When choosing a reference book a person needs to weed through many options. Is the author knowledgeable in the subject, are the visual references proper for your use, and is it worth my time and money. Well, in my opinion this book is what you need if you are looking for a reference on US sub chasers in World War II and actually World War I for that matter.
The book follows a nice logical path from the humble beginnings of the sub chaser through its time in the combat. It is filled with over 100 photographs, color profiles, and nicely done line drawings. The book examines the design and service life of U.S. sub chasers, from the introduction of the 110-foot, wooden-hull sub chaser designed to hunt German U-boats in World War I through the development of the larger, 173-foot sub chasers and their coastal patrol duties during World War II.
Starting shortly after the US entered WWI the first class of sub chaser was designed and built, SC-1. The Navy requested the ships be small displacement, maximum speed 17.5-18 knots, have an 800 mile range or 1500 miles at 12 knots, hold fuel and stores for 15 days, and carry adequate armaments. Sounds simple enough.
The book then follows the development of the SC1 class ship. Photos feature the building process for these wooden framed ships. The class is covered well from its beginnings and into the interwar periods.
In 1937 the US knew it would once again be headed toward war. Franklin Roosevelt, now president, knew the Navy would require a stop gap craft to combat German U-boats. In 1939 there was only one ASW craft on the entire east coast, a Coast Guard Cutter. The answer to this was once again to produce the sub chaser.
The remainder of the book covers the sub chasers during World War II. Once again construction of the ships leads off the discussion of the chasers during World War II.
The pictures and illustrations provided in the book offer the reader with the point of view you might not find in another source.
The Author, Artist, and Illustrator…
T. Garth Connelly is a naval historian who has written several different books and articles on the subjects of military small craft. He is also the son and grandson of Sub Chaser sailors. In 2000 he was awarded the Clean Sweep Award by the Veterans Association known as PT BOATS, INCORPORATED because of his continuing effort to promote the history of PT boats in World War II
Don Greer provided the art work on the cover of the book. He has been cover artist on numerous Squadron/Signal publications.
Matheu Spraggins was the illustrator who created the b/w line drawings for the book. He is also a veteran from numerous Squadron/Signal publications.
I would like to take a moment to thank T. Garth Connely for providing us with a copy of his book for this review.
Highs: Loaded with detailed pictures.Lows: None NotedVerdict: For those fans of military small craft this is a must have. Heck, even if you are a Navy fan, pick this one up!