(Author James D. Hornfischer sent us five picks, all focusing on “Warfighting First,” the first tenet of CNO Adm. Greenert’s “Sailing Directions.” The author of Ship of Ghosts and The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, as well as Neptune's Inferno, Hornfischer, who was involved “one way or another” in helping these books get published, is a recipient of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature. -- Bill Doughty)
The following books may be of interest to your readers:
“Enterprise: America's Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War II” by Barrett Tillman.
As the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise CVN-65 prepares for deactivation and decommissioning, naval aviation historian Barrett Tillman opens the book anew on the ship's legendary World War II forebear: the seventh carrier Enterprise, whose crew fought her from Pearl Harbor to Okinawa, earning twenty battle stars along the way. If a single ship can tell the story of the Pacific War, the old CV-6 was that ship. Tillman tells the story better than anyone.
“Battleground Pacific: A Marine Rifleman's Combat Odyssey in K/3/5” by Sterling Mace with Nick Allen.
Since HBO aired the miniseries The Pacific there's been an explosion of excellent memoirs by World War II-era Marines. Mr. Mace, who enlisted in 1942, served as a rifleman in Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa. You haven't seen the war clearly until you've seen it through his unsentimental eyes.
“Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan” by Sean Parnell with John Bruning.
The story of this much-decorated 10th Mountain Division platoon during their 14-month deployment to eastern Afghanistan in 2006 is very relevant to Navy readers at a time when our NSW operators, corpsmen, EOD techs, pilots and many others are deeply involved in the war against terrorism in that forsaken place. Parnell's platoon took 80 percent casualties fighting formidably talented enemy light infantry, and his book brings you right into their desperate situation.
If you serve in our surface-warfare fleet and marvel at the fighting spirit of the best warfighters around you, you might want to know where that spirit came from. At Guadalcanal, in seven major naval actions from August to November of 1942, our peacetime black-shoe fleet transformed itself into a world-beater. You will not soon forget the stories of men like Rear Admirals Norman Scott, Daniel Callaghan, or Willis Lee -- or countless bluejackets who helped seize Imperial Japan's crown as masters of nighttime surface warfare.
The "Lone Survivor" returns with a powerfully drawn story of modern warfare and the brotherhood of all those who serve. The book follows the legendary SEAL back to war after Operation Redwing -- this time to Ramadi, Iraq, as SEAL Team 5 takes on Al Qaeda and other insurgents in the most violent city in the Middle East. Marcus gives tribute to all the warfighters who helped his teammates get the upper hand in 2006, before the "Surge."
(Special thanks to Jim Hornfischer! Look for more surprising recommendations on Navy Reads in the months ahead. Navy Reads will also have more to say about the bicentennial of the War or 1812 and the 70th anniversary of Battle of Midway. “Joe Rochefort’s War” by Eliott Carlson, published by USNI, follows...)