Inquiring minds would like to know. In the comments section of an earlier post on a slightly different topic, Sid suggested “Morill’s “South from Corregidor” and any or all of DV Gallery’s books.”

Sid, got any more suggestions? Loyal readers, what say you? Thanks!

Posted by Jim Dolbow in Naval Institute

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  • Second on Dan Gallery’s books. They should be published as a boxed set.

  • Jason

    Figher Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering. Robert L Shaw. One of the first I’ve ever read. A classic.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Dunno if all are USNI Press books, but here are a few classics that are pertinent today:

    Viscount Slim’s “Defear into Victory”

    “The Japanese Navy in WW II” (this WAS USNI Press, 1969)

    Goerlitz’s “The German General Staff”

    Just some of the nonstop excitement from the books on my night stand….


  • anon

    A couple of classics :

    “U.S. Cruisers. An Illustrated Design History” by Norman Friedman

    Battleship Missouri: An Illustrated History by Paul Stillwell

    Don’t think this is an USNI title, but “British Cruisers of World War Two” by Alan Raven and John Roberts is yet another must have that’s sadly been out of print for some time now.

  • First, all the Dan Gallery books- funny, but good leadership lessongs.

    Second, make sure all the Norman Friedman books are in print. I had to pony up $150 to find a used “Small Combatants.”

    And Shaw’s Fighter Combat shouldn’t be a USNI book. It should be a manual issued to every VFA in the fleet.

  • Byron

    Lex’s upcoming book? Hint, hint? 😉

  • sid

    My two suggestions above weren’t USNI produced…but its a shame that those works are getting ever harder to find. Seems there may be a market the can fit back into if they were not so rare.

    For another would be John Morrill’s “The Cincinnati”. That one belongs in the USN professional reading list today.

    And yeah. Sure am glad that I scarfed up the Friedman’s Design Studies when I did, because they have gone through the roof on the used market.

  • SJBill

    I’ve been searching for “The History of Antisubmarine Warfare” by Norman Friedman, for years. ISBN: 9780870212741.

  • sid

    And yeah!! What Byron said. Sure bet you would see money from me.

  • Byron

    Everybody (and thats a significant number) at Lex’s would buy his book. The first 500 get autographed and we get ’em, though 😉 Heck, I’d pay 25 bucks more!

  • A good start is to see what the market thinks. Sid’s comment about how much some cost in the aftermarket are an indication that there is a pent-up demand for some more than others. I also think that new approaches such as the Gallery boxset (or even a Morrill boxset; heck I would buy a few of those for gifts) might be an interesting idea to approach.

    Another concept if you are going for a “new idea” theme is something along the lines of a “Box Set for the New Ensign” / “Box Set for the New Second Lieutenant” of six must read historical novels along the lines of those we have discussed in many of the posts here. If you can keep the political and the trendy out of it, I think you would have a winner as it is always hard to pick a gift to a new graduate – a six-pack for hardbacks would be a winner – and would open the door to reading via USNI. I’m sure we could come up with a “Top-6” list here for starts …..

    My library has entire rows of USNI hardbacks – and I know I am the exception and not the rule. I started early via a gift membership to the USNI as a 4/C MIDN.

    …and if you could get some Kindle versions ……..

    Some thoughts to chew on.

  • Byron,

    can you tell me a little bit more about Lex’s new book thanks

  • Byron

    Jim, for the past four years, Lex has posted articles under two headings: “Rhythms” and “Tales of the Sea Service”. You can read these articles at his blog. Make sure you have at least an hour blocked out; once you start reading, you won’t stop.

    For a sample, go to his blog today, “Old Ghosts”. It’s a lesson in leadership. I know that once I finished, I sat there for a minute or two and just went, “wow!”. The guy can write.

  • stevekaw

    “British Battleships; “Warrior” 1860 to “Vanguard” 1950: A History of Design, Construction and Armament” by Parkes, Dr. Oscar.

    “Battleships: Allied Battleships of World War II” by Garzke, Jr., William H.; Dulin, Jr., Robert O.

  • Bill

    Torpedo Junction. H.H. Hickam, Jr. , USNI 1989.

    A good read but unpopular subject; what its like to fight ‘in the littoral environment’ without the right vessels or support thereof.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Haben sie a link to the “Old Ghosts” blog? I’d love to read it.


  • How about US Merchant Vessel War Casualties of World War II. I paid $50 for my copy when it first came out. It is now out of print and the cheapest copies around are going for well over $100.

  • Sean Walsh

    Again, not a USNI title but I would like to see the Institute make available DVDs of great naval movies. Some of these are available but one which is not is “The Gallant Hours” with James Cagney as Fleet Admiral Halsey. I’ve seen it a few times on Turner Classic Movies and found it very powerful. It has no battle scenes but shows the difficult choices a commander must make.

  • I would also love a DV Gallery box set. I had them years ago and they were always good for a laugh.

