This is a history of the Royal Navy (with, necessarily, something of their opponents and allies) in the Second World War for the general reader, apparently compiled from published sources, and written in a style suited to that readership with appropriate explanation for the non-expert. There has been a sensible selection of principal events, necessary if the subject is to be encompassed 258 pages. The first two chapters I thought particularly good in delineating the pre-war situation of the RN and other eventual belligerent navies.
- David Wragg
Unfortunately the work is marred by a series of minor errors and some shallow judgments which indicate want of understanding of some naval matters, for instance in the treatment of Royal Marines as ship’s company on p.34, and the (1913-1955) Special Entry for regular officers on p.38. There is also considerable repetition where a fact falls into more than one narrative - the renaming of the Deutschland seemed to crop up about five times. However each story is well told and even for those who think they know it all there may still be some surprises. The Pearl Harbor attack narrative is particularly well done. The politics is done well. This is more than just a tour d’horizon - of those aspects of the war chosen for delineation there is quite a lot of detail.
There is no direct source annotation, but the text is supported by a short bibliography and a useful and interesting selection of photographs.
The author is prolific and popular but anonymous: I found eighteen of his books current on Amazon and seventy of his titles on Goodreads (a number of which may have contributed to the present work), of which Seaforth credits him with thirty on aviation and naval history, but he remained personally invisible to my Googling so I am unable to tell you anything about his background.
Three stars out of five.