This is the story of the oldest warship afloat in the world, the venerable frigate USS Constitution, the cornerstone of the nascent American navy created by act of Congress in 1794. To set the stage for the dominance of this remarkable vessel, military historian Colonel David Fitz-Enz re-creates the world of sail, when seven knots an hour was considered blinding speed for a warship. In Old Ironsides (a nickname the boat received after a British sailor observed a cannonball bouncing off its side) Fitz-Enz tells the complete story of the ship, from its construction to the ongoing restoration efforts that keep it active today.
About the Author
Colonel David G. Fitz-Enz served as a regular army officer for thirty years. In Vietnam he was a combat photographer and paratrooper in the 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade and on his second tour, a signal officer in the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division. Among his decorations are the Soldier's Medal for heroism, the nations highest award for life saving, the Bronze Star for Valor with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal and the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters. He is a graduate of Command & General Staff College and the Army War College and the co-producer and writer of the PBS television program, The Final Invasion. He is the author of Why A Soldier, his memoir of combat for Random House and The Final Invasion the story of the British invasion of Plattsburgh New York and Lake Champlain which occurred on September the 11th, ....1814. The Sovereign Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, granted Colonel Fitz-Enz the Military Order of Saint Louis for contributions to military literature and the U.S. Army Historical Foundation presented him with the book of the year prize for The Final Invasion. He is a guest lecturer at the British Army Museum, in London and the National Archives in Washington. He has written for Military Illustrated Magazine, appeared on C-Span Book Television and is in Who's Who in America. He is married to Carol, his researcher. They have three grown sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren and reside near Lake Placid, New York along with their two West Highland White terriers.