On Seas Contested


On Seas Contested: The Seven Great Navies of the Second World War is an unprecedented collaboration by an international team of naval historians who have pooled their expertise to explain how the major navies of the Second World War were organized, how they trained, how they planned to operate and how they fought. Table of Contents

This site provides information that it was not possible to include in the book. This includes author information and links to their works; expanded  notes and bibliography, news and reviews of the book and errata.  We add content frequently so please check back  for updates.


NORMAN FRIEDMAN, author of Network-Centric Warfare and Naval Firepower
"This ground-breaking books seeks only to look deeper at the main navies which fought WWII, but to do so in a way which encourges the reader to compare them, to see what made them so different in action.  The approach is vital for our understanding of the greatest naval war in history. The writers, moreover, have used non-English language sources for the non-English language navies, and in so doing have greatly enlarged our traditional view of World War II at sea. If you want to understand that war, you have to read this book."
JONATHAN  PARSHALL, co-author of Shattered Sword: The Untold Battle of Midway
"At last a comprehensive, structured comparison of the navies of World War II. On Seas Contested examines not just ships, but all the myriad factors that drove these navies--their strategies, geographic constraints, training, and so on. Written by some of the foremost scholars in the field, this is a book that is front and center in my personal library."

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The Authors and Editors

Vincent P. O'Hara: author of five books including Struggle for the Middle Sea
W. David Dickson: author of  Battle of the Philippine Sea
Richard Worth:  author of three books including Fleets of World War II

Authors: (Click on the flags above for more information)
FRANCE: John Jordan, co-author of French Battleships 1922-1956 and editor of the annual Warship
GERMANY: Dr. Peter Schenk with Karsten Klein, Alex Niestlé, Dieter Thomaier & Berndt R.Wenzel
GREAT BRITAIN: David Wragg, author of over twenty books including The Royal Navy Handbook
ITALY:Enrico Cernuschi & Vincent P. O'Hara: Cernuschi has authored fifteen books including Fecero tutti il loro dovere
JAPANMark Peattie: author of Kaigun (with David Evans) and Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Airpower
USA. Trent Hone, co-author of Battleline: The United States Navy 1919-1939
USSR. Stephen McLaughlin, author of Russian and Soviet Battleships

Latest news

Stone and Stone has selected On Seas Contested  as one of 2010's outstanding works on World War Two. They say:

"A splendid distillation of key information about the major navies of WWII, constructed in parallel fashion, making it easy to compare and contrast how each nation waged the war at sea."

2010 Editor's Choice Awards

Congratulations. The Naval History & Heritage Command and the Naval Historical Foundation have awared Trent Hone, author of the USA chapter, the 2009 Rear Admiral Ernest M. Eller Prize in Naval History for the best article on the history of the U.S. Navy published in a scholarly journal. This is for "U.S. Navy Surface Battle Doctrine and Victory in the Pacific," published in the Winter 2009 issue of the Naval War College Review. 

October 27: Added: Expanded footnotes for the Soviet chapter.

September 30: Added: An essay by David Dickson with Enrico Cernuschi, John Jordan and Stephen McLaughlin on radar.


The jacket caption is incorrect. The front cover actually shows the Italian battleships Conte di Cavour followed by Cesare leaving Naples  on 5 May 1938. 

There is error on the Japanese bases map. See corrected map here

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