Old Ironsides: Eagle of the Sea: The Story of the USS Constitution

Overview

This is the story of the oldest warship afloat in the world, the venerable frigate USS Constitution, the cornerstone of the nascent American navy created by act of Congress in 1794. To set the stage for the dominance of this remarkable vessel, military historian Colonel David Fitz-Enz re-creates the world of sail, when seven knots an hour was considered blinding speed for a warship. In Old Ironsides (a nickname the boat received after a British sailor observed a cannonball bouncing off its side) Fitz-Enz tells ...

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Old Ironsides: Eagle of the Sea: The Story of the USS Constitution

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Overview

This is the story of the oldest warship afloat in the world, the venerable frigate USS Constitution, the cornerstone of the nascent American navy created by act of Congress in 1794. To set the stage for the dominance of this remarkable vessel, military historian Colonel David Fitz-Enz re-creates the world of sail, when seven knots an hour was considered blinding speed for a warship. In Old Ironsides (a nickname the boat received after a British sailor observed a cannonball bouncing off its side) Fitz-Enz tells the complete story of the ship, from its construction to the ongoing restoration efforts that keep it active today.

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Editorial Reviews

Sea Classics
...[A] terrific study...
Press- Republican - Jerry McGovern
...provides a wonderful journey
Russell Bellico
A fascinating and well-documented story of America's most celebrated warship. Fitz-Enz not only does an incredible job of describing the Constitution's battle history, but he also provides readers with a clear insight into the intricacies of early sailing vessels and the strategies of sea power...a superb work.
Joseph Ryan
It makes you want to walk the deck of the U.S.S. Constitution. And we all should.
James C. Bradford
The Constitution has not wanted for chroniclers, but this is a welcome addition because it both adds new information that puts 'Old Ironsides' in context of both American and naval history. A well-written, action-filled narrative.
Andrew P. O'Rourke
I appreciated the historical research that included the background and history of the age of sail, the nuances of the many trades involved and the action of "Old Ironsides" woven together with care and love for the subject. The book is a broadside of history, action and the romance of the sea.
Paddy Griffith
Of very great interest to any student of the naval history of the era.
Charles H. Cureton
The Constitution began as just another ship, but it became "Old Ironsides" and then it became a symbol of the United States. How it was designed and built, and how it went on to become such a significant part of America and its history, is the subject of this exhaustively researched and beautifully written work by David Fitz-Enz. A must for all students of American naval history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589794276
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/15/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 885,808
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Colonel David G. Fitz-Enz served as a regular army officer for thirty years. In Vietnam he was a combat photographer and paratrooper in the 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade and on his second tour, a signal officer in the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division. Among his decorations are the Soldier's Medal for heroism, the nations highest award for life saving, the Bronze Star for Valor with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal and the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters. He is a graduate of Command & General Staff College and the Army War College and the co-producer and writer of the PBS television program, The Final Invasion. He is the author of Why A Soldier, his memoir of combat for Random House and The Final Invasion the story of the British invasion of Plattsburgh New York and Lake Champlain which occurred on September the 11th, ….1814. The Sovereign Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, granted Colonel Fitz-Enz the Military Order of Saint Louis for contributions to military literature and the U.S. Army Historical Foundation presented him with the book of the year prize for The Final Invasion. He is a guest lecturer at the British Army Museum, in London and the National Archives in Washington. He has written for Military Illustrated Magazine, appeared on C-Span Book Television and is in Who's Who in America. He is married to Carol, his researcher. They have three grown sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren and reside near Lake Placid, New York along with their two West Highland White terriers.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Mixed Review

    This one is tough to review and a bit tough to read. I had a hard time with the jumbled up manner in which the portions of chapters were put together. The title is a bit deceptive - the author covers a wide range of events and topics, ranging from "The Elements of Sea Power" to "Signals at Sea." Too much scattered information about 17th and 18th century naval warfare, and not enough about the topic at hand - Old Ironsides.

    I much preferred "Six Frigates" by Ian W. Toll.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Impressive Research on the Ship - Repetitive Writing and Flaws in Some Details

    This book brings out some new information on the building of USS Constitution and its service to the nation over the years. There are exciting and well diagrammed descriptions of the major battles the USS Constitution engaged in. It gives the background history of the US Navy that led up to the USS Constitution and its sister frigates. There is also extensive commentary on European ideas on sea power and its use.

    Unfortunately, the writing is repetitive in several places. Also, the author, a retired US Army office, appears uninformed on the weapons, ammunition and loading drill used by the Marines on board the USS Constitution.

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