"The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors"

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by vikingBerserker, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James D Hornfischer ISBM 978-0-553-38148-1
    Amazon.com: The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour (9780553381481): James D. Hornfischer: Gateway

    This is a book about the Battle of Samar near the Philippines in which 3 Destroyers (DDs) and 4 Destroyer Escorts (DEs) of the US Navy charged a massive Japanese Fleet under Admiral Kurita in order to try and protect 6 Escort Carriers (CVEs). This group of US Navel Ships are more popularly known as "Taffy 3".

    I never realized to the extent the Naval Aviators played in this battle, from the first take off from a CVE while the ship is trying to dodge gunfire from the Japanese, to Lt Thomas Lupo pulling his revolver on a US Army Major at Tacloban in order to convince the Major they needed the bombs and fuel now more then the USAAF would need them in a couple of weeks, to the fliers making repeated torpedo/bomb runs with no weapons to try and slow the Japanese ships down to the final Air Search and Rescue of the surviving sailors and aviators.

    This is a book I could not put down and ended up reading it in 2 days and is the best book I've read on this topic. The author interviewed a number of the participants so a good portion of the book is first hand knowledge. The author also includes some information from the Japanese point of view and perhaps is one of the very few that IMHO gives the proper credit to Admiral Kurita.

    One of the more humorous parts of the book, as the survivors of the USS Johnston were floating in the water Japanese ships began to pass by them. At first they were concerned that the Japanese would machine gun them or perhaps drop a depth charge on them. However:

    "It was then that Carter realized what was going on. "It appeared to me that every man on her deck was standing at attention, like a muster, giving us one big salute." As the Japanese warship slid by them, a smartly dressed officer was on the wing of the bridge, standing erect and, indeed saluting....

    Another Japanese crewman was filming them with a handheld movie camera. Another flipped his thumb to his nose and delivered a raspberry...."

    It does not mater which ship you are on, or whose flag you fly under - there is always at least one SOB in the lot. :lol:

    I could not recomend this book enough!
     
  2. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Absolutely agree vB!

    The best book I have ever read about a WW II naval battle!

    TO
     
  3. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I'll have to look for it. Thanks for the tip.
     
  4. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    I keep hearing this title pop up here and there....I'll have to drop it on my Amazon list!
     
  5. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    One for the Christmas list
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Earlier this year another book was published about this event. For Crew and Country by John Wukovits talks about the DE Samuel B Roberts heroic charge and ultimate sinking after being hit by 2 salvos of 8" and one 14" during this battle. She was the only DE sunk (per the author) during the war and to the veracity of the battle; each 5" carried 325 rounds and when the 14" salvo hit, a dying gunner struggled to load the last round into the destroyed gun. This book is not as good as The Last Stand (it does not have a lot about the air component of the battle), but it is still an excellent read.

    For Crew.jpg
     
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