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Clear the Bridge!: The War Patrols of the U.S.S. Tang Paperback – December 17, 1996


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Frequently Bought Together

Clear the Bridge!: The War Patrols of the U.S.S. Tang + Thunder Below!: The USS *Barb* Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II + The Bravest Man: Richard O'Kane and the Amazing Submarine Adventures of the USS Tang
Price for all three: $36.45

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Press (December 17, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891415734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891415732
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Great detail, very well written.
Gary in Oak Park
I just got done reading about the Wahoo and the hero and skipper Mush Morton with his superb XO Richard H. O'Kane who was promoted to command the sub USS Tang.
Thomas Erickson
I highly recommend this book not only to readers of WWII submarine warfare, but to anybody who likes to read period.
David N. Currey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
I could not put this book down. O'Kanes writing puts the reader inside the sub taking part in every detail of the Tang's patrols during WWII. I found myself refering to the maps every time he gave a description of the Tang's approach to enemy shipping and being able to see his detailed discriptions of the area thru the periscope. O'Kane's memories of details of shooting setups and the details of men at their stations in time of war is uncanny. This is truly a book that takes the reader to the dark days of WWII and the frustration of fighting with defective torpedos and equipment and the "jury-rigging" the crews had to do to make things work and in most cases make equipment better than what was issued. O'Kane was not only a great leader of men he is one of the great heros of WWII. It would be an honor to shake his hand.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Steve Dietrich VINE VOICE on March 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
O'Kane's the real deal, sailor, warrior, leader, survivor and writer.

This is his story and that of the USS Tang, one of the most successful submarines operating in the Pacific. O'Kane was one of a new breed of submarine skippers who traded caution for results with great success, but at huge risks. One of the most effective tactics was to take the surfaced submarine into the middle of Japanese convoys at night, attacking multiple ships and then escaping to the depths.

The action is heart stopping and explains why the Navy pulled some of the more conservative older skippers out of their boats and replaced them with men like this. But the story is much more than simply tactics and bravery above all expectations, it is a story about true leadership.

Young MBA's would do better asking themselves what characteristics of leadership did O'Kane and his officers utilize to achieve so much with so very little in tangible rewards to offer their crews? There were few rewards for the truly outstanding sub crews, congratulations, awards, a sense of team and the dubious honor of being sent back out on patrol as soon as possible.

One of the secrets was that O'Kane and other sub commanders under the leadership of senior officers at Pearl Harbor were given huge patrol areas and largely left to their own devices to take advantage of what they found. To prevent detection the subs seldom transmitted messages on the high power needed to reach thousands of miles across the ocean, the subs received intelligence information from headquarters, but no tactical instructions. On occasion they had schedules to keep, often lifeguard duty just offshore of enemy facilities which were being attacked from the air.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
By the time of Tang's launch in 1944 most of the early war torpedo problems had been solved and better radar and tactics were in place. Submarine technology was state of the art. Bright, agressive officers like Dick O'Kane were the ramaining element to gain ultimate seccess.
"Clear The Bridge" privides a well written and consise chronology of the operations of Tang. O'Kane personalizes Tang's history by including some of the stories of the men who served on her.
We first met O'Kane in the pages of "Wahoo" commanded by "Mush Morton". O'Kane credits much of his success to the training he received serving under Morton as Executive Officer.
The book is a microcosm of the great conflict that was WW II. The Allies won the conflict through the courage and agressiveness of men like O'Kane and her crew.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David N. Currey on July 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've read "Clear the Bridge" an estimated seventeen times. I first began reading it soon after its initial paperback printing about 1980. This is the book by which I judge all other books on WWII American submarine warfare. It is difficult to put down. One thing it contains, which I find lacking in many other fine submarine books, is the detail. Each attack is described thoroughly, so the reader can understand the circumstances and tactics being used. There is no hyperbole, yet this is one of the most exciting accounts you will ever read on the topic. Tang experienced firsthand to the nth degree the torpedo failures that plagued the silent service during the entire war, and you will read about it here. I generally consider O'Kane to be the top submarine commander of the war, but there were many fine ones, and it's a little bit like comparing apples with rocks. He seemed to have a sixth sense in rooting out enemy shipping. He trained his crew well and respected them. Yet despite the Tang's success, O'Kane does not come across as being overly risky. Each attack was carried out with the overall safety of his "ship" in the back of his mind. (He never calls the Tang a "boat".) The dedication of O'Kane and his crew to their war effort is awe inspiring. One in six submariners died in the war, yet submariners like Tang's continued to put their lives on the line patrol after patrol. I highly recommend this book not only to readers of WWII submarine warfare, but to anybody who likes to read period.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By WWII Buff on September 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. The fact that is was written by the Captain of the Submarine makes it that much more meaningful. I couldn't stop reading it, but my one complaint is that it is very technical and lacks some emotion. The author, being a "career navy man" uses abbreviations and phrases that don't mean much to the layperson (and the glossary doesn't help much in this regard) and there is an overall lack of "passion". There is very little discussion of his personal feelings or the mood on the ship. For example, he describes a depth charge attack (a crack and a boom and pressure through the hull) as something that made the men realize the training exercise did not approximate reality (or that the real thing was nothing like the Hollywood version). I thought a depth charge attack was one of the most terrifying ordeals in a submarine and as a result was very interested in reading what it was like by someone who was there first-hand, but it gets very little coverage.

However, knowing that the events were real and the people were real makes this book an excellent read. I recommend it.
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