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Written to both educate and entertain, each of the essays provides a scene-setting overview of the strategic situation at the time of the battle, a description of the action itself, and an examination of its significance. Biographical profiles of American commanders illustrate the critical influence of leadership in combat. Sweetman opens the book with an interpretive survey of American naval history from the American Revolution through the Gulf War and an analysis of the evolving strategic and doctrinal contexts in which the Navy’s operations have occurred. Many of the essayists, including James C. Bradford, John B. Hattendorf, Edward L. Beach, E. B. Potter, Barrett Tillman, Paul Stillwell, H.P. Willmott, and Thomas J. Cutler, are authors of other respected Naval Institute Press publications. A generous selection of maps and charts, detailed orders of battle, portraits, and combat art complement the authoritative text to create a work sure to prove of enduring value.