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Best Naval History Books You Must Read

Looking for the best Naval History books? Browse our list to find excellent book recommendations on the subject.

1. Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy (2008)

 Best Naval History Books You Must Read“A fluent, intelligent history…give[s] the reader a feel for the human quirks and harsh demands of life at sea.”―New York Times Book Review Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders―particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams―debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships. From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign…
Author(s): Ian W. Toll

2. The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 (Dodo Press) (2008)

 Best Naval History Books You Must ReadAlfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) was a United States Navy officer, geostrategist, and educator. His ideas on the importance of sea power influenced navies around the world, and helped prompt naval buildups before World War I. Despite his success in the Navy, his skills in actual command of a ship were not exemplary, and a number of vessels under his command were involved in collisions. On the other hand, the books he wrote ashore made him arguably the most influential naval historian. In 1885, he was appointed lecturer in naval history and tactics and the Naval War College. Before…
Author(s): Alfred Thayer Mahan

3. The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World (2015)

 Best Naval History Books You Must ReadA monumental retelling of world history through the lens of the sea—revealing in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, lake and stream, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world’s waterways, bringing together civilizations and defining what makes us most human. The Sea and Civilization is a mesmerizing, rhapsodic narrative of maritime enterprise, from the origins of long-distance migration to the great seafaring cultures of antiquity; from Song Dynasty human-powered…
Author(s): Lincoln Paine

4. Mission Beyond Darkness (2019)

 Best Naval History Books You Must ReadYet this is exactly what sixty-four men did in the twilight hours of June 19th, 1944.Not one of the pilots or their crew hesitated as they got into their planes. “They did what their commanders and their country told them to do. They carried out a ‘mission beyond darkness.’” Robert M. Citino, Navy TimesMission Beyond Darkness by Lt. Commander J. Bryan III records in fascinating detail one of the most remarkable missions that place during the war in the Pacific.Rather relying on second-hand accounts Bryan explains this his work is completely authentic as it “is derived wholly from narratives by the…
Author(s): J Bryan

5. The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery (2017)

 Best Naval History Books You Must ReadPaul Kennedy's now classic book traces Britain's rise and fall as a sea power from the Tudors to the present day. Challenging the traditional view that the British are natural 'sons of the waves', he suggests instead that the country's fortunes as a significant maritime force have always been bound up with its economic growth. In doing so, he contributes significantly to the centuries-long debate between 'continental' and 'maritime' schools of strategy over Britain's policy in times of war. Setting British naval history within a…
Author(s): Paul Kennedy

6. Sink the Bismarck! (A Bantam book) (1959)

 Best Naval History Books You Must ReadSeries: A Bantam book Paperback: 118 pages Publisher: Bantam Books (1959) Language: English ASIN: B0007DN3FO Package Dimensions: 6.8 x 3.9 x 0.4 inches Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies) Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,242,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #10502 in Naval Military History #40878 in World War II History (Books) Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?…
Author(s): C. S Forester

7. The Naval War of 1812: A Complete History (2017)

 Best Naval History Books You Must ReadAlthough only 23 years old at the time of publication, Theodore Roosevelt made his mark as a military scholar with this detailed analysis of naval combat between the United States and Great Britain from 1812–15. Engagingly written and comprehensively researched, The Naval War of 1812 exercised considerable influence on the formation of the modern American Navy and remains a cornerstone work in its field.Drawing upon official documents, letters, and histories, Roosevelt portrays the political and social atmosphere in the United States and Great Britain prior to the war, taking…
Author(s): Theodore Roosevelt

8. American Naval History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (2018)

 Best Naval History Books You Must ReadThis fast-paced narrative charts the history of the US Navy from its birth during the American Revolution through to its current superpower status. The story highlights iconic moments of great drama pivotal to the nation’s fortunes: John Paul Jones’ attacks on the British during the Revolution, the Barbary Wars, and the arduous conquest of Iwo Jima.American Naval History: A Very Short Introduction illuminates the changes–technological, institutional, and functional–of the U.S. Navy from its days as a small frigate navy through the age of steam and steel to the…
Author(s): Craig L. Symonds

9. Destroyer Squadron 23: Combat Exploits of Arleigh Burke’s Gallant Force (Bluejacket Books) (2012)

 Best Naval History Books You Must ReadCalled one of the most inspiring stories to come out of World War II when first published in 1959, this epic account of Arleigh Burke’s legendary Destroyer Squadron 23 is much more than a story of ships and their tactical deployment. It is a story of men in action–some four thousand of them–and how they lived and fought as a magnificent combat team.Ken Jones not only records their heroic deeds but helps explain what prompted those deeds, including the leadership qualities that fired the men into action. In doing so he brings to life the outfit’s fighting spirit–that mysterious…
Author(s): Ken Jones

10. The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815 (2006)

 Best Naval History Books You Must Read“The Command of the Ocean” describes with unprecedented authority and scholarship the rise of Britain to naval greatness, and the central place of the Navy and naval activity in the life of the nation and government. It describes not just battles, voyages and cruises but how the Navy was manned, how it was supplied with timber, hemp and iron, how its men (and sometimes women) were fed, and above all how it was financed and directed. It was during the century and a half covered by this book that the successful organizing of these last three – victualling, money…
Author(s): N. A. M. Rodger

11. Naval Air Station Pensacola (Images of Aviation) (2014)

 Best Naval History Books You Must ReadA sign at the gate of Naval Air Station Pensacola (NASP) welcomes visitors to “The Cradle of Naval Aviation.” And, indeed it is. The world’s first naval aeronautical station, it came into being when the USS Mississippi (BB-23) arrived in Pensacola on January 20, 1914, with seven aircraft, nine officers, and 23 men. Today, NASP is a dynamic, active station, hosting several schools and several branches of the US military. It is also the home of the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, as well as the renowned National Naval Aviation Museum (NNAM), which displays more than 100…
Author(s): Maureen Smith Keillor, Keillor MTS, AMEC (AW/SW) Richard P.

Best Naval History Books You Must Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some naval history books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Airpower in the War against ISIS

Author(s): Benjamin S. Lambeth
ID: 2897634, Publisher: Naval Institute Press, Year: 2021, Size: 5 Mb, Format: epub

Navies in Multipolar Worlds: From the Age of Sail to the Present

Author(s): Paul Kennedy, Evan Wilson
ID: 2797051, Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2020, Size: 3 Mb, Format: pdf

Selling Schweinfurt: Targeting Assessment and Marketing in the Air Campaign Against German Industry

Author(s): Brain Vlaun
ID: 2799540, Publisher: Naval Institute Press, Year: 2020, Size: 9 Mb, Format: epub

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are absolutely chart-busters according to USA Today, others are drafted by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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