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America's Fighting Admirals: Winning the War at Sea in World War II Hardcover – May 15, 2007


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America's Fighting Admirals: Winning the War at Sea in World War II + Admiral "Bull" Halsey: The Life and Wars of the Navy's Most Controversial Commander + The Quiet Warrior: A Biography of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance (Classics of Naval Literature)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Zenith Press; 1st edition (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760329850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760329856
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

World War II navy veteran and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tuohy has credentials and credibility to write a good popular introduction to the WWII U.S. Navy. And he has, in the form of a group portrait of the admirals who oversaw America's navy as it became the largest in history, larger than the contemporary combined fleets of the rest of the world. The admirals' range of experience was vast, for some had started out in coal-burning battleships, while others' careers commenced soon after leaving Annapolis. The famous likes of King, Spruance, Mitscher, and the more-aggressive-than-skilled Halsey are here, of course, but so are well-serving battleship admirals and amphibious specialists including the ferocious Turner and MacArthur's right-hand landing expert, Barbey. Some failed to distinguish themselves--Kimmel of Pearl Harbor notoriety, Pownall, and Theobald--and few of the Atlantic admirals are here, since they served in an ocean dominated by the fight to the death between the British and the U-boats. An honorable tribute to honorable men, most of whom served their country well. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Booklist, May 2007

“World War II navy veteran and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tuohy has credentials and credibility to write a good popular introduction to the WWII U.S. Navy. And he has, in the form of a group portrait of the admirals who oversaw America's navy as it became the largest in history, larger than the contemporary combined fleets of the rest of the world ...  An honorable tribute to honorable men, most of whom served their country well.”



US Naval Institute Proceedings, June 2007

“In America’s Fighting Admirals, a Navy veteran of World War II provides valuable reference points for the study of high-level naval leadership.”


Warships International Fleet Review (UK), November 2007

“Comprehensive and well-written – almost cinematic in some places, it is recommended for anyone interested in naval combat leadership or the U.S. Navy in general ... a superb, enthralling account of the U.S. Navy’s WWII titans and their achievements.”


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Graham B. Weaver on April 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There is much to like about Tuohy's book, "America's Fighting Admirals". It provides useful evaluations of our World War II admirals, their performance in battle and their relations with their peers. The politics of command is always facinatimg to me and this provides a valuble account of this topic in a compressed format.

However, I was disappointed that he accepted the criticisms of ADM Frank Jack Fletcher made by Morison and authors who repeated his barbs without question. When all is said and done, Fletcher successfully commanded at Coral Sea, Midway and at Guadalcanal during the early part of the war when victory was in the balance. He provded a proper mix of aggressiveness and caution at a time when we could ill afford to lose any carriers.

With this one criticism, let me urge World War II naval buffs to get this interesting book...but just ignore Tuohy's views of Admiral Fletcher
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hackett on March 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Tuohy's "America's Fighting Admirals" follows his earlier "The Bravest Man: Richard O'Kane and the Amazing Submarine Adventures of the USS Tang". Tuohy's new book is easily one of the most readable, comprehensive and well-researched books I have seen about America's top naval leaders, their adversaries and the war at sea in World War II. His fast-paced and wide-ranging account concisely examines and summarizes key actions and players at war in the vast expanses of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea.

Tuohy analyzes the strategy, detailed planning and execution of the war's major campaigns by America's fighting admirals and provides brief, but concise overviews of each major battle from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo and North Africa to Normandy.

The roles of great personalities such as King, Nimitz, Halsey, Spruance, Fletcher, Mitscher, Turner and Kinkaid are well covered, but Tuohy provides new details on lesser-known flag officers such as Jack Towers, "Slew" McCain, "Ching" Lee, "31-knot" Burke, "Uncle Dan" Barbey, "Tip" Merrill, "Pug" Ainsworth, "Close-in" Conolly and many others. Tuohy's battle coverage includes the Fighting Admirals' counterpart foes in the Imperial Japanese Navy such as admirals Yamamoto, Nagumo, Ozawa, Kurita, Nishimura, "tenacious" Tanaka and others.

This well-organized 400-page book contains an introduction, 31 chapters, an epilogue, brief biographical highlights of 54 admirals, plus Marine LtGen Holland M. "Howlin" Mad" Smith and Army Gen Douglas MacArthur, a list of sources, chapter notes, maps, 14 pages of flag officers' photographs and unit, vessel and general indices.

I highly recommend this book. For the historian, it provides a fresh look at well-documented events and personalities.
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Format: Hardcover
The American naval actions of the second world war were some of the most dramatic in the history of sea warfare, taking place over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans alike with an admiral overseeing each action and battle. The battles are here described from the perspective of American admirals who fought them and comes from a World War II navy veteran who not only covers all major campaigns and admiral leaders, but analyzes strategy and decision-making challenges during battle. Serious World War II military collections, particularly those with strong naval history sections, need AMERICA'S FIGHTING ADMIRALS: WINNING THE WAR AT SEA IN WORLD WAR II.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William S. Grass on December 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In his book, Fighting Admirals, published in 2007, author William Tuohy undertakes to tell the story of the United States Navy admirals who fought WW2, specifically focusing upon, "the fighting admirals who commanded ships in battles at sea." As a seasoned Pacific War reader, I was skeptical that such a thing could be accomplished in a single volume of fewer than four hundred pages. The first thing Touhy did to make his task easier was to concentrate overwhelmingly on the Pacific theater. He includes only two chapters on Europe, one on the Mediterranean and one on the invasion of France.

Touhy's narrative is a synthesis of well known secondary sources, drawing heavily from Samuel Morison's 15-volume history of USN operations in WW2 and the Potter biographies of Nimitz, Halsey and Burke and the Buell biographies of Spruance and King. There is nothing wrong per se in relying heavily on secondary sources. Author H.P. Willmott has done so when writing on the Pacific War, and his works are treasure troves of careful, well-balanced and insightful analysis. However, due to the broadness of scope and brevity of coverage, no such analysis is possible in Fighting Admirals. As a result, this is not a book that will reveal much new information to the experienced Pacific War reader. The ideal audience for Fighting Admirals is, therefore, the reader with a general interest in WW2, but not one who has extensive prior knowledge of the Pacific theater.

For its proper audience, Fighting Admirals could be entertaining and very informative, since Tuohy includes all of the personalities and high and low points of the performances of USN fighting admirals in WW2. However, the book is marred by poor editing.
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