Dec 2008: Vol. 7, Issue 3


The Ugly Duckling: The French Navy and the Saint-Domingue Expedition, 1801-1803
Philippe R. Girard
McNeese State University

The 2007 U.S. Naval Academy Naval History Symposium Papers
(The first of four installments in a collaboration between the IJNH and the USNA History Department)

The Rise of Latin Christian Naval Power in the Third Crusade
Paul Dingman
University of Rochester

“A Harsh and Spiritual Unity”: A New Look at Culture and Battle in the Marine Corps’ Pacific War
Aaron B. O’Connell
Yale University

Dangerous Crossings: The First Modern Polar Expedition, 1925
Harold Cones , Christopher Newport University
John Bryant, Oklahoma State University

Defeating Napoleon’s Designs: Littoral Operations in Galicia , 1809
Brian M. De Toy
US Military Academy , West Point


Jonathan Reed Winkler, NEXUS: Strategic Communication and American Security in World War I. Cambridge , MA : Harvard University Press, 2008.
Review by Edgar Melton
Professor Emeritus, Wright State University

Thomas Reid, America ’s Fortress: A History of Fort Jefferson , Dry Tortugas , Florida. Gainesville , FL : University Press of Florida , 2006.
Review by G. Alan Knight
Lt. Colonel , U.S. Army (Ret.)

Ric Gillespie, Finding Amelia: The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance. Annapolis , MD : Naval Institute Press, 2006. 276 pp. Forward by Mark Peattie, figures, photographs, epilogue, notes, index, resource library on DVD.
Review by Jessica Salter
Double BA (Hons.), MA

Robert J. Schneller, Jr. Farragut: America’s First Admiral. Washington, D.C.: Brassey’s, Inc. 2002. 128 pp. Maps, illustrations, bibliographic note, index.
Review by Charles Steele
Department of History,
United States Air Force Academy


September 2008, Number 20
Edited by Professor Eric Mills,
Dalhousie University

Prepared in Association with
The International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science
Division of the History of Science
Commission of the History of Oceanography

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3 Responses to Dec 2008: Vol. 7, Issue 3

  1. jim says:

    LTC O’Connell says the capture of Makin took four days. It took Three days (

    He also says the Navy blamed the Army slowness on Makin for the loss of the Liscombe Bay. See

    The task force including the Liscombe Bay was not zig zagging when the Liscombe Bay was hit.Two destroyers of the anti submarine screen, USS Hull and USS Franks left their stations. The Japanese Submarine I-175 torpedoed Lscombe Bay after USS Hull and USS Franks left a gap in the antisubmarine screen of the task force.

    Liscombe Bay was lost because of inadequate anti submarine measures on the part of the task force commander.

  2. jim says:

    LTC O’Connell says the US Marines fought three days to secure a beach head on Saipan and the 27th Infantry Division was landed. That is incorrect.

    The 27t Infantry Division was never supposed to land on Saipan. It was the floating reserve, for Saipan and Guam. When the Marines landed on 15 June 1944 they encountered stiffer than expected resistance. HM Smith believed the Japanese had 15,000 personnel on Saipan, 11,000 of whom were effective troops. The Japanese actually had 31,000 effective troops on Saipan.

    On 15 and 16 June, the Marines took thousands of casualties, committed all their reserves and, by the end of 16 June were short of where they supposed to have been at the end of 16 June.In some places they were short of where they were upposed to have been at the end of 15 June. Raymond Spruance ordered the 27th Infantry Division landed on the night of 16-17 June 1944 because the Marines had been stopped and needed reinforcing.

    Reinforcement of the Marines by uits of the 27th Infantry Division enabled V Amphibious Corps to advance out of the beachhead and secure southern Saipan

  3. jim says:

    Then LTC O’Connell describes HM Smith’s attitude towards the 27th Infantry Division on Saipan. I direct the Reader to Sacked at Saipan by Marine Major Major William Bland Allen IV. HM Smith’s V Amphibious Corps had an inadequate intelligence(his G2 was a Marine Officer). HM Smith did not know what the 27th Infantry Division was facing, because his G-2 section never gave him adequate intelligence about what the Division was facing and because HM Smith commanded the operation from his HQ in Charan Kanoa, in the rear and he rarely if ever ventured out of his HQ to reconnoiter the front. The 27th Infantry Division was facing off what became known as Death Valley. Death Valley was a plateau on the east face of Mount Topatchau. Troops operating in Death Valley had no cover or concealment from the Japanese observers on top of Mount Topatchau. On the left was a position which became known as Hell’s Pocket. On the right was a series of hills and ridges which became known as Purple Heart Ridge. Each was rugged territory which the Japanese had fortified. Th e Japanese held the positions with 4000 front line troops and had emplaced crew served weapons to support them. No Marine Division ever found it easy to take a fortified position from the Japanese in WWII, e.g. Betio, Peleliu, Iwo Jima. HM Smith expected the 27th Infantry Division to overrun Death Valley in one day. In a telegram he sent to the 27th Infantry Division on 24 June 1944(an image is in Edmond Love’s The twenty Seventh Infantry Division in World War II, and the text was quoted in Professor Harry Gailey’s Howling Mad versus the Army). He believed the 27th Infantry Division was facing a small number if infantry supported by a few mortars and machine guns.

    Holland Smith was upset because his plan to secure Saipan quickly with only Marines had miscarried and an Army Division had to be landed on Saipan. He blamed the Army Division and its commander for his failings.

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