Sea of Thunder

Sea of Thunder

Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign, 1941-1945

Book - 2006
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Baker & Taylor
A suspenseful account of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944 is told through the commands of four naval leaders, including two American commanders and two Japanese admirals, and offers insight into how the war reflected profound cultural differences. 100,000 first printing.

Baker
& Taylor

An account of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944 is told through the commands of four naval leaders, including two American commanders and two Japanese admirals, and offers insight into how the war reflected profound cultural differences.

Simon and Schuster
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.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2006
ISBN: 9780743252218
0743252217
Branch Call Number: 940.5425995 T3628s 2006
Characteristics: 414 p. : ill., plans ; 25 cm

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SB2000 Dec 16, 2013

A fascinating read. Narrative history at its best. The author really gives a sense of the psychology, personalities, politics and sheer exhaustion involved in managing thousands of men, hundreds of ships over the largest ocean on the planet.

i
Ichigaga
Jan 02, 2011

The story is told with great pace and just enough detail, by focusing on four key participants. The plot leads up to the Battle of the Leyte Gulf which the author feels is the last great naval battle. Probably true considering how warfare has changed to unmanned aircraft, satellites, and cruise missiles. An interesting thread in the story is how politics played a part in slowing down communication during key moments of the Battle of the Leyte Gulf costing many lives. No doubt this aspect of warfare has not improved since.

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