The Confederate Navy
The Ships, Men, and Organisation, 1861-65
Editor, Dr William N Still Jnr
When I first opened this book, I was actually excited. The subject is one that has fascinated me for years but about which there is a dearth of information. The History of the Confederate States Navy, by J Thomas Scharf is an excellent work, but well over a hundred years old, and pretty heavy going for the casual reader. This latest volume then is a welcome addition on the subject.
This work is produced in a number of sections, each written by an expert in the field. These inlude the organisation and operation of the Navy Department, the ship types, the officers, marines, strategy and tactics. each of these is excellent, well written and accessible to the reader, and packed full of information for the historian and wargamer alike.
In particular the details given of the various vessels deployed by the Confederacy are of great value to the wargamers seeking to refight the riverine engagements or ship to ship actions. Using the information contained in this book, it is interesting to plan a wargame visualising a fleet action. Historically the scattered nature of the Southern deployment and the strategic numerical superiority of the USA meant such an action was rarely possible, but as a "what if?" scenario, the possibilities are fascinating.
In all I found this volume an excellent and fascinating read, that I am sure will be a constant source of reference for many years to come. The illustrations and photographs are a goldmine in themselves. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a genuine interest in the American Civil War, and Naval history.
Published by Conway
Hardback, 250 pages, Price £40
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