this book is an exercise in synthesis, not analysis. It is a popular book, in the good sense of that term. If that's not what you want, look elsewhere. The book was a selection of the Military Book Club.

My edition has a blurb from ex-Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, writing in The Wall Street Journal: Hough is a good storyteller with a refreshing, breezy style. That's an apt and fair summary: the emphasis is on good storytelling. The author has chosen 13 naval battles, each receiving a chapter, starting with the battle of Tsu-Shima (Russo-Japanese war) of 1905 and concluding with the battle for the Philippines of 1944, and has told their stories succinctly (chapters range from 10 to 38 pages; the text of the book is only 282 pages). Some maps are provided, where the author judged the complexity of the battle warrants, and there is a select, chapter-by-chapter bibliography.

My complaints are that more maps might well have been provided (e.g., no map for the battle of Midway), that the selection of illustrations is meager and inadequate, and that various errors bespeak careless preparation. Particularly in the last quarter of the book there are some silly and typographical errors that indicate a serious failure to proofread; a few of them are glaring, even egregious, but obvious (e.g., 7 May on p. 223 should read 7 June; From their base at Rabaul, the United States reinforced. . . . on p. 227 should read Japan instead of US; Admiral Halsey on p. 243 should read Admiral Nimitz; Admiral Clifton Spruance on p. 267 should read Raymond Spruance).

Strengths are that Hough was a good choice to write a book of this type: the writing is polished, spare, and lean; Hough is adept at painting a vivid picture with a few deft, broad strokes, at conveying much in little space. The narration of the battles unfolding is convincing yet economical, the writing colorful and incisive, with an eye for the telling detail, whether of personal character or physical description. Hough is even-handed and balanced, free from British bias or chauvinism. In several instances the author, a distinguished British naval historian with a number of books in the field to his credit, has personally interviewed survivors of these battles.

Perhaps because (unlike the other this site.com reviewers) I wasn't expecting this book to be what it clearly is not, I found it highly readable and informative, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So take the negative reviews here with a grain of salt. And for anyone interested, there are full, dramatic, memorable accounts of the battles of Midway and Leyte Gulf in Herman Wouk's War and Remembrance.
 
Distinguished Naval Historian?  May 5, 2001
The dustcover describes Hough as "the distinquished naval historian". It is hard to square this with the many errors in his "Naval Battles of the Twentieth Century." Here are a few of the more obvious: (1) Who is "Admiral Tozo" pictured on his bridge during the battle of Tsu-Shima? Any relation to the Admiral Togo mentioned in the text? (2) Page 227 says "From their base at Rabaul, the United States reinforced the troops on Guadalcanal..." Had the USN realized Rabaul was its base and not that of the IJN, we might have saved all that trouble on Guadalcanal. Or perhaps this was the reason Marshall suggesed bypassing Rabaul in July 1943 - it was ours after all? (3) Reading page 279, tin can sailors may wonder where the Fletcher class USS Johnston (DD557) got those extra three guns for their "eight five-inch guns." One wonders if such obvious errors cast creibility on Hough's research or whether poor editing is to blame. For a more reliable and better written book on the subject, read "Clash of Titans" by Walter J. Boyne, or dive into the mother lode for the USN, Samuel Eliot Morison's full treatment, or even his one-volume "The Two-Ocean War."
 
Cliff notes on naval warfare....  Apr 11, 2001
With so few titles that cover the scope this book has, it is a shame that more details could not be added. While I enjoyed the Russo-Japanese war, and WWI sections, I found the WWII sections very lacking. My recommendation, if you have books that specifically cover the battles, skip that chapter. Otherwise it is a good primer for the less known sea battles of this century.
 
Naval Battles of the Twentith Century  Mar 28, 2001
If you are looking for a quick overview of the important naval battles of the twentieth century, this book is a good place to start. If you want a detailed description of these battles complete with charts and ship movements, forget it. In addition, several glaring errors indicate that the book was rushed to print without adequate proof reading. I rate it satisfactory but certainly not outstanding. There are better works on this subject out there.
 

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