The Commodore is Commodore Edward Preble, and his boys are the naval heroes of the War of 1812, which was fought and won largely on the seas. As the U.S. moves toward victory, eleven of the major battles are described in detail. The personalities of such well-known officers as Decatur, Hull and Perry and of others less storied become clear in their few words of footnoted dialogue, in their relationships to the enemy and their men, and in their conduct under fire. After a slow start the action is described with animation; marine jargon, never overdone, adds to the vividness of the account. for those interested in naval warfare specifically, this is an agreeable supplement to the many books which cover the War of 1812 in general.