I love history. I really love submarine history.
It’s amazing to live in an age where so much information is available. Most of the research I do is conducted online using the Library of Congress, a reference called the Hathi Trust (digitalized books) and of course the many Naval Heritage web site pages that capture the written and pictorial history of the Navy and many other historical areas of interest.
I also have a large number of navy books that I have collected over the years including many volumes of the Blue Jackets manuals dating back to the 1930’s. It probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that many of those books are about submarines.
Its hard to believe that after eight and a half years of blogging over 840 stories, I have just barely scratched the surface.
My goal is to hit 1000 by the end of this year. We will see.
One of my favorite books is actually a series of books that captured the American naval fighting ships history and development. This work started in 1959 and has been updated a few time. Below is the description from Arleigh Burke who was the Chief of Naval Operations at the time.
This is the forward to the very first edition:
Dictionary of American naval fighting ships. V.1. United States. 1959
“An alphabetical arrangement of the ships of the Continental and United States Navies, with a historical sketch of each one.”
From our earliest struggles for independence to our present position of world dominance, our country’s history is replete with stirring and heroic episodes of fighting ships. The steady advance of our maritime power is symbolized by the wealth of tradition encompassed between John Paul Jones’ immortal, “I have not yet begun to fight,” and the message, “Underway on nuclear power,” from U.S.S. Nautilus.
Although these cherished traditions that shaped America’s greatness were forged by men, they were forged in ships. In the story of ships lies our country’s consistent adherence to the principles of sea power. In its telling is portrayed our steady rise to leadership of the free world’s confederation of the sea.
What a vast difference between the first little ships of wood and sail in the American Revolution and the powerful, complex, atom driven, guided missile ships of today. These atomic powered, missile armed ships now building, as well as others of the future still to be conceived, that make our modern bulwark of the seas, will play an even greater part in our destiny than their predecessors in the Navy have in the past.
This collection into one work of brief ship histories has long been needed. When completed, it will make available in easily accessible form basic information on every naval ship that has served its part in shaping the history and national spirit of the United States. The faithful and arduous service of these ships and the men who manned them, as well as many brilliant victories, have stimulated “national pride, patriotism and unity.”
This work will have enduring value to the Navy, to students and writers, and to all other Americans in developing a better understanding of the accomplishments of our ships which have contributed toward making our Navy the best in the world. It will especially help to build knowledge, esprit, and inspiration for the men who have served, to those who are serving, and to those who will serve our great Navy.
Admiral, U/SN, Chief of Naval Operations.
The link below is the link to the entire book and a pathway to the series if you are technical enough to follow it to the rest of the volumes. I include this in case you want to spend time in the thousands and thousands of historical records that were collected to tell the Navy’s story.