The PT Boat Forum

Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII

Forum Name: PT Boats - General

Topic: Book Review

This is a review of the just released UNITED STATES SMALL COMBATANTS OF WORLD WAR II by T.G. Connelly that I just submitted to Amazon. I gave it one star, as they don't go any lower... We'll see if they publish it.

"This assemblage of words and graphics is divided into four major groups – PT boats, 83' Coast Guard cutters, crash boats, and 110' subchasers. Essentially, this is a combination of previous publications by this author into a single volume. The longest section focuses on the PT boats and is a rehash of his earlier book with some new information thrown in. The section on the 83' boats is about 60 pages long and is simply a complete reprint of that earlier publication. The section on the crash boats is a mere six and a half pages and only mentions a couple of the many different configurations of this design. By contrast, Terry Holtham's two volume set on the 63' type alone is over 300 pages. No mention is made of the 42' and 85' boats either. There are about 80 pages on the SC, more than half of which are just large blocks showing builder, acquisition date, and fate.

Like its predecessors, this assemblage looks and reads like a high school term paper. Much of the text resembles a grouping of notes taken during a lecture rather than a cohesive flowing narrative. It appears that little or no editing/proof-reading was done as there is at least one entire paragraph repeated immediately following itself, incorrect terms used, masses of white space, cumbersome footnotes that often take up a quarter of the page, and tabular data in oversized blocks that go on for pages within the body of the text. There is no Table of Contents nor are there page numbers. The PT section is identifed as Chapter One but I couldn't find another chapter heading in the entire book. Subject headings often appear on a preceeding page and entire groups are run together. Some photos are credited to the author despite them being taken years before he was born.

Much of the text consists of lengthy quotes (credited) from other authors' works. One quote covered two and a half pages. Errors made in previous works from this author have been repeated in this work despite them having been pointed out in reviews over the years. A prime example is a section describing the MK19 torpedo tubes mounted on the Higgins PT boats. Although the manual used as a reference clearly states that the early tubes lacked a breech door and the later tubes had one, this work and its predecessor stated just the reverse.

The few drawings included in this work range in quality from small but clearly printed to a dark rectangle with an almost imperceptible image. One drawing of a 70' ELCO is repeated on the same page while none are provided for the Huckins, 77' and 80' ELCOs, or the standard 78' Higgins. The only drawing of an operational 78' Higgins PT is of an unusual configuration of PT 285 and it is repeated on the following page. The only drawing in the crash boat section was of a post-war MK3 built in 1953 and not by Miami Shipbuilding, so it has no relevance to that section. There were no drawings in the SC section. The old Squadron publication by this author was far better illustrated.


Posted By: alross2 | Posted on: May 14, 2023 - 7:18am
Total Posts: 994 | Joined: Oct 30, 2006 - 8:19pm

Surprisingly, they did.

Posted By: alross2 | Posted on: May 17, 2023 - 5:36pm
Total Posts: 994 | Joined: Oct 30, 2006 - 8:19pm

Interesting that the hard copy is significantly LESS expensive than the soft copy.

Posted By: JEno | Posted on: May 18, 2023 - 6:59pm
Total Posts: 75 | Joined: Oct 13, 2019 - 9:52am