    Destroyer Operations in WW2 and Submarine Operations in WW2. A ouple of my all time favorites. I believe they were on the list at one time and if not they should have been.

  • Byron
  • By all means, the Dan Gallery books. Everyone needs the chance to know what DDLM stands for. For some time now, I’ve wondered it Lex is Admiral Dan’s clone.

  • Paul

    With print on demand technology, there really shouldn’t be a reason for any USNI books or even old copies of Proceedings to not be available anymore because of being out of print.

  • They weren’t originally published by USNI, but I’d love to see reprints of any of RADM Edward Ellsberg’s works. I loved reading “On The Bottom” as a teenager as well as a couple of his fictional works. I’ve always wanted to read his books about his WW II experiences, but have never found any copies.

  • I would like to vote for “Two Block Fox” by Charles M. Melhorn. This is a great book that was published in 1978 and talks about the beginning US Carrier aviation from Reeve’s 100 questions up to the fleet exercises through out the 20’s and 30’s. The book ends with the start of the war in 1939. I have an old beat up copy that I refer to from time to time while reading other great books published by USNI.

    Another I would love to recommend is “Delilah” by Marcus Goodrich. This is the book for the WW1 generation that the “Caine Mutiny” is for the WW2 generation. Heck Herman Wouk even admitted in an interview years ago in Proceedings that Delilah is what infulenced him to write the Caine Mutiny.

    Those are just a start, but would be in the top five that I would recommend for republishing by the USNI.

  • Chap

    Paul and Phibs speak powerful stuff. No reason this stuff should be either moldering in warehouses or unavailable; Amazon and even Lulu have some aspects to that solution. So do WebScription, Baen Books, and others.

    If you’re looking for books to reprint “The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Submarines” was up to $450 apiece last I looked, and General Sir William Butler’s life of Gordon (now public domain IIRC) is a obscure but great read I’d love to have a decent copy of.

  • It’s not a book, but there is a post from 1983 that should be reprinted to the blog. It is called Great Operators, Good Administrators, Lousy Planners. I still have a paper copy of the article and I think its a good analogy for the Navy of today.

  • Skippy-san,
    I remember that one – don’t have a copy though. Yes, the internet is here, why aren’t we using it to get this stuff out. As Chap mentioned, Baen Books has recently been bringing some classic Science Fiction titles back in electronic format for a very reasonable price. I usually keep several novels and a whole library of Coast Guard reference material on my PDA.

  • Here are the top five that I think should be reprinted by the USNI.

    1. The 1902 edition of the Bluejackets Manual (1st edition). I have a copy that the USNI was selling about twenty years ago. It has been sitting on my bookshelf at either work or home now for the past ten years. It has been a useful reference to point out to some of my junior personnel how much things have changed in the last century. Just looking at the copy that I have it was approved for sale by by one LT. E. L. Beach secretary and Tresurary of the USNI.

    2. Like I said before “Two Block Fox”.

    3. Same with “Deliliah”

    4. Is a toss up between “Away All Boats” and “In Harms Way” both of which are very good fiction books that talk about the stress of leadership. I know that both of these were offered in the Classics of Naval Liteture series but I haven’t seen either of them offered in a while.

    5. Finally I think that the USNI should offer more box sets of books. Whether it is a collection of E.B Potter’s biographies together (including his autobiography), Gallery’s history books, or even the Navy Reading list that could be ordered as one full swoop. I really think that something like that could be a boon to those out there looking to start thier library or even add to thier library for cheap, since you are buying in bulk.

    Oh and like Cdr Salamander said, you guys should look at offering more of your books as Kindle downloads, or as Audiobook downloads that a deploying Sailor/Marine could load up on and have for a deployment. Those take up less space in a coffin locker then some of the books in the catalog right now.

  • Jay

    Powell is onto something, especially Ellsberg’s books, “Under the Red Sea Sun” is a fantastic read re: a nasty salvage job.

    Southern Air Pirate is right on, re: PDAs.

    Unfortunately, the kids don’t read much these days (if it isn’t required reading…). But since they get most of their news/info from eletronic formats — figure a way to get the CNO/Commandant’s reading lists onto PDAs/Ipods, etc.

  • sid

    Unfortunately, the kids don’t read much these days (if it isn’t required reading…).

    There was a little blurb in WSJ that suggests this trend has seen a little reversal. For the first time in 25 year (IIRC) sales of fiction are actually up.

    One theroy on why is that the crowd who read Harry Potter when it was all the rage has continued an abiding interest in reading, and now that they are out earning money, they are spending it on books.

  • SJBill

    As a Navy Leaguer, our Council bought the entire set of CNO recommended development reading material for an adopted command. That’s ~60 volumns.

    I’ve been told the kids aboard are taking advantage of this mother lode of reading.

    Of course, they also read “A Cat in the Hat” aloud and get while taped doing it. The next step is to send the books and DVDs to their children at home while deployed.

