Fighting in the Dark
Naval Combat at Night, 1904-1944
by Edited by Vincent O'Hara and Trent Hone
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Pub Date 15 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 15 Mar 2023
Before the twentieth century ships when relied upon visual signaling, vessels beyond range of sight or a cannon shot, were blind, deaf, and dumb in the dark, making night battles at sea rare, and near always accidental. The introduction of certain technologies like the torpedo, the searchlight, radio and then radar, transformed naval warfare by making night combat feasible and, in some cases, desirable. The process by which navies integrated these new tools of war and turned the dark into a medium for effective combat, however, was long and difficult.
Fighting in the Dark tells the story of surface naval combat at night from the Russo-Japanese War through World War II. The book is about the process of confronting and mastering problems brought on by technological change during war. It does this by examining seven periods focusing on the Imperial Russian Navy in 1904–1905, the Imperial German Navy from 1914–1918, the Royal Navy from 1916–1939, the Regia Marina from 1940–1943, the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1942, the U.S. Navy in 1943–1944, and the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy from 1943–1944.The chapters are written by authors hailing from Australia, Canada, Italy, and the United States, all recognized masters in their subject.