Synopses & Reviews
By October, 1944, the U.S. Navy submarine Tang was legendary-she had sunk more enemy ships, rescued more downed airmen, and pulled off more daring surface attacks than any other Allied submarine in the Pacific. And then, on her fifth patrol, tragedy struck-the Tang was hit by one of her own faulty torpedoes. The survivors of the explosion struggled to stay alive in their submerged iron coffin” one hundred-eighty feet beneath the surface. While the Japanese dropped deadly depth charges, just nine of the original eighty-man crew survived a harrowing ascent through the escape hatch. But a far greater ordeal was coming. After being picked up by a Japanese patrol vessel, they were sent to a secret Japanese interrogation camp known as the Torture Farm.” They were close to death when finally liberated in August, 1945, but they had revealed nothing to the Japanese-not even the greatest secret of World War II.
"Popular historian Kershaw (The Bedford Boys) chronicles the extraordinary WWII heroism of the crew of the USS Tang, 'the deadliest submarine operating in the Pacific,' in this spellbinding saga. The Tang's captain, Cmdr. Richard O'Kane, was a celebrated maverick whose 'contempt for the enemy was absolute.' He was offered the opportunity to operate alone in the dangerous Formosa Strait, and the boat's crew sank 13 ships on 'one of the most destructive patrols of the war.' But the last torpedo malfunctioned and boomeranged on the Tang, killing half the crew instantly and sinking the sub. The explosion threw O'Kane and several others into the ocean, but most of the rest were trapped below; only nine of 87 survived. They were picked up by a Japanese patrol boat and taken to a POW camp, tortured and starved. O'Kane, who earned the Medal of Honor, weighed only 88 pounds when liberated. Relying on interviews with survivors and oral histories, and writing with his customary verve, Kershaw delivers another memorable tale of uncommon courage. 16 pages of b&w photos. 100,000 first printing; 10-city author tour." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The adrenaline-soaked story of nine men who fought the Japanese from Americas deadliest submarine, survived its sinkage, and endured months of brutal torture in captivity
About the Author
Alex Kershaw is the author of the widely acclaimed and bestselling books The Bedford Boys, The Longest Winter, and The Few, and two biographies: Jack London and Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.