Down to the Sea: An Epic Story of Naval Disaster and Heroism in World War II | Book, Essay
- Book description:
This epic story opens at the hour the Greatest Generation went to war on December 7, 1941, and follows four U.S. Navy ships and their crews in the Pacific until their day of reckoning three years later with a far different enemy: a deadly typhoon. In December 1944, while supporting General MacArthur's invasion of the Philippines, Admiral William "Bull" Halsey neglected the Law of Storms—the unofficial bible of all seamen since the days of sail—placing the mighty U.S. Third Fleet in harm's way. One of the most powerful fighting fleets ever assembled under any flag, the Third Fleet sailed directly into the largest storm the U.S. Navy had ever encountered—a maelstrom of 90-foot seas and 160-mph winds. More men were lost and ships sunk and damaged than in most combat engagements in the Pacific. The final toll: 3 ships sunk, 28 ships damaged, 146 aircraft destroyed, and 756 men lost at sea. In all, 92 survivors from the three sunken ships (each carrying a crew of about 300) were rescued, some after spending up to 80 hours in the water. Scores more had made it off their sinking ships only to perish in the monstrous seas; some from injuries and exhaustion, others snatched away by circling sharks before their horrified shipmates. In the far-flung rescue operations Bruce Henderson finds some of the story's truest heroes, exhibiting selflessness, courage, and even defiance. One badly damaged ship, whose Naval Reserve skipper disobeyed an admiral's orders to abandon the search, single-handedly saved 55 lives. Drawing on extensive interviews with nearly every living survivor and rescuer, many families of lost sailors, transcripts and other records from two naval courts of inquiry, ships' logs and action reports, personal letters, and diaries, Bruce Henderson offers the most thorough and riveting account to date of one of the greatest naval dramas of World War II.
- Book Authors:
- Bruce Henderson is the writer or joint author of more than twenty nonfiction books, including the # 1 New York Times best seller And the Sea Will Tell. His latest book, Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II, will be published by William Morrow ( a HarperCollins imprint ) in April 2015. An award-winning journalist and writer, he has published in Esquire, Playboy, Smithsonian, and other periodicals. Henderson has taught composing and describing at USC School of Journalism and Stanford University. He lives in Menlo Park, California. Amazon: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.amazon.com/Bruce-Henderson... Facebook: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.facebook.com/AuthorBruceH...
Down to the Sea: An Epic Story of Naval Disaster and Heroism in World War II Essay
- On December 17, 1944, an army meteorologist warned the naval forces of a typhoon in the way of a one hundred ship undertaking force that was at sea to refuel. “We don’t believe you, ” was the answer the navy sent back. Then, a naval weather forecaster on the battlewagon New Jersey besides refused to believe his ain eyes as he watched the barometer bead and saw destroyers resile off sixty-foot moving ridge tops in twirling air currents. Inevitably, the fleet bounced into the oculus of Typhoon Cobra. Three of its destroyers sank, with 790 lives lost. Eighteen other ships, including bearers and battlewagons, were badly damaged, with the loss of 146 planes on board. Using naval records, ship logs, and subsister interviewers, Henderson has written a magnificent and really clear history of this calamity. This book is about good. What is astonishing is some of the sketchs in this well researched books of utmost courage, resiliency and award exhibited by most of the participants in this storm goaded fiasco. Good relation of the events taking up to the typhoon catastrophe every bit good as a reasonably good war history of each ship and selected crewmembers. Admiral Halsey does n't come out looking really good and this after he screwed up at Leyte Gulf. I loved this book. I was memorized by the panic of the events. And inspired by the epic Acts of the Apostless of these immature work forces. You have to be a serious lover of all things maritime and warlike to acquire into this book. I did n't acquire really far. One conflict after another, I saw as I skimmed. The first conflict, with the names and backgrounds of the important crew members was all right. But I ca n't digest this sort of thing over and over. It 's likely really good if you have a really deep involvement in these affairs. Enjoyed the book. Henderson aquatints you with thee characters of the book and the develops the narrative. It was a history lesson that I ne'er learned until now Halsey should hold been tribunal marshaled along with Marks. If you are a Naval History fan so this is a must read. Everyone expects a ship to be destroyed in a conflict during wartime but non to be