- Paperback: 608 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (January 30, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195110382
- ISBN-13: 978-0195110388
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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War at Sea: A Naval History of World War II Reprint Edition
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"Lively, informative, and richly textured....Well-researched and well-written, this is both an excellent reference volume and an engaging naval history that is a pleasure to read."--Sea Power
"Finally, a one-volume naval history of World War II that does justice to the enormous scope and detail of the subject. Entertaining, insightful, and a damn good read."--James F. Dunnigan, author of A Quick and Dirty Guide to War and How to Make War
"The general reader and specialist alike should set aside Samuel Eliot Morison and all the others and just devour Nathan Miller's classic tale of the navies of World War II."--Kenneth J. Hagan, U.S. Naval Academy and author of This People's Navy: The Making of American Sea Power
"This excellent naval history of WWII proves that it hasn't all been said....The book is remarkably alive and brings out in dramatic relief the problems that confronted commanders at sea on both sides in this conflict to dominate the world's oceans. And miller illustrates these problems with vivid on-deck reporting, drawing on the experiences of the men who were there."--Sea History
"A book that is as captivating and intriguing as a novel."--Library Journal
"With authoritative analysis, and in one volume, Miller majestically relates the history of the last great sea war for the general reader....Sweeping....Compelling."--Publishers Weekly
"Nathan Miller's long-awaited War at Sea does what no other book has done--it captures the worldwide ocean conflict in one sweeping narrative. This book puts the reader in the action, from the dank, interiors of U-boats tracking convoys in the Atlantic to the cockpits of divebombers closing in on Japan. Miller ties it all together with authoritative analysis; not only what the admirals did, but why, and what their decisions meant. This is the best single-volume naval history I have ever read."--Ernest B. Furgurson, author of Chancellorsville: 1863
"Fifty years after the last torpedo was fired, we finally have a history worth of the men who fought, suffered, and died in the greatest sea war history will ever know. The general reader and specialist alike should set aside Samuel Eliot Morison and all the others and just devour Nathan Miller's classic tale of the navies of World War II. It's all here; grand strategies, warring personalities, conflicting tactics, imperfect technologies, U-boats, convoys, battleships and amphibians."--Kenneth J. Hagan, U.S. Naval Academy and author of This People's Navy: The Making of American Sea Power
"Nathan Miller has completed a very difficult task, that of compressing the naval history of World War II into a single volume. His research is extensive and impecable, and all of the details of the story of each component of the war are carefully integrated. In addition many personal incidents and viewpoints have been inserted to make this history very readable. This is a first-rate work and is the best history of its kind yet written."--Vice Admiral William P. Mack, USN (Ret.), author of The Naval Officers Guide and Pursuit of the Seawolf
"Finally, a one-volume naval history of World War II that does justice to the enormous scope and detail of the subject. A personal account portrayed against a vast canvas. Entertaining, insightful, and a damn good read."--James F. Dunnigan, author of A Quick and Dirty Guide to War and How to Make War
"Nathan Miller's War at Sea is superb: comprehensive and balanced in scope, fair and measured in judgement, and full of colorful and textured detail to bring alive the tale of the greatest sea conflict in history. This should become the standard popular history of World War II."--Richard B. Frank, author of Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle
"War at Sea is history at its most entertaining and informative, and its fresh details will be a welcome surprise to naval history buffs who think they know the full story. Naval operations are fitted neatly into the overall story of World War II. The book is so comprehensive yet so finely crafted that it reminds me of a beautiful model of a ship of the line."--Vice Admiral George P. Steele (Ret.), former Commander of the Seventh Fleet, U.S. Navy
"Excellent, well-written--just the right amount of detail. Readable and informative."--Arthur L. Johnson, SUNY-Potsdam
About the Author
Nathan Miller, a journalist, historian, and naval scholar, is the author of twelve books of history and biography, including The U.S. Navy: A History, which is used as a textbook at the U.S. Naval Academy, and the widely acclaimed Theodore Roosevelt: A Life. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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His analysis is generally brief as well, which is ideal for a book of this type, where pace important. This doesn't mean it's any less insightful, however. He convincingly argues that the use of the atomic bomb was a strategic, war-ending measure, not just an attempt to scare the Soviet Union; that the refusal of the Japanese to withdraw skilled pilots to train the next generation was a fatal error; and that the industrial might of the combined allies was too much for the Axis - they had to win in the first couple of years or be ultimately worn out. Another important point in praise of this book is the way Miller is careful to point out the involvement of the so-called minor allies. For example, by 1945, Canada had the 3rd largest navy in the world, but because the RCN primarily participated in the Battle of the Atlantic, they get ignored by historians who get caught up in Big Events storytelling. Miller is always very careful to point out these countries' contributions.
Unfortunately, there are a few quibbling points that drop the book to 4 stars. First, the maps are conveniently located together at the back of the book, but are never referred to in the text, and are often of too large an area to be useful. For example, a lot of space is devoted to amphibious operations on Guadalcanal, Okinawa, etc., but these islands are merely dots on a "Pacific theatre" map. Even a 1/4 page sketch per island would have been very helpful. Secondly, Miller seems to have a vendetta against Winston Churchill - he is always quick to ridicule Churchill's wild ideas, but never to give credit to his good ones, instead saying, "The British wanted ...." Finally, there's an occasional confusion, such as mixing up the British cruisers Dorsetshire (that sunk the Bismark) and Devonshire.
These quibbles do not really detract from the overall enjoyment of the book, however, and it's recommended for any armchair historian interested in the naval aspects of World War II.