What Are the Causes for the Recent U.S. Navy Collisions?

August 30, 2017

Maybe this article from the Navy Times has the answer – Maybe today’s Navy is just not good at driving ships. This is further supported by a series of three articles published in Proceedings Today: Collisions: Part I – What Are the Root Causes?; Collisions: Part II – Operational Pause; and Collisions: Part III – Maintenance.

Required reading is the oft-cited 2010 Report of the Fleet Review Panel on Surface Force Readiness as chaired by retired Vice Admiral Philip Balisle.

Another important document is this 2010 GAO report – Navy Needs to Reassess Its Metrics and Assumptions for Ship Crewing Requirements and Training as is this 2017 report – Navy Readiness: Actions Needed to Maintain Viable Surge Sealift and Combat Logistics Fleets. Other GAO investigations on the Navy can be found here.

Numerous Congressional hearings on fleet readiness are also available online.

One should peruse this 2017 CRS report – Defining Readiness: Background and Issues for Congress.

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Histories of the U.S. Marine Corps

August 30, 2017

This site contains numerous online publications ranging from general histories to unit histories to bibliographies, and finding aids. Whole sections are devoted to either individual conflicts or time periods. The occasional primary source, such as journals, do make an appearance.

“[U.S.] Marines in the Frigate Navy”

August 23, 2017

This series of fourteen 4-color prints show the life of the Marine Corps from 1798 to 1835. Each poster comes with a page explaining the historical significance of the event. Compare this to The Marines in the Revolution: A Pictorial History.

Commerce Raiding

August 18, 2017

There is surprisingly little written on this topic outside of selected monographs on certain ships. To partially remedy this lacuna in the historical record, Commerce Raiding: Historical Case Studies, 1755-2009 was published. As the introduction states: “As a military tactic, commerce raiding has time after time proved itself a most efficient way to exert pressure on an opponent. A few scholars have placed these events in their social, political, and naval contexts, but their studies have been the exception, not the rule. For this reason, this collection should fill a major gap in the academic literature.”(1) A select bibliography adds to the usefulness of this work.

 

U.S. Naval Strategies in the Late 1900s

August 16, 2017

Here are some relevant documents from the Newport Papers series:  U.S. Naval Strategy in the 1970s: Selected Documents; U.S. Naval Strategy in the 1980s: Selected Documents; and U.S. Naval Strategy in the 1990s: Selected Documents.

Officials in Modern Great Britain

July 31, 2017

When I am reading my various British naval fiction series, I sometimes come across office titles that I am not aware of. Thankfully, there is recourse to the multi-volume Office-Holders in Modern Britain, a post-medieval enumeration of who held what office, whether in the Home Office or the Foreign Office or in any of what seem to be innumerable bureaucratic entities. Each volume opens with a brief history of the office in question, followed by a list of appointees, dates where possible, and notes to further sources. These volumes constitute the ONLY published source of this type of information. It can be supplemented by the Database of Court Officers, “…an online computer database providing the career histories of every remunerated officer and servant of the English royal household from the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 to the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.”

USS Constitution Refloated in Boston Harbor

July 24, 2017

After two years of re-furbishment, the USS Constitution is once again afloat. Various videos are available. Primary sources on this, the world’s oldest commissioned warship, can be found in The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History (3 vols., 1985-2002) and Naval Documents related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers (6 vols., 1939-44).

 

 

CRS Reports of Naval Interest

May 31, 2017

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is essentially a think tank located within the Library of Congress that generates reports for Congresspeople and their staff. (More info here.) Since the interests of Congress are wide-ranging, CRS produces a veritable blizzard of reports on a plethora of subjects. One area of interest for Congress is naval affairs. Here is a listing of recent “products”: Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress; and Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress.

New York’s Fleet Week Starts Today

May 24, 2017

For those in the area, please visit here for additional information. I’ve been going for over two decades; I’ll be there again this year as well.

The Literature of the Sea

May 22, 2017

Such a topic as the above is featured in volume 4 of the inestimable Cambridge History of English and American Literature. Although the eighteen-volume compendium is indeed dated, it still provides valuable background on numerous topics, including maritime writing, in this case from early writers to Hakluyt. The chapter following this is entitled Seafaring and Travel. Both come with substantial bibliographies of primary sources. Searching this multi-volume work for entries such as “sea” or “maritime” yields additional information.