    Good stuff!

  • Skippy,
    Scan it, email it, and I will see if my OCR will make it work. We can co-post.

  • SSG Jeff (USAR)

    Ah, I actually had to scrub off a few dormant memory cells to come up with the breakout for DDLM… love to see all those again. Perhaps with a volume of his “Don’t Scuttle the Navy” articles from the Saturday Evening Post – they don’t appear to be anywhere online.

    When someone says “Kindle” I hope you actually mean Mobipocket format ( )- I’ve got probably 90 or so books on my Palm T/X on a SD-card… and room for many more.

  • I’d love a boxed set of Morrison’s work. I say this as I look at two shelves of books in my library that I picked up – gratis – from the (gag) Air Force historian’s office in the Pentagon. One could swing by in the dusty depths of the 5th deck and happen across carts full of interesting boks free for the taking. Books like the boxed set of the official history of the AF, or the history of the Cactus Air Force in the SW Pacific (skip bombing anyone?).

    Is Crenshaw’s work on shiphandling still in print? I had to move heaven and earth to find one enroute to my ‘gator tour. Southern Air Pirate has a couple of excellent recommendations I’d like to add as well, Two Block Fox being at the top. Ditto the Bluejacket’s manual, though I still have mine. Shaw’s work is a must have for anyone dealing with air combat. I’d also recommend “Gold Wings, Blue Sea – A Naval Aviator’s Story” by CAPT Rausa, USNR which was a USNI press book (ca. 1980).

    Another thought — putting the old correspondence course books and manuals online via PDF would be great. My copies of “A Navigation Compendium” and “The Combat Information Center Officer” have descriptions and explanations of fundamentals in areas like celestial nav, radar, radio nets and CIC organization that exceed their modern counterparts in clarity and transfer of knowledge.

  • Byron

    (beats head on keyboard): “On Yankee Station” (how the hell could I forget that one?) And “Scream of Eagles”, the story of how Top Gun was born, really interesting stuff. My favorte war at sea fiction? “HMS ULYSSES”, the only decent book Allistair Mclean ever wrote.

  • Jay


    I didn’t see that article…a pal did & said the data was from the American Publisher’s Association (or similar). Well, if so, hmmm, no self-serving data there.

    If the uptick holds & reverses the trend, cool.

    Still the best idea is to get all of these onto an electronic format for space/weight issues.

    (unless, of course, the dreaded thumb drives are still banned…)

  • John

    The Rules of the Game:Jutland and British Naval Command published by Naval Institute Press in 2000 should be required reading for any Naval Officer and, indeed, anyone dealing with war or conflict. It is an incredibly lucid account of how and why things can go wrong and is specially relevant to today’s armed forces. It should be required reading at the USNA.

  • Allied Battleships in World War II by William H. Garzke, Robert O. Dulin, and Thomas G. Webb


    Battleships: Axis and Neutral Battleships in World War II by William Garzke, Robert O. Dulin, and Alan Raven

    Has not been anything else like them at all for scope and detail. Continues to be a very popular topic, most libraries would like to replace their original, well-worn copies.

  • Michael S Oshiro

    perhaps a multi-track system: armchair navalists as myself will always demand reprints of parkes, dulin/garzke, raven/roberts, burt and so on: BB captures the ‘land’ imagination like nothing else.

    if it’s actually a matter of smoothly transferring knowledge to young people embarking on naval careers, everything with real professional value perhaps ought to be online.

    how many usni publications break even or make money?

  • Nigel

    I came across a copy of R A Burts ‘British Battleships 1919-1939” SUPERB!!!, and am now desperarly searching for decent copies of his other two titles ‘British Battleships of World War One’ and ‘British Battleships 1889-1904’…..HELP!!!!!

  • grumpy

    Would like to see:
    1. The Fleet the Gods Forgot
    2. Reluctant Allies: Germany and Japan in WW2
    3. Italian Navy in WW2
    I don’t understand why the Institute only prints and sells its books for such a relatively short time. It’s a lot like trying to buy Disney cartoon movies!

  • Grandpa Bluewater

    For the instruction of youth (age 10 to 40)

    Everything by Edward Ellsberg.

    Complete Idiot’s Guide to Submarines.

    Navpers Texts:
    “Tools and Their Uses”
    “Blueprint Reading and Sketching”
    “Fluid Power”
    “Basic Electricity”
    “Basic Electronics”


    In addition, get a cooperative agreement with the various publishers to sell the basic texts on shipboard stability, Celestial Navigation, cargo handling, hazmat regulations, and Ship’s Business for the merchant mariner. The two worlds have grown too far apart, and naval personnel need a better appreciation of the maritime world.

  • South from Corregidor is in the process of being reprinted with additional information.

  • Holy Joe

    “Wings On My Sleeve” BY Capt Eric Brown R.N. aviator extraordinaire, & still alive at 94 in ther U.K.