Book Review: The Victory at Sea


by Rear Admiral William Sowden Sims

Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2016. Pp. xxxviii, 568. Illus., maps, tables, notes, biblio., index. $24.95 paper. ISBN: 1682471993

The U.S. Navy in the Great War

Awarded the 1921 Pulitzer Prize in history, this an account of the U.S. Navy in World War I, written by Adm. Sims, who commanded American naval forces in Europe during the war, in collaboration with the journalist Burton Jesse Hendrick.

The book doesn’t have much traditional naval combat in it, because the U.S. Navy fought no major battles during the war. But it does have a lot about the politics of coalition warfare, clashes between Sims and the Navy Department. There’s also a lot about the anti-submarine war and its many long-forgotten clashes between escort and U-boot, the remarkably efficient movement of troops from the U.S. to Europe, and much more, even including the service of naval personnel manning 14” rail road guns at the Front.

Although Sims toned down some of the personality clashes for the book, it remains an important read for anyone interested in the Great War at sea.

This paperback edition, is a reissue of the 1984 revised edition, with an introduction and additional materials added by Daniel E. Trask, and is important reading for anyone interested in the history of the U.S. Navy or the naval side of the Great War.

Note: The Victory at Sea is also available as an e-book, ISBN 978-1-68247-200-2.


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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