Samuel Eliot Morison's monumental fifteen volume series, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, covering the complete record of the U.S. Navy during the war, is a critically acclaimed work of history. First published by Little Brown and later by the University of Illinois, the complete series will now be published by the Naval Institute Press in updated paperback editions with new introductions by noted military historians.
One of America's most distinguished historians, Samuel Eliot Morison, was commissioned in the Naval Reserve early in 1942 with the sole duty of preparing the history of which OPERATIONS IN NORTH AFRICAN WATERS, OCTOBER 1942- June 1943, is the second volume. The work, as a whole, is a "shooting history," written from the inside out, in effect simultaneously with the events it records. Morison spend more that half his time a sea during the war, seeing active duty on eleven different ships and emerging with seven battle stars on his service ribbons. Either he or one of three officers on this staff personally covered every major operation after 1942. His is the story of naval combat, surface actions, submarine and antisubmarine warfare as conducted from carriers and naval bases ashore, and amphibious warfare.
Volume 2, which was actually the first to be published, covers naval aspects of Operation"Torch," the North African campaign, which carried out the plan favoured by President Roosevelt for opening a second front to relieve the Russians. Told with the accuracy of a historian, the pace of an experienced narrator, the detail of firsthand observation and participation, it is a full record of what was, at the time it occurred, the largest overseas expedition ever undertaken.
Samuel Eliot Morison taught history at Harvard from 1915 to 1955, except for active duty service in the Navy aboard eleven different ships in all theatres of the war. In addition to this fifteen-volume series, Rear Admiral Morison wrote many other popular and award-winning books on maritime history, including Two Ocean War. He was the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes, two Bancroft Prizes, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom He died in 1976.