The Face of the Sea

The Face of the Sea - Robert B. Russell

The Face of the Sea


A captivating first-hand account of the Pacific Theater of WWII from the perspective of a young US Navy officer. This highly personal chronicle has the immediacy of a diary - yet is supported by extensive scholarship and illuminated by an understanding of the politics and of decisions made by high command at the time.

Robert Russell's unusual creativity coupled with his acquired understanding of human nature shines through in this account of his wartime experiences. Russell witnessed immense wastage of lives and resources as a result of the Navy's resistance to change, but he avoids bitterness and retains objectivity and often humor. He recounts modestly how his innovations led eventually to the adoption of significant technical and tactical changes. In the final pages, he argues for a system of promotion in the Navy that rewards resourceful initiative over mere compliance with the entrenched system.

Russell's intent was to demonstrate that the lessons he learned in the Pacific Theater of WWII could and should be applied to today's military, to prevent a similar waste of life and materiel in future conflicts. Although written over thirty years ago about events that took place over forty years earlier, his message has not lost relevance. The problems he identifies will be familiar to anyone struggling within a large organization and the solutions he suggests are exemplary of his boundless creativity.

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A captivating first-hand account of the Pacific Theater of WWII from the perspective of a young US Navy officer. This highly personal chronicle has the immediacy of a diary - yet is supported by extensive scholarship and illuminated by an understanding of the politics and of decisions made by high command at the time.

Robert Russell's unusual creativity coupled with his acquired understanding of human nature shines through in this account of his wartime experiences. Russell witnessed immense wastage of lives and resources as a result of the Navy's resistance to change, but he avoids bitterness and retains objectivity and often humor. He recounts modestly how his innovations led eventually to the adoption of significant technical and tactical changes. In the final pages, he argues for a system of promotion in the Navy that rewards resourceful initiative over mere compliance with the entrenched system.

Russell's intent was to demonstrate that the lessons he learned in the Pacific Theater of WWII could and should be applied to today's military, to prevent a similar waste of life and materiel in future conflicts. Although written over thirty years ago about events that took place over forty years earlier, his message has not lost relevance. The problems he identifies will be familiar to anyone struggling within a large organization and the solutions he suggests are exemplary of his boundless creativity.

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