Good book on Surface Warfare needed

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Spud, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    As a BGO in a sparsely populated state, a lot of my efforts are just informing good candidates about the sea and its adventures. As a result, I have a short recommended reading list of books for motivation and inspiration on each of the Navy's specialties (Aviation, Subs, Marines, Surface Warfare, and SEALS). My Surface Warfare book is "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" by Hornfischer and it is, indeed, a hair raising, exciting, and great look at bravery and life aboard ship. The only problem is the events are WWII era and I am trying to find something Cold War or later that today's young person can identify more closely with. I know, they barely identify with books, but I try. Any suggestions? Many thanks.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    No suggestions, but you've been recommending one of the best books I ever read.
     
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Anything by ADM Jim Stavridis, USN (Ret), a warrior-scholar of the first order with a stunning career. Surface Warfare officer. Books, essays, articles. He was, and is, a widely respected leader, and has a warm, personable, humorous leadership style, which shows in his writing about seagoing leadership. He recently retired and is now Dean, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
     
  4. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Even though you said not WWII era, I really have to put a plug out there for "The Caine Mutiny." Some of the specific details of Navy life have changed over the last seventy years, but many of the themes and characters are eerily timeless. Admittedly it's very "warts and all," but it's a truly excellent book on leadership and the life-cycle of a junior officer. And yeah, have them read the book, not just watch the movie. The movie's good but doesn't do the book justice.

    I'll second the ADM Stavridis recommendation. I read one of his books ("Destroyer Captain," I think) as a mid and thought it was pretty good.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Wow! There's a blast from the past. Hope all things are well with you LT! (It's still LT, right?)
     
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Side note to Hurricane 12 - ADM S. was also Salty Sam for The Log. A USNA insight that adds to the enjoyment.

    Also, for humor in uniform for Navy "Broadside" and Marine Corps "Greenside," the years of cartoons by Jeff Bacon found weekly in NAVY TIMES and MARINE CORPS TIMES. You can get a spam-free feed of his spot-on and hilarious cartoons via email by going to his website. Take a mental break and peruse the archives. No, this is not serious leadership material, but laughs like these over universal situations and conversations are part of the fun - and there has got to be some of that in a picture of military life.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  7. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Many thanks, guys, I'm reading the Stavridis book and dusted off my old copy of the Caine Mutiny too.
     
  8. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    Spud,

    Not a SWO book but "Hell on Ice"
    The Saga of the Jeannette
    by Ellsberg

    Is a great read. Also, the Iced Cross Monument at the Cemetery at USNA is the memorial. I read it when I was in the Antarctic. One of the best survival stories out there..

    Also, the "Rickover Effect" is timeless, although submarines are the stage; it can be translated into any field of the military.

    cga82 Fortune Favors The Bold
     
  9. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    "The Nightingale's Song," Robert Timberg. I just re-read recently. A well-known close look at USNA grads John McCain, James Webb, Robert McFarlane, Oliver North, John Poindexter, from their scrapes as mids to how their careers unfolded. Interesting read on many fronts.
     
  10. Full Steam

    Full Steam Member

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    A few books that struck a chord with me over the years:

    The Caine Mutiny - I read this one in the summer that I was "recovering" from leaving active duty. I couldn't believe how much rang true to my own SWO experience decades later.

    David Poyer - I'm especially partial to The Gulf, which starts with a missile hit on a Knox Class frigate. I read it while stationed on a Knox and that intro chapter still gives me shivers.

    Sailors to the End - the story of the USS Forestall fire. I think it's a well done telling of the story.

    Unfortunately, all of these are Cold War or earlier.
     
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  11. AJC

    AJC Member

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    Storm Center, while not strictly speaking about SW, is an account of the shoot down of an Iranian Airbus by the USS Vincennes. It is a remarkable story that illustrates the tremendous responsibility SWOs are given, have, and must take. There is quite a bit of background regarding the operation of a modern warship.
     
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  12. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    I didn't realize until about a year ago that there are 2 "Caine Mutiny" movies. The 1988 version shows the prosecutor in an old Navy Flight green uniform(a retired uniform).
     
  13. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Of course, there's always "The Last Ship...." Can't find my tongue-in-cheek emoticon. Sorry, long hot frustrating day.
     
  14. Physicsguru

    Physicsguru Member

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    A good overall military book is the WWIII novel "Red Storm Rising" by Tom Clancey. He and uncited co-author Larry Brown actually gamed the sea battles using Brown's "Harpoon" gaming system.
     

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