Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Nov 17

From Our Archives-Tattletales

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 12:01 AM


Soviety Minsk 117 with Kiev 060 in background, from the deck of the USS South Carolina in the Mediterranean, Fall 1978

The United States Naval Institute has the largest private collection of sea service photographs in the world including some rare Cold War era images. A sizable number of photos of Soviet ships & submarines are within the collection. A sampling of images of Soviet vessels shadowing U.S. Navy ships are below. An example of a war fought without a front line.            

Nov 3

President Roosevelt’s Gone Fishin’

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 12:01 AM


Map charting the course from San Diego, California, to Pensacola, Florida

In the summer of 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt came aboard the USS Houston (CA-30) for a fishing trip. He and his party, which included scientists from the Smithsonian Institute, boarded the cruiser on 17 July in San Diego. The scientists were invited to collect specimens from Central and South America while the President fished. The ship sailed south for the Galapagos Islands, and stopped along the way in Mexico and several islands. Before arriving at the final destination on 24 July, the Houston crossed the equator, which involved the traditional line-crossing celebration. After leaving the Galapagos, the ship turned… Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 13

An Admiral’s Letters to His Son

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 2:15 PM



  By Vice Admiral George W. Emery, U.S. Navy (Retired) Admiral Hyman George Rickover, “the father of the nuclear Navy,” demanded stringent safety requirements and a powerful focus on quality standards. When once asked why, he responded: “I have a son. I love my son. I want everything that I do to be so safe that I would be happy to have my son operating it. That’s my fundamental rule.”1 Rickover lived up to those words, making a point to be personally on board during each nuclear-powered ship’s initial sea trials, and by his presence set his demanding stamp of… Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 23

“The Fastest Ship in the Navy”: The Strange Saga of the USS Reina Mercedes

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 6:00 AM


Reina Spanish

On April 29, 1898, Almirante (Admiral) Pascual Cervera y Topete of the Spanish Navy steamed out of Cape Verde islands with a fleet of four armored cruisers and three destroyers. His destination: the West Indies, to defend Spain’s empire against the American fleet. Hampered by a number of deficiencies, the fleet struggled into the harbor at Santiago de Cuba. Meeting and later joining the squadron there was the Reina Mercedes, an unarmored cruiser capabale of propulsion under both sail and steam. Built in Cartagena, Spain, in 1887, she had become the station ship at Santiago in 1892. By 1898, she… Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 21

Knox Lifetime Achievement Awards Honor Naval Institute Authors

Monday, September 21, 2015 1:55 PM



Naval historians from around the world mustered last week in Annapolis for the U.S. Naval Academy’s biennial two-day, deep-immersion McMullen Naval History Symposium. During a banquet at the DoubleTree Annapolis Hotel on Friday night, 18 September, attendees heralded the latest authors to receive the Commodore Dudley W. Knox Naval History Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the U.S. Naval Historical Foundation. As in years past, the names of all three honorees in 2015, along with the namesake of the award himself, are familiar to readers of U.S. Naval Institute publications.

Sep 18

Monument of the Month: Granite, Old and New

Friday, September 18, 2015 6:00 AM



The old NSS Annapolis, otherwise known as the Naval Communications Station Washington, D.C. Transmitter, at Greenbury Point on the Severn River to the West of Annapolis, is not a place where one might expect to begin a discussion on monuments. But sometimes the most curious and intriguing of things are found in overlooked and unexpected places. The three red-and-white radio towers on the wooded peninsula, once used to communicate with submerged submarines are the most prominent reminders of what was once a bustling and active radio transmitting facility. Though it is still a gunnery range and part of the NSA… Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 16

Cruisers: Interwar Roles and Limitations

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 11:52 AM



An excerpt from “The Fleet’s Ambiguous, Versatile Warships,” by Norman Friedman, in the October issue of Naval History magazine With the end of World War I, U.S. naval policy turned from concentration on Europe to concentration on the Far East and Japan. Even so, supporters of continued U.S. naval construction exploited widespread anti-British feeling in the United States by suggesting there was a U.S.-British naval rivalry. This was despite the fact that the United States and Great Britain were given naval parity in the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty while the far more likely enemy, Japan, was given the short end… Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 11

The VT Fuze: The Other Secret Weapon of World War II

Friday, September 11, 2015 9:16 AM


USNI VT fuze.

As a young officer, then-Lieutenant Commander (later Admiral) W.H. P. Blandy, USN, had a keen interest in gunnery. Writing for Proceedings in 1920 (“Director Fire a Century Ago”) and 1925 (“Possible Improvements in our Gunnery Training”), LCDR Blandy understood well the history of fire control and what could be done to improve its effectiveness. Ever forward-thinking, Blandy noted elsewhere in 1925 of what a remarkable device a fuze that would detonate based on its proximity to the target would be. The key would be to find a way to trigger the shell to that its fragmentation pattern would be effective,… Read the rest of this entry »

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