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Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign, 1941-1945by Evan Thomas
Synopses & Reviews
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 LeyteGulf 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.
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.
andlt;iandgt;Sea of Thunderandlt;/iandgt; is a taut, fast-paced, suspenseful narrative of the Pacific War that culminates in the battle of Leyte Gulf, the greatest naval battle ever fought. Told from both the American and Japanese sides, through the eyes of commanders and sailors of both navies, Thomas's history adds an important new dimension to our understanding of World War II. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Drawing on oral histories, diaries, correspondence, postwar testimony from both American and Japanese participants, and interviews with survivors, Thomas provides an account not only of the great sea battle and Pacific naval war, but of the contrasting cultures pitted against each other.
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
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
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History and Social Science » Military » Naval History