"Thunder Below" by Eugene Fluckey (USS Barb)

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by hawkeye2an, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. hawkeye2an

    hawkeye2an Active Member

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    I could not put this book down. Reads like a Tom Clancy novel, but it's all true. Highest scoring U.S. sub in WWII (tonnage - Japanese records). Written by the captain of the sub for it's eighth through twelve war patrols May 1944-Aug 1945. When the pickings started to get slim at the end of the war, Fluckey went into a shallow water anchorage and devastated the transports and escorts, having to retire by running on the surface while evading a destroyer for over an hour. On his last patrol he convinced the higher-ups to let him mount a rocket launcher on his sub to attack shore positions!!! He even sent a demolition crew ashore to BLOW UP A TRAIN (the only U.S. action on Japanese home islands). Fluckey was a brilliant tactician, had a very well trained, brave crew and an incredible amount of luck. I now want to read the biographies written by others and maybe a few other sub books to see if he's as real as he seems.

    He revolutionized submarine warfare at the time, but the tactics were really never used again. Cruise missiles launched miles from shore are not quite the same.

    Can anybody direct me to pictures of a 5" rocket launcher of the type used on landing craft? I'm thinking of building a model of the boat as it was on it's final war patrol. Revell/Mono has a nice BIG 1/72 kit and there are quite a few PE bits and crew figures out there, should be interesting.
     
  2. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Excellent book! I own that one, too. "Lucky" Fluckey was a rare individual indeed. What seemed incredible to me was the fact that ComSubPac (or whatever the office was called back then) decided that one sub could not have caused all that damage in the anchorage, and proceeded to cut the number of kills in half. And didn't bother to rectify the mistake when presented with proof after the war, by locals and salvage crews.
     
  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The exploits of the Barb remind me of the Wahoo under Cdr. "Mush" Morton...
     
  4. Bucksnort101

    Bucksnort101 Well-Known Member

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    Great book. Read several WWII Sub warfare books a while back and Thunder Below was far and away the best of them all IMHO.
    I think this book would be a great subject for Hollywood to make a Sub movie. No embellishment would be needed, just tell the story as the author wrote it and it would be interesting and exciting.
     
  5. hawkeye2an

    hawkeye2an Active Member

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    I agree 100%, but I don't think Hollywood is capable of doing it straight up.
     
  6. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Just checked my shelves looking for another book, and noticed that I don't actually have "Thunder Below", I'd checked it out of the library a few years ago. I do, however, have "Galloping Ghost", another book about Cdr. Fluckey, which isn't quite as thick, but does go into his post-war activities. It was a good read, too. I still need to pick up "Thunder Below" for my own library.
     
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