Donal A. O'Neill

Helpful votes received on reviews: 94% (368 of 390)
In My Own Words:
I am a self-confessed bookaholic. History has always been a major interest, most particularly post-Reformation European and North American history, as well as that of the impact of different cultures on each other in the age of European and American Expansion and Colonialism. Technology as a historical, economic and sociological driver is another focus interest and I am particularly interested in … Read more


Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,094,327 - Total Helpful Votes: 368 of 390
Crimea: The Great Crimean War 1854-1856 by Trevor Royle
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This is a comprehensive account of the Crimean War that is as complete on the diplomatic and political machinations and context as on the military operations. The latter are competently covered, not just in relation to the Crimea itself but as regards Turco-Russian operations prior to involvement of the Western powers and actions in Rumania, the Baltic, the Caucuses and even the Far East. In general the civilian players are covered in greater depth than the military ones - this is not a significant disadvantage since there is already a large and accessible literature available on the latter (readers new to the topic will enjoy Cecil Woodham-Smith's classic "The Reason Why" and Christopher… Read more
The Tsar's Last Armada by Constantine Pleshakov
The Tsar's Last Armada by Constantine Pleshakov
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I approached this book with considerable hope, expecting that a Russian author with access to material hitherto unfamiliar in the West would be able to shed significant new insights on the tragic epic of Russia's naval forces in the Russo-Japanese War. I was very sorely disappointed. The overall impression is that the author is unfamiliar with naval matters and has indeed little feel for them. Though full of anecdotes, little attention is paid to overall context and the technological elements of the story - essentially the matching of British naval shipbuilding and armament prowess in Japanese hands matched against a hodgepodge of French, American and indigenous Russian practice - is not… Read more
The Ottoman Steam Navy: 1828-1923 by Bernd Langensiepen
The Ottoman Steam Navy: 1828-1923 by Bernd Langensiepen
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This book is an absolute delight, opening up a vista into a long-gone world when Turkey hovered on the brink of embracing modernity but, in those pre-Ataturk days, never gathered the courage for the final plunge. The numerous high-quality photographs are as valuable for the picture they give of a society as for the technical content. Grave moustachioed and befezzed officers and smart-looking seamen look at the camera across immaculately holystoned decks, obviously proud of their custodianship of the products of British, German and French shipyards and armaments workshops - images which are in many cases at sharp variance with the actuality of venality, corruption and inefficiency that… Read more