Dr. Norman Friedman
US Naval Institute Press Published 2003
Some authors' abilities, combined with publishers' book quality, are SO superior, one "automatically" plans on acquiring their newest works, without even having to see them. Even if they cost a gob of bucks....

This truism proverbially held water with Dr. Norman Friedman's latest tome, U.S. Amphibious Ships And Craft, An Illustrated Design History. A sight-unseen order was placed with the local bookseller within minutes of seeing the ad.

For the serious money outlay, one receives a satisfyingly large, heavy volume.

Presented in the familiar format used in his Carriers, Battleships, Destroyers, Submarines and Small Combatants books, The Master again delivered another true Meisterwerk. Faithful to the title, the history of USN Amphibious Ships And Craft is covered in a thrilling level of detail. As with previous Illustrated Design History volumes, the reader is left breathlessly delighted by a bonanza of expected, unexpected and anecdotal information. One cannot help but wonder, "How does he get this much information and then present it so concisely...?"

In Peter Van Buren's parallel review of this book, he remarks on the sharpness of glossy photos and high quality paper. Absolute agreement from this reviewer! 'Want proof? A WWII LST aircraft carrier (Yes, there were!) with the Brodie Device is also featured in the recent Squadron Book...but in Friedman's book, the same picture is SO much clearer!

As a true landing craft geek ('built the Lindberg LST, LCI, LCU and LSD when they were first released, and since, scratchbuilt a 1/72 LCI(Gunboat) and LSM), the book just overwhelmed me. Scarcely-known types like LCI gunboats are covered in splendid detail, as well as common LST and LCVP and LCU types. The wealth of material available for either the ship modeler or naval historian is easily worth the price of admission. For those who are both, the book is a comparative bargain.

Narrating the fascinating tale of 'phibs from the pre-WWII concepts of landing U.S. Marines after the lessons of Gallipoli, through the legendary LSTs and LCIs of WWII, into development of Atomic-Age amphibious doctrine, to the big-deck Wasp class and LCAC aircushion landing craft of today, and a massive Appendix, it's there, and much, much more.

This is a book you will retrieve from your shelf many, many times. Highest recommendation.     Jim Hohenzy