Here is the extraordinary story of the most consequential campaign of the Pacific War- the U.S. Fifth Fleet's seizure of the Marianas, a relentless deployment of overwhelming force on air, land, and sea that opened the path to total victory over Japan and established a new state of the art in warfare- the first use of the forerunners of today's SEALs; the emergence of massive cross-hemispheric expeditionary operations; the flowering of American naval aviation and carrier power; and the secret training of Marianas-based air crews who would first unleash nuclear fire. From the epic seaborne invasion of Saipan, to the stunning aerial battles of the Marianas Turkey Shoot, to the grinding combat ashore and the devastating bombing campaign that culminated with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Marianas were the fulcrum of the Pacific, a kaleidoscope of valor, drama, and tragedy. Story Locale- The Marianas, Central Pacific, 1944.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The extraordinary story of the World War II air, land, and sea campaign that brought the U.S. Navy to the apex of its strength and marked the rise of the United States as a global superpower Winner, Commodore John Barry Book Award, Navy League of the United States • Winner, John Lehman Distinguished Naval Historian Award, Naval Order of the United States With its thunderous assault on the Mariana Islands in June 1944, the United States crossed the threshold of total war. In this tour de force of dramatic storytelling, distilled from extensive research in newly discovered primary sources, James D. Hornfischer brings to life the campaign that was the fulcrum of the drive to compel Tokyo to surrender—and that forever changed the art of modern war. With a close focus on high commanders, front-line combatants, and ordinary people, American and Japanese alike, Hornfischer tells the story of the climactic end of the Pacific War as has never been done before. Here are the epic seaborne invasions of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam, the stunning aerial battles of the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, the first large-scale use of Navy underwater demolition teams, the largest banzai attack of the war, and the daring combat operations large and small that made possible the strategic bombing offensive culminating in the atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From the seas of the Central Pacific to the shores of Japan itself, The Fleet at Flood Tide is a stirring, authoritative, and cinematic portrayal of World War II’s world-changing finale. Illustrated with original maps and more than 120 dramatic photographs “Quite simply, popular and scholarly military history at its best.”—Victor Davis Hanson, author of Carnage and Culture “The dean of World War II naval history . . . In his capable hands, the story races along like an intense thriller. . . . Narrative nonfiction at its finest—a book simply not to be missed.”—James M. Scott, Charleston Post and Courier “An impressively lucid account . . . admirable, fascinating.”—The Wall Street Journal “An extraordinary memorial to the courageous—and a cautionary note to a world that remains unstable and turbulent today.”—Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander, NATO, author of Sea Power “A masterful, fresh account . . . ably expands on the prior offerings of such classic naval historians as Samuel Eliot Morison.”—The Dallas Morning News
The "story of the World War II air, land, and sea campaign that brought the U.S. Navy to the apex of its strength and marked the rise of the United States as a global superpower"--Dust jacket flap.
“This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.” With these words, Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland addressed the crew of the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts on the morning of October 25, 1944, off the Philippine Island of Samar. On the horizon loomed the mightiest ships of the Japanese navy, a massive fleet that represented the last hope of a staggering empire. All that stood between it and Douglas MacArthur’ s vulnerable invasion force were the Roberts and the other small ships of a tiny American flotilla poised to charge into history. In the tradition of the #1 New York Times bestseller Flags of Our Fathers, James D. Hornfischer paints an unprecedented portrait of the Battle of Samar, a naval engagement unlike any other in U.S. history—and captures with unforgettable intensity the men, the strategies, and the sacrifices that turned certain defeat into a legendary victory. BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James D. Hornfischer's Neptune's Inferno. Praise for The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors “One of the finest WWII naval action narratives in recent years, this book follows in the footsteps of Flags of Our Fathers. . . . Exalting American sailors and pilots as they richly deserve. . . . Reads like a very good action novel.”—Publishers Weekly “Reads as fresh as tomorrow's headlines. . . . Hornfischer's captivating narrative uses previously classified documents to reconstruct the epic battle and eyewitness accounts to bring the officers and sailors to life.”—Texas Monthly “Hornfischer is a powerful stylist whose explanations are clear as well as memorable. . . . A dire survival-at-sea saga.”—Denver Post “In The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, James Hornfischer drops you right into the middle of this raging battle, with 5-inch guns blazing, torpedoes detonating and Navy fliers dive-bombing. . . . The overall story of the battle is one of American guts, glory and heroic sacrifice.”—Omaha World Herald
Draws on interviews with veterans and new primary sources to present a narrative account of the pivotal World War II campaign, chronicling the three-month effort to gain control of Guadalcanal as a battle that taught the U.S. Navy and Marines new approaches to warfare.
A close-up, action-filled narrative about the crucial role the U.S. Navy played in the early years of the Cold War, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Fleet at Flood Tide “A lucid, fast-moving and fitting finale to [Hornfischer’s] career.”—The Wall Street Journal This landmark account of the U.S. Navy in the Cold War, Who Can Hold the Sea combines narrative history with scenes of stirring adventure on—and under—the high seas. In 1945, at the end of World War II, the victorious Navy sends its sailors home and decommissions most of its warships. But this peaceful interlude is short-lived, as Stalin, America’s former ally, makes aggressive moves in Europe and the Far East. Winston Churchill crystallizes the growing Communist threat by declaring the existence of “the Iron Curtain,” and the Truman Doctrine is set up to contain Communism by establishing U.S. military bases throughout the world. Set against this background of increasing Cold War hostility, Who Can Hold the Sea paints the dramatic rise of the Navy’s crucial postwar role in a series of exciting episodes that include the controversial tests of the A-bombs that were dropped on warships at Bikini Island; the invention of sonar and the developing science of undersea warfare; the Navy’s leading part in key battles of the Korean War; the dramatic sinking of the submarine USS Cochino in the Norwegian Sea; the invention of the nuclear submarine and the dangerous, first-ever cruise of the USS Nautilus under the North Pole; and the growth of the modern Navy with technological breakthroughs such as massive aircraft carriers, and cruisers fitted with surface-to-air missiles. As in all of Hornfischer’s works, the events unfold in riveting detail. The story of the Cold War at sea is ultimately the story of America’s victorious contest to protect the free world.
Describes the loss of the cruiser USS Houston during the early days of World War II in the Pacific and the fate of the warship's surviving crew, who were captured by the Japanese and forced to work as slaves on Japan's brutal Burma-Thailand Death Railway.
Winner of the Northern California Book Award for Nonfiction "Both a serious work of history…and a marvelously readable dramatic narrative." —San Francisco Chronicle On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss, a blow that destroyed the offensive power of their fleet. Pacific Crucible—through a dramatic narrative relying predominantly on primary sources and eyewitness accounts of heroism and sacrifice from both navies—tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history to seize the strategic initiative.