The U.S. Coast Guard served on a surprisingly wide range of fronts during the Second World War. Perhaps least surprising was its role as a genuine coast guard, providing men to patrol the beaches and guard coastal ports against the real threat from German saboteurs, and a perceived Japanese threat to the Pacific coast. Coast Guard cutters and some larger ships played their part in the Battle of the Atlantic, serving as convoy escort vessels. The Coast Guard manned a large number of landing craft and took part in the D-Day landings, and just about every major amphibious operation in the Pacific.
With such a wide range of activity to cover the author admits that this book can be no more than an introduction to the topic, but it is an effective introduction - well structured and clearly written, and covering a wide range of subjects in a short space. The book is very well illustrated, with some rather unusual pictures - I like the line of dumper trucks providing a wing-break for a Catalina. Overall this is a valuable reminder of the important role played in the Second World War by one of the more unexpected combat forces.
The Coast Guard Goes to War
The Home Front
The Battle of the Atlantic
The Mediterranean and European Theatres
The Pacific Theatre
Aftermath and Summary
Author: Alejandro de Quesada