The ocean is humanity's largest battlefield. Resting in its depths lie the lost ships of war, spanning the totality of human history. War at Sea is a global tour of this remote museum and other formerly lost traces of humanity's naval heritage.
... a sweeping survey of evolving battle craft, along with succinct considerations of the practical war-making doctrines that spawned them ... This is a comprehensive and detailed chronicle, a first-rate, era-by-era account ranging expertly from the age of primitive war canoes to today’s global maritime faceoff, where opposing nuclear navies prowl our planet’s oceans both above the surface and deep below it ... For enthusiasts and browsers alike, this is an impressive book. Delgado draws on voluminous printed sources to guide us on a worldwide tour of the marine localities where significant conflicts played out, as well as the present-day repositories of artifacts recovered from the shipwrecks that resulted ... sumptuously illustrated with scores of photos, plus a wealth of full-color plates. The book offers an exhaustive bibliography as well, an encyclopedic roster for any reader who wants to explore the subject further. Delgado’s bibliography is dazzling testimony in its own right to the author’s expansive scope and expertise ... But this author is much more than a dogged researcher haunting reading rooms and dusty museum collections. He’s also a field archeologist, a global explorer, and an expert scuba diver who doesn’t hesitate to get wet in pursuit of his research ... Delgado frequently varies the pace of his narrative by weaving in accounts of his own sub-surface investigations (via scuba or in submersibles) of many of the wrecks he discusses. His explorations with Robert Ballard, renowned discoverer of the Titanic wreck, for example, add a real-world authenticity to the book’s rich commentary.
Readers of War at Seamay find themselves wishing for even more about the World War II wrecks, given how many have been found and how dramatic their battle histories are. And readers may wish to know more of Mr. Delgado’s personal experience, given the hints he offers of his own shipwreck searches. Having written a highly readable survey of naval warfare and technology, he clearly has more stories to tell.
... awe-inspiring ... With recent advances in underwater technology, the pace of discovery has quickened, and Delgado chronologically updates the ledger of new finds—grave markers on the world’s sea floor—from the ancient world to the Viking age, royal navy battles of Western Europe, Colonial America, the US Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Cold War.