destroyed by a conditions event. This is the narrative of a Pacific typhoon and its consequence on the US. Third Fleet under Admiral Halsey 's bid. How the work forces manage this catastrophe, from the captains to the mariners on board the three ships, USS Hull, USS Spence and USS Monaghan, is the centre of this narrative. Besides added to this narrative is that of the USS Tabberer whose Captain Plage refused to go forth the country while under orders to make so until all possible subsisters were found. What heroes all these work forces were! Politicss and parade morale seem to be why Hasley was n't busted after his gross incompetency led to the loss of 700+ crewmans and three ships in the Dec 18th, 1944 typhoon ( and this merely months of his holding the 3rd fleet trailing steerers 300 stat mis from where he was supposed to be guarding the San Bernadino straight in the conflict of of Leyte Gulf. A good book for readers that enjoy WWII naval narratives. This a good book about the Halsey Typhoon, but the writer jumps back and Forth from one ship to another, one twelvemonth to another, one incident to another with hapless connexion between ships and events. Great book. Henderson follows three destroyers and a destroyer bodyguard along with their crews from the early yearss of World War II until the catastrophe of Halsey 's Typhoon. The destroyers were sunk in the typhoon and the destroyer bodyguard was the primary ship involved in the deliverance of the crews. The caption ( A Narrative of Heroism and Disaster... ) is wholly apropos. This book portrays ordinary work forces making great things to salvage their companions. I strongly suggest that everyone read this book. This is a narrative of Naval catastrophe in the center of WWII by one our greatest WWII Admirals, Admiral Willam Bull Halsey ; who lead his Third Fleet, because of his stubbornness straight into the centre of a typhoon. It turned out to be one of the largest in history. He would non listen to anyone. He lost three destroyers, over a 1000 work forces and many more damaged vass. He was non tribunal martialed nor was he repremanded. That was really much a shame because after the war in 1946 he did the same thing ; this clip he was lucky, he lost a few work forces but di n't lose any ships. This book is similar to Halsey 's Typhoon with a more extended background of the officers and work forces of the three destroyers sunk in the December 1944 Typhoon, USS Spence ( DD-512 ) , USS Monaghan ( DD-354 ( and USS Hull ( DD-350 ) . It besides goes into the Court of Inquiry in mention to the incident. The book offers penetrations of the tragi sinking of these three ships with the loss of over 700 lives. A must for any Naval History Buff. Exhaustive intervention of ships downed and conflicts fought. Let 's merely say after this I have *no desire* to pass clip in a boat! : ) Fabulous read. Of class, I was in the Navy. Truly interesting and capturing narrative. Highly recommend. Well written book based chiefly upon histories and testimony from the subsisters. This book paperss some of the bad determinations bad in covering with the typhoon. Apparently non the first book about Halsey 's fleet and the typhoons in 1944. Amazing combination of bad determinations and premises lead to man-vs-nature confrontation in the center of a war. This book seemingly uses subsister narratives non available to earlier research workers or the probe board. I found it excessively heavy on the single life narratives prior to the storm, but after that it was intense. Interesting, but the writer 's pick of the manner to state the narratives of 4 different ships and certain of their crewmembers made it really hard to follow as he shifted back and Forth among the four ships. He found himself forced to re-introduce characters to the reader over and over so that the reader could re-establish continuity. Made the reading choppy. If you like WW II history, you will bask this book. Well-researched, with interesting narratives of the work forces who lived through naval conflicts and catastrophes. Includes a batch of information on the ships caught in the typhoon of 1944. A solid and enlightening relation of the active responsibility and unfortunate sinking of three U.S. destroyers, with immense loss of life, by a strong typhoon off of the Philippines near the terminal of WWII. Some really good anectdotes and personal involvement stuff. Made me reassess my position of Halsey. My male parent and brother both served portion of their naval service in destroyers and frigates. My old adult male said traveling through a cyclone is one of the scariest things aboard a little ship. Sadly, many more work forces could hold been saved had the higher ups made better determinations refering superstructure add-ons that unbalanced the boats, listened to the staff meterologists, or chosen better-qualified officers ( in one instance ) to captain the destroyers.
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