May 27

A Letter From a Captain to His Son

Friday, May 27, 2016 12:01 AM

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Naval Institute photo archive

Today, 27 May 2016, the Class of 2016 will be graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. The Naval Institute shares the words of a commanding officer to his son on the occasion of his son’s graduation from the Naval Academy in June, 1955. As today’s graduates enter commissioned service, these words of sixty years ago ring true. To the Class of 2016, the Naval Institute extends heartfelt congratulations.

 
May 19

“Herman the German”

Thursday, May 19, 2016 1:32 PM

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USS YD-171 lifts another crane. . Naval Institute Photo Archive.

Engineers at the Terminal Island Naval Shipyard in Long Beach, California, had a problem on their hands: how does one reassemble one of the tallest and largest crane in the world? That was the situation in January, 1948 as the U.S. Navy worked to erect the gigantic, floating Schwimmkran Nr. 1, taken from Germany as war reparations at the end of World War II. The gigantic crane, “naturalized” after the war as USS YD-171, was one of four built by Demag A. G. in 1941 in Bremerhaven, Germany to lift U-Boats out of the water for repair and for other heavy-lifting tasks…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 12

On the Digital Frontier in Bosnia

Thursday, May 12, 2016 10:58 PM

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Airman First Class Michelle Leonard, 1st Combat Camera Squadron, Charleston, South Carolina, deployed to Sarajevo,  photographs the war-torn city with an early digital camera.

Working in an archive, one can sometimes make unexpected discoveries in the materials that have accumulated over the course of years. Hidden by the sheer volume of materials, or locked away in a forgotten drawer, we have heard over the years of spectacular discoveries like original compositions by Mozart, or important letters about Abraham Lincoln. And oftentimes these “discoveries” are hidden in plain sight, much like Edgar Allen Poe’s Purloined Letter. Sitting on a shelf in the Naval Institute’s Library is a remarkable set of digital images on CDs from the Bosnian War, produced by the Department of Defense’s Joint… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 9

Boo to the U.S. Navy for getting rid of USS Barry (DD-933) at the Washington Navy Yard

Monday, May 9, 2016 11:32 AM

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Barry as a display ship at the Washington Navy Yard in the 1980s.Naval Institute Photo Archive.

Chris Cavas, Naval Warfare Correspondent at Defense News, was right on target when he used the word “boo” in a tweet about the display ship Barry’s departure from the Washington Navy Yard on Saturday, 7 May 2016, with no plans for a replacement. Mr. Cavas is being polite, in my humble opinion. “Disgraceful” comes to my mind. A U.S. Navy Museum in the nation’s capital without a Navy ship is ridiculous and borders in the criminal. Can you imagine an Air Force Museum without airplanes or a U.S. Army museum without guns and tanks? Me neither. If anyone ever needed… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 6

‘The Necessity of the Fight’

Friday, May 6, 2016 12:01 AM

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Surrounded in his CBS office with a modest library and an array of memorabilia from a distinguished career in journalism, Cronkite did not take the term "retirement" very seriously. Above his assistant's desk the headline from a clipping read, "Cronkite Cannot Say No." Courtesy L. Furgatch.

We were in an editorial meeting when our secretary, Marcia Owens, walked in and whispered, “There’s a guy on your phone who says he’s Walter Cronkite. Yeah, right! It actually does sound like him, though. What should I say?” It was indeed the man who had become known as “the most trusted man in America.” He was calling to correct an error in memory he had made in an answer to a question I had posed during our interview the previous week. We were putting together our D-Day 50th Anniversary commemoration, and we thought that someone who had had a… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 5

The Elephant in the Archive

Thursday, May 5, 2016 12:01 AM

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Naval Institute Photo Archive.

It was in 218 B.C. that the Carthaginian commander Hannibal famously marched some 30 elephants across the Alps and over the Rhône River by boat to attack Rome during the 2nd Punic War. In the millennia that have followed, the use of elephants in naval warfare has not accounted to much — certain films, of course, excepted. But that has not stopped pachydermous photographs from appearing in the Naval Institute’s Photo Archive for one reason or another. The selection that follows shows some of the interactions naval personnel have had over the years with the elephants they’ve encountered in their… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 2

On Naval History’s Scope

Monday, May 2, 2016 12:01 AM

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Cover-MJ-16

  In Naval History, we try to recognize small but significant naval anniversaries as well as large and momentous ones, such as the centennial of the Battle of Jutland. It was expected to be a cataclysmic fight—the upstart German fleet against the traditional ruler of the waves, the British fleet. But the World War I battle didn’t quite live up to its billing. Jeremy Black argues in “Jutland’s Place in History” that although it lacked the decisiveness of the Royal Navy’s great victory at Trafalgar, the battle greatly influenced the war at sea and the Imperial German Navy’s ultimate defeat…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 29

Q&A with Vince O’Hara, Naval Institute Press Author of the Year

Friday, April 29, 2016 11:48 AM

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9781612518237

Vincent P. O’Hara received the 2015 Naval Institute Press Author of the Year Award at the U.S. Naval Institute’s 2016 Annual Meeting. The Press was delighted that Vince accepted our invitation to talk about his books and some of his inspirations. Naval History: What are your books about and why do you write them? Vince O’Hara: I write because I’m passionate about naval history. There’s nothing else I’d rather do. The focus of my first three books, German Fleet at War, The U.S. Navy against the Axis, and Struggle  for the Middle Sea is naval surface combat. Collectively, they describe… Read the rest of this entry »