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The Fleet the Gods Forgot: The U.S. Asiatic Fleet in World War II (Bluejacket Books) Paperback – August 15, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Bluejacket Books
  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (August 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155750928X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557509284
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,426,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sean E. Boudreaux on December 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
My Grandfather was an Asiatic Fleet sailor and was on the ancient Omaha-Class light cruiser USS Marblehead when WW2 broke out. He had been over there for 4 years prior and told me (with a good deal of bitterness) about the colossal waste of those early actions, squandering the most veteran sailors the USN had on those old vessels in mismatched actions early in 1942.

He pressed home to me again and again how we roundly got our behinds kicked for a good period of time in 1942. It's good to recall that, and how we came back from behind the 8 ball to prevail.

I bought this book the first instant I saw it...it reads much like my Grandfather's stories. Like some portions of Leyte Gulf which the USN would like to not recall because the situations were created by bad decisions or planning by the Ringers wearing gold braid, it shows, more than any overwhelming victory we had, our character as a Navy and a nation. When the odds aren't in our favor and our backs were against the wall...we came out swinging nonetheless.

Highly recommended. Read it as a companion to the victories at Guadalcanal, Midway, Saipan and Leyte Gulf.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book believing that I was purchasing a history of the Asiatic fleet. What I got was a series of interesting narratives which were only very broadly structured and gave you little or no opportunity to glean the historical sequence of events. Don't get me wrong the accounts, mostly from first hand sources are gripping reading, but I was left rather disappointed and with the impression that I had read a book of short stories rather than a historical record.
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Format: Paperback
This is a haunting and phenomenal story of the rusted and forgotten US Asiatic Fleet during the early days of the war. The book is detailed and chilling, a complete chronology of how these mem were left alone on old destroyers and cruisers to face complete annihilation against vastly superior Japanese equipment and tactics. It is a depressing read, but a must for anyone interested in all the details of US naval ops in the part of the war we lost.
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Format: Paperback
THE FLEET THE GODS FORGOT dispells the notion that the US Navy remained passive until the Battle of Midway. The aged Asiatic Fleet, valiantly struck back at the Japanese from the moment hostilities broke out between Japan and the United States.

Equipped with antiquated surface ships, a few patrol boats, submarines, and hopelessly out-gunned PBY patrol planes, the US Navy made its presence known in and around the Phillipines. From the beginning the odds were against the Asiatic Fleet and the British and Dutch craft that often accompanied them in battle. In several naval battles the cruisers and other ships went to the bottom after exacting a toll of invading Japanese forces.

Author W.G. Winslow recounts the individual naval and air engagements in seas that quickly became Japanese lakes. However, some of the most interesting portions of the book are those devoted to escape, survival, and navigational skills of downed airmen and crews of sunken vessels.

The first chapters of the book start out rather slowely as an overview of the major actions of the Asiatic Fleet. Do not give up heart, because the subsequent chapters fill in the details of individual caft and their engagements. Be prepared for overlapping of material in some of the chapters as many of the separately chapter-spotlighted destroyers and cruisers were involved in the same naval action.

I received this book as a gift and an sorry I put off reading it for so long. THE FLEET THE GODS FORGOT is proof-positive that allied naval forces gave the Japanese military a few good shots before Coral Sea and Midway.
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Format: Paperback
This was truly an outstanding book. It's filled with short stories about the few victories and many defeats suffered during the first few months of the war. It tells of how a few heroic men made their stand alone against a vastly superior enemy. We have learned and appreciated all of the successes and heroes from this war, but this book shows us how we can learn and appreciate from the real lives of men that history has largely forgotten.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This far-flung theater of early days and the desperate struggles of Allied forces is accurately told by a participant in several of its momentous battles. A survivor of the USS Houston shows how in spite of isolation, shortages, and overwhelming odds, great courage was the norm among American and other forces fighting the Japanese takeover of Southeast Asia. These brave men deserve a shining place in the pantheon of military histories of the Pacific war. One sometimes reads of those who served in these campaigns and have passed away without ever saying a word about their horrific experiences and selfless bravery. After reading this book, it's understandable. In spite of often incompetent and confused leadership, obsolete and defective weapons,being hugely outnumbered, and a 100% chance of death at their heels they fought and died to gain time and bleed the enemy, just to allow the home fronts to gain the time needed to prepare and help their Allies escape the barbarity of the Japanese. Mr. Winslow's account, like his other two books, is well worth the price.
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