John Francis Guilmartin, Jr.
PhD, Lt.Col. USAF (ret)
Professor of History, Ohio State University
|Biography: John F. Guilmartin, Jr., is
professor of military history at Ohio State University, Columbus. He is also a
Vietnam War veteran, having flown over 120 combat missions. He attended the United States
Air Force Academy, earning a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant and graduating with
a B.S. in 1962. He trained as a helicopter pilot at Stead AFB, Utah, and went to Thailand
in 1965 with the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service. He flew missions in Thailand, Laos
and North Vietnam and was awarded two Silver Stars. In 1966 he
returned to the United States to study for his Masters (1969) and Doctorate (1971)
degrees at Princeton University. His first book, Gunpowder and
Galleys, is derived from his dissertation. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr.
Guilmartin returned to the Air Force Academy to teach history. In 1975 he volunteered for
a second tour in Southeast Asia and participated in the evacuation of Saigon. His unit
also flew in the operations involved in the Mayaguez incident; in 1995 he recorded
their heroism in A Very Short War. Following the Vietnam War,
Lt. Col. Guilmartin served in the Rescue staff tactics shop from 1978-79. He then became
the editor of the Air University Review, the professional journal of the U.S. Air Force, and retired from the service in
1983. He taught at Rice University and the Naval War College before coming to Ohio State.
Professor Guilmartin is an authority on military history, maritime history, and the history of technology. He is an early modern Europeanist whose research focuses primarily on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He also is interested in aerospace history and has written about the Vietnam war and the Gulf war.
An interesting assortment from a varied flying career...
The sixteenth century is a pivotal time in military history, when the increasing quantity of gunpowder weapons fundamentally changed the face of warfare. Mediterranean naval warfare was no less affected by this phenomenon than other spheres of conflict, but historians have had a difficult time analyzing the changes because they used an inappropriate model: the theories of Alfred Thayer Mahan. In this seminal work, Guilmartin looks at Mediterranean galley warfare from a fresh perspective, and goes a long way towards unraveling the complexities ofas the title puts it"Changing Technology and Mediterranean Warfare at Sea in the Sixteenth Century."
This book concentrates on the period from 1960, the middle of a period in which the preservation of a non-communist South Vietnam became a U.S. national policy underwritten by military action, and 1975, when the fall of Saigon marked the failure of that policy. Over 200 fully captioned photographs, chosen for their quality, drama and relevance, have been carefully integrated with the text to create this in-depth commentary on the Vietnam War.
Number Forty-six: Texas A&M University Military History Series (1995). Foreword by John Keegan.
A Very Short War is a unique and compelling account of the Mayaguez-Koh Tang crisis by a soldier-historian. A former air rescue helicopter pilot stationed in Thailand in May 1975, Guilmartin revisits Mayaguez and Koh Tangand the chaotic events leading up to the affair. He sheds new light on the politics, the tactics, the orders, the high-level decision makers, and the fighting men entangled in a crucial military action that nearly ended in disaster for U.S. forces. Arguing that the Mayaguez-Koh Tang operation demonstrates war's essential unpredictability, Guilmartin deftly explodes many of the popularly held myths that surround the nature of war.
Order the book from Amazon. COM
The turn of the sixteenth century witnessed the beginning of a revolution in warfare at sea, a revolution caused by the marriage of artillery to ships capable of true oceanic navigation. As a result, the countries of Europe spread their influence across the globe and made the world we live in today. But the galleons which carried black powder and European hegemony across the seas did not spring like Athena, full blown from the brow of Zeus. They evolved from oar-driven galleys as a result of a combination of technical and historical factors which Guilmartin examines in his latest work, Galleons and Galleys. In concise analytical chapters interspersed with case studies, he traces the history of ships and gunpowder across 350 years from the mid-Atlantic to the South China Sea.
Helicopters: (The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War, Vol. 11)with Michael O'Leary. New York: Bantam Books 1988.
"The Tactics of the Battle of Lepanto Clarified: The Impact of Social, Economic, and Political Factors on Sixteenth Century Galley Warfare", New Aspects of Naval History: Selected Papers Presented at the Fourth Naval History Symposium, United States Naval Academy 25-26 October 1979. Edited by Craig L. Symonds. Annapolis, Maryland: the United States Naval Institute, 1981. pp. 41-65.
"The Guns of the Santissimo Sacramento", Technology & Culture, 1983, Vol. 24, Number 4, pp. 559-601.
"The Cutting Edge: An Analysis of the Spanish Invasion and Overthrow of the Inca Empire, 1532-1539", Transatlantic Encounters: Europeans and Andeans in the Sixteenth Century; (Kenneth J. Andrien and Rolena Adorno, eds.), Berkeley, University of California Press, 1991, pp. 40-69.
"The Military Revolution: Origins and First Tests Abroad," The Military Revolution Debate: Readings on the Military Transformation of Early Modern Europe, Clifford J. Rogers, ed. (Boulder, Colorado; Westview Press, 1995), pp. 299-333.
"The Galley in Combat", MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, Volume 9, Number 2, (Winter 1997), pp 20-21.
"Lepanto: The Battle that Saved Christendom?" Prepared for the Centre d'Études d'Histoire de la Défense conference Autour de Lépante: Guerre et Géostratégie en Méditerranée au Tournant des XVIe et XVIIe Siecles, Paris, 22-24 October 2001
For a more complete listing of John F. Guilmartin's publications, Click Here
Guilmartin's Web Site at Ohio State University.
"About Submarines", The Academic American Encyclopedia (1995 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Version), © 1995 Grolier, Inc. Danbury, CT.
Informal review of: The Last Battle: The Mayaguez Incident and the End of the Vietnam War, by Ralph Wetterhahn.
"Tchepone" an article on a Vietnam-era fighter pilot song.
A VHS of The History Channel's Tales of the Gun: Naval Guns in which Prof. Guilmartin appears.