Sunday, April 28, 2013

"The Battle of the Denmark Strait: A Critical Analysis of the Bismarck's Singular Triumph" by Robert Winklareth


"The Battle of the Denmark Strait: A Critical Analysis of the Bismarck's Singular Triumph" by Robert Winklareth achieves its goal of being a narrative description of  how  the  Battle  of  the  Denmark Strait  was  fought. He does a masterful job of explaining the significance of key events leading  up to  both the  battle  and  its  aftermath. The book is incredibly technically detailed, yet very readable. It tells the story of one of the most famous naval battles of World War II. 

The book and its massive appendices provide a wealth of information. The photographs and drawings by the author give a perspective not seen before. The book's structure is three parts containing the twenty eight chapters and seven appendices. Part one covers the demise of the German Navy at the end of World War II and continues to the Bismark in the Rhine Exercise (Operation Rheinübung). 

Part two of the book is the actual battle in the Denmark Strait. This is where the Hood is destroyed and the Prince of Wales retreats.

Part three is the search for and destruction of the Bismark. 

The author is a technical analyst. His knowledge of and attention to detail may be too much for the casual reader, but for the hard-core student of military or naval history I gives an insight that will be appreciated. The use of photos taken from the Prinz Eugen and the analysis of the photos adds to the understanding of the battle, though the placement n the book had me turning back and forth sometimes searching to match picture and data. I think its important to point out this is a very balanced book making good use of both British and German sources

This is a must book for any serious student of naval history. It would be a great addition to any World War II buff. 

The publisher is Casemate Publishing.

Friday, April 12, 2013

“When Washington Burned: An Illustrated History of the War of 1812” by Arnold Blumberg. The publisher is Casemate Publishing.


One of the least known wars in United States or for that matter British history is the War of 1812.

The War of 1812 was a rather disorderly event. At times it had several minor campaigns going on at the same time. They weren't coordinated, were hundreds of miles apart and had little or nothing to do with the other campaigns.

The author has produced an understandable account out of this disjointed war. His narrative is well organized. The structure used has each chapter covering a distinct area. They are restricted to a geographic area.  The genius of this approach is let you keep needed focus without covering everything happening on all fronts at the same time. The coverage of the Naval engagements is excellent. They receive their separate chapters.

The illustrations are first-rate. The majority of the images are present-day. He makes skillful use of maps to show the more intricate campaigns. This is an excellent single volume history of the War of 1812. It explains what happened. It explains why it happened. The coverage is balanced with US and British material. The book would be an great addition for community libraries, school libraries and is a must for the personal library of military historians. It would also make a nice “coffee table book”.

Arnold Blumberg and Casemate Publishing have provide a well needed, quality book on the War of 1812.