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1 Local Warehouse Military- World War II Nautical

Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945

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Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Evan Thomas takes us inside the naval war of 1941-1945 in the South Pacific in a way that blends the best of military and cultural history and riveting narrative drama. He follows four men throughout: Admiral William ("Bull") Halsey, the macho, gallant, racist American fleet commander; Admiral Takeo Kurita, the Japanese battleship commander charged with making what was, in essence, a suicidal fleet attack against the American invasion of the Philippines; Admiral Matome Ugaki, a self-styled samurai who was the commander of all kamikazes and himself the last kamikaze of the war; and Commander Ernest Evans, a Cherokee Indian and Annapolis graduate who led his destroyer on the last great charge in the last great naval battle in history.

Sea of Thunder climaxes with the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the biggest naval battle ever fought, over four bloody and harrowing days in October 1944. We see Halsey make an epic blunder just as he reaches for true glory; we see the Japanese navy literally sailing in circles, torn between the desire to die heroically and the exhausted, unacceptable realization that death is futile; we sail with Commander Evans and the men of the USS Johnston into the jaws of the Japanese fleet and exult and suffer with them as they torpedo a cruiser, bluff and confuse the enemy — and then, their ship sunk, endure fifty horrific hours in shark-infested water.

Thomas, a journalist and historian, traveled to Japan, where he interviewed veterans of the Imperial Japanese Navy who survived the Battle of Leyte Gulf and friends and family of the two Japanese admirals. From new documents and interviews, he was able to piece together and answer mysteries about the Battle of Leyte Gulf that have puzzled historians for decades. He writes with a knowing feel for the clash of cultures.

Sea of Thunder is a taut, fast-paced, suspenseful narrative of the last great naval war, an important contribution to the history of the Second World War.

Review:

"Thomas, Newsweek's assistant managing editor, turns his considerable narrative and research talents to Leyte Gulf, history's largest and most complex naval battle. He addresses the subject from the perspectives of four officers: William Halsey, who commanded the U.S. 3rd Fleet; Adm. Takeo Kurita, his Japanese counterpart; Adm. Matome Ugaki, Kurita's senior subordinate and a 'true believer' in Japan's destiny; and Cdr. Ernest Evans, captain of a lowly destroyer, the U.S.S. Johnston. The Americans believed the Japanese incapable of great military feats, while the Japanese believed the Americans were incapable of paying the price of war. Both were tragically wrong. Halsey steamed north in pursuit of a what turned out to be a decoy, while Kurita's main force was positioned to destroy the American landing force in the Philippines. Evans repeatedly took the Johnston into harm's way against what seemed overwhelming odds. His heroism, matched by a dozen other captains and crews, convinced Kurita to break off the action. With Halsey's battleships and carriers just over the horizon, Kurita refused to sacrifice his men at the end of a war already lost. Ugaki bitterly denounced the lack of 'fighting spirit and promptitude' that kept him from an honorable death. Evans fought and died like a true samurai. As Thomas skillfully reminds us, war is above all the province of irony." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The aim of every commander in war is to understand the mind and intentions of his opponent. Never is that more vital than in naval warfare, when whole fleets can maneuver precisely in accordance with the direction of a single leader. But understanding the enemy poses formidable problems — and, lacking it, even the greatest forces may falter.

'Sea of Thunder,' by Evan Thomas, an assistant... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

Drawing on oral histories, diaries, correspondence, postwar testimony from both American and Japanese participants, and interviews with survivors, Thomas provides this riveting account of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944, the culminating battle of the war in the Pacific. Photos. Maps.

About the Author

Evan Thomas is assistant managing editor of Newsweek. He has won a National Magazine Award and taught writing at Harvard and Princeton. He has written seven books, including New York Times bestselling John Paul Jones.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE: Culture, Character, and the Loneliness of Command

CHAPTER ONE: Doubting Supermen

CHAPTER TWO: Damn the Torpedoes

CHAPTER THREE: Long John Silver and Confucius

CHAPTER FOUR: Pop Goes the Weasel

CHAPTER FIVE: The Department of Dirty Tricks

CHAPTER SIX: The Shattered Gem

CHAPTER SEVEN: Big Blue Fleet

CHAPTER EIGHT: Sho-Go

CHAPTER NINE: A Fatal Misunderstanding

CHAPTER TEN: Ships in the Night

CHAPTER ELEVEN: Surprise at Dawn

CHAPTER TWELVE: They Were Expendable

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: The World Wonders

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: The Mysterious Telegram

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: The Last Kamikaze

EPILOGUE: Why They Fought

Acknowledgments

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743252218
Subtitle:
Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945
Author:
Thomas, Evan
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
Military - Naval
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Campaigns
Copyright:
Publication Date:
November 2006
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Naval History
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Nautical
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Pacific

Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945 Used Book Club Hardcover
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$10.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743252218 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Thomas, Newsweek's assistant managing editor, turns his considerable narrative and research talents to Leyte Gulf, history's largest and most complex naval battle. He addresses the subject from the perspectives of four officers: William Halsey, who commanded the U.S. 3rd Fleet; Adm. Takeo Kurita, his Japanese counterpart; Adm. Matome Ugaki, Kurita's senior subordinate and a 'true believer' in Japan's destiny; and Cdr. Ernest Evans, captain of a lowly destroyer, the U.S.S. Johnston. The Americans believed the Japanese incapable of great military feats, while the Japanese believed the Americans were incapable of paying the price of war. Both were tragically wrong. Halsey steamed north in pursuit of a what turned out to be a decoy, while Kurita's main force was positioned to destroy the American landing force in the Philippines. Evans repeatedly took the Johnston into harm's way against what seemed overwhelming odds. His heroism, matched by a dozen other captains and crews, convinced Kurita to break off the action. With Halsey's battleships and carriers just over the horizon, Kurita refused to sacrifice his men at the end of a war already lost. Ugaki bitterly denounced the lack of 'fighting spirit and promptitude' that kept him from an honorable death. Evans fought and died like a true samurai. As Thomas skillfully reminds us, war is above all the province of irony." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Drawing on oral histories, diaries, correspondence, postwar testimony from both American and Japanese participants, and interviews with survivors, Thomas provides this riveting account of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944, the culminating battle of the war in the Pacific. Photos. Maps.

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