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Jack D.Coombe




From Kirkus Reviews

   A detailed history of why the success of grand sea strategies assured ultimate victory for the Union cause in the Civil War. Coombe (Thunder Along the Mississippi, not reviewed) writes of Union plans to choke off access to imported war materials and supplies for the Confederate states in exchange for Southern cotton by blockading the South's 3,500 miles of coastline, from Virginia down to Florida and around to the coast of Texas, and 189 harbors. This was an awesome task for a small Yankee navy that was rapidly building a large wartime fleet. Against fierce resistance and numerous blockade runners and sea raiders, the North's ships gradually closed the Atlantic seaports. They would also gain control of the Mississippi when Grant's armies, supported by Admiral David Dixon Porter's ships, moved south and captured the great fortresses of Vicksburg, Fort Donelson, and other Rebel strongholds along the lifeline of trade for the South. Coombe points out that the most difficult problem for the North was to close the Gulf of Mexico ports to the Confederacy: those included New Orleans, a major trading port; Mobile Bay; and Galveston. At first the Federal fleet was badly defeated at Galveston. Then, in a lucid account, Coombe depicts Admiral David Farragut's heroic victories against very difficult resistance in the capture of New Orleans aided by General Butler's army and Mobile Bay, in climactic battles between ironclad monitors and wooden warships. Coombe, with this readable history, convincingly stresses the vital role of naval action in bringing an end to America's bloodiest war. (1 map, 8 pages b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright 1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Click on this link to purchase.    From 1861 to 1865, some of the most horrific land battles in history were fought at places called Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg. But while the soil ran with blood, it was the lesser-known naval battles raging for control of the Gulf of Mexico--the lifeline of supplies and weapons to the Confederacy--that would determine the outcome of the Civil War. In this vivid and powerful account, acclaimed historian Jack D. Coombe combines meticulous research with a breathtaking narrative to re-create the fierce naval battles for the ports around the Gulf, including those at New Orleans, Mobile Bay, and Vicksburg, with all the adventure and immediacy of a great novel. This is an extraordinary story of the ingenuity, daring, courage, and--all too often--human folly upon which the fate of a nation rested. Coombe takes us inside the suffocating hulls of steam-powered ironclads shuddering under the impact of cannonballs and battering rams, into nights lit by the fires of burning ships, and into harrowing battles as gunships hammer away at each other from virtually point-blank range, often unable to tell friend from foe. From the politicians, industrialists, and engineers on both sides who scrambled to build navies almost from scratch, to daredevil blockade runners and privateers, and from wily Confederate commanders such as Raphael Semmes, who bagged sixty-nine Union ships, to a virtually forgotten old naval officer from Tennesse named David Glasgow Farragut, whose bold and courageous leadership on behalf of the Union would become the stuff of legend, here are the stories of the men who made history. Here, too, is a compelling look at the ships, strategies, and pioneering technology that proved the difference between victory and defeat: the potentially invincible Confederate ironclad Tennessee; the squat, ugly, much-feared Manasses; the South's explorations into torpedoes, fire rafts, and even the first successful submarine; and the Union's relentless drive upriver, braving hazards both natural and manmade to run a fearsome gauntlet of stone citadels bristling with firepower. Filled with colorful historical characters and unparalleled battle scenes, Gunfire Around the Gulf is an important addition to the history of a little-known but crucial theater of the Civil War as well as a gripping and unforgettable read.



Thunder Along the Mississippi recently formed the basis of a documentary on James Eads and the Union Ironclads, presented on October 30, 2000 by PBS Network.


THUNDER ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI
A book on the rare aspect of the CIvil War---the naval battles on the Mississippi River, from 1861-1863. The struggle for control of the river resulted in pitch engagements between Union and Confederate gunboats at Fort Pillow, memphis, Vicksburg and New Orleans. Union victories opened the river to the Gulf of Mexico, split the Confederacy in two, hastening its defeat. Bantam Books, 1998.

