Naval Warfare Books

Book reviews

Admiral Dan Gallery

The Life and Wit of a Navy Original

Gilliland, C. Herbert and Shenk, Robert

1999, United States Naval Inst.
ISBN 1557503370
Hardcover, 352 pages, 50 photos and illustrations

Type. Biography
Pros. Uses Gallery's own writings and papers extensively to tell his story
Cons. Some lack of familiarity with other sources on the U-boat war

Admiral Daniel V. Gallery was responsible both for capturing U-505 and for ensuring that it is now a highly popular museum exhibit in Chicago. This biography provides insight into the multifaceted character of the career naval officer who was also a pilot, a wrestler, a writer, a fan of baseball and music, and a man of strong convictions and controversial opinions.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is that the authors have allowed Gallery to speak for himself as much as possible. Each chapter ends with an excerpt from Gallery's own voluminous writings. Additional extensive use of selections from his articles, reports, novels, letters, and even diagrams and cartoons, further acquaints the reader with Gallery's personality.

The on ly weakness of the book is that it seems to rely on Gallery's own writings and personal papers to the exclusion of all but a very limited number of other sources. This is noticeable at the end of the chapter on the capture of U-505, where the authors share what they believe is a long-hidden secret surrounding the capture - that one of the U-boat's crew cooperated with Gallery and his men in keeping the U-boat afloat throughout its journey to port under tow. In fact, this information was published in 1959 in Hans Herlin's Verdammter Atlantik.

Overall, an excellent biography of a true "Navy original".

Review written by Tonya Allen.

Published on 14 Dec 1999.

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