American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide Third Edition, edited by Mark Berhow (2015), CDSG Press hard cover reference manual for the interpretation of the historical remains and documents of US harbor defenses. (NOW AVAILABLE!!). Purchase price also includes a electronic PDF version contact Mark Berhow ( for details.


This book is intended for people interested in the study of American seacoast defenses, who want specific information beyond the introductory works most often available at the bookstores and gift shops at the various forts around the country, but who have not yet accessed the large amount of hard-to-obtain materials, such as those at housed the National Archives. It is a compendium of information designed to provide quick answers to questions that arise when visiting a coast defense site-What was that tower used for? What kind of gun was in that battery? This book can be used to bridge the gap between the introductory works published on specific forts and the more detailed information found in National Archives entries, CDSG Journal articles and other CDSG publications and reprints.

For the Second & Third Editions, a great number of corrections, changes, additions, better illustrations, suggestions, etc., came from many CDSG members. From these, significant corrections and general upgrades to the sections already published were made and several new sections were added, including sections on the First, Second, and Third Systems, searchlights, garrison structures, ammunition hoists, radar, coast artillery organization, uniforms and insignia, and two glossaries of terms. Other sections include a guide to the weapons and emplacements of US coast artillery weapons, a listing of the forts and batteries built by the US Army, Antiaircraft weapons, radar, fire control and position finding, submarine mines, legends and lore, maps and symbols, and source documents.