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Praise for Thunder Along the Mississippi:

"Essential for anyone with an interest in Civil War naval operations or the war in the west."
--Library Journal

"Fascinating...Coombe is a skilled writer....This work will be a delight for Civil War buffs, but there is also much here for the well-informed general reader, too."
--Booklist

DERAILING THE TOKYO EXPRESS
This work deals with the savage naval battles that resulted from the American attempt to intercept the "Tokyo Express," a series of supply runs by Imperial Navy destroyers on waterways leading to Guadalcanal. This vivid account contends that the defeat of the Japanese in the Solomons, not the Battle of Midway, was the turning point of the war in the Pacific. Stackpole Books, 1991.

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GUNSMOKE OVER THE ATLANTIC
Gunsmoke Over the Atlantic encompass's the naval activities on the East Coast, between 1861-1865 that resulted in the Union Navy successfully enforcing the blockade. Important events are covered in detail, including some hitherto uncovered information on the famous battle between the Monitor and the Virginia (formerly known as the Merrimac); the first successful submarine, Hunley, by the Confederacy; the first full-scale amphibious landings in history and the climactic struggle for the Confederate stronghold of Fort Fisher that hastened the surrender of the Confederacy. Bantam Books. Release date is April 1, 2002.

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WHEN RADIO WAS KING
The book When Radio was King deals with the author's entire career as a writer and entertainer. He chronicles his working relationships with such celebrities as Danny Kaye, Clark Gable, Virginia Grey, Ann Southern, Bob Crane and musicians Count Basie, Gene Krupa, Ella Fitzgerald and many more stellar lights.

When Radio Was King will provide many hours of enjoyment with its contents of never-before-revealed nuggets of information on many celebrities, plus pages of rich and original comedy material.
Watch for it in your favorite bookstore or to order on the internet, visit Amazon.com; Borders.com, Barnes & Nobles.com or Trafford.com.

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THE FIGTHING MARSHALL
In Dodge City in 1878, Will Howard, U.S. Marshal, is well-known for his quick reflexes and awesome ability to destroy his enemies with his fists-to subdue law breakers and to make the Wild West a little less wild. They call him the Fighting Marshal, much to the chagrin of his devoted wife, Margaret, and completely ignored by his detached son, Tommy. Will is undefeated-until he finds himself beaten by a much stronger man. Then, during a chance meeting with the Korean diplomat and martial arts expert, Kim Lee, he learns the ancient fighting technique of Tung Soo Do, which could prove to be the key to his future success. When Will is challenged to a fight to the finish with a famous professional boxer, his reputation as the Fighting Marshal hangs in the balance. It could be a fight to the death. Will he be able to retain his title and his reputation as the one and only Fighting Marshal?.

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About the Author

Jack D. Coombe is the author of Thunder Along the Mississippi, which was nominated for the Fletcher Pratt Award. He and his wife, Peg, live in Northbrook, Illinois.
A U.S. Navy veteran of four years of combat duty in the Pacific, including the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War Two, Coombe is a recognized naval historian: Author of four books on naval history: Derailing the Tokyo Express , about the naval actions for control of the Solomon Islands in 1942-43; Thunder Along the Mississippi, concerning the Mississippi naval campaigns during the Civil War (nominated for the coveted Fletcher Pratt Award); Gunfire around the Gulf, on Civil War naval actions in the Gulf of Mexico and Gunsmoke Over The Atlantic dealing the first Civil War naval actions along the Atlantic Coast. The three books comprise the first 3-volume naval history of the Civil War in print, published by Bantam Dell. Coombe is also the author of three non-military books, TV, films, countless magazine articles and radio comedy scripts, including the Danny Kaye radio program. The author was recently honored by being included in the top 36 writers of fiction and non-fiction books in the United States, by Writer's Digest Magazine.

Coombe was hired as a writer for a radio station in Minnesota while still in his teens. He continued a productive career throughout World War II as a writer and performer on CBS whenever the U.S. Navy would loan him to the network. Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he wrote for and appeared on the show Hello from Hawaii for which he produced comedy material. He continued to appear on CBS and AFR between combat actions in the South Pacific.
Following the war, Coombe continued his prolific career as a writer and performer for six radio stations and the networks of CBS, ABC and MBS. He also appeared in and wrote for vaudeville, stage, film and television productions. He later switched from the entertainment medium to become the writer of six books.



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