Buy New
$20.11
Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.95
  • Save: $4.84 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Sea Cobra: Admiral Halsey's Task Force And The Great Pacific Typhoon Hardcover – March 1, 2007


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$20.11
$12.91 $3.31


Frequently Bought Together

Sea Cobra: Admiral Halsey's Task Force And The Great Pacific Typhoon + Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue
Price for both: $30.83

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press; 1 edition (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592289789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592289783
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The ripple of interest in the typhoon that struck the U.S. Third Fleet in December 1944, sinking three destroyers and drowning 800 sailors, swells onward in this absorbing naval adventure saga. Historian Melton (Aaron Burr) paints a wider canvas than do Bob Drury and Tom Clavin in Halsey's Typhoon (reviewed Oct. 9). Like them, he regales readers with firsthand recollections of the shrieking winds and titanic waves that battered ships to pieces, the ordeal of survivors besieged by thirst and sharks, and the heroism of sailors who rescued them in mountainous seas. He recounts at length the subsequent navy inquiry into the performance of meteorologists, Adm. William Halsey and Cmdr. James Marks of the sunken destroyer Hull, who are pilloried by Drury and Clavin but largely exonerated here. Melton pads out the story with a blow-by-blow of the preceding Battle of Leyte Gulf, an account of another typhoon Halsey sailed the Third Fleet into in 1945, and a chapter on Japanese kamikazes. Melton's prose can be purplish—"The beast was still growing in the heart of the sea... feeding on the heat of the water as if it were mother's milk"—but when the storm breaks, he settles down to a straightforward, gripping narrative. Photos. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The author of A Hanging Offense (2003), on the 1842 Somers mutiny, takes to sea again in fine style in this powerful account of the great typhoon off the Philippines in the autumn of 1944, which inflicted major damage on Admiral "Bull" Halsey's U.S. Third Fleet. This book ranges more broadly than Bob Drury and Tom Clavin's Halsey's Typhoon (2006), covering more kinds of ships (the light carriers really took a pounding) and the subsequent court of inquiry in greater detail. It adds an afterword on Typhoon Viper, which struck the Third Fleet off Okinawa in 1945, and at no point does it err on the side of charity to either Halsey or the U.S. Navy's weather forecasting. It does offer unstinted praise for the men of the Third Fleet, few of whom, except the Annapolis graduates, had seen saltwater before Pearl Harbor but who fought their ships through the worst weather disaster ever to strike the U.S. Navy. A solid shelf mate for Halsey's Typhoon and the burgeoning numbers of nautical-calamity tomes. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
12
4 star
3
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 15 customer reviews
The story of Commander Henry Lee Plage of the destroyer USS Tabber is awesome!
tombo
Many incredible moments in history are nearly forgotten and this book revives and recreates this with fascinating events and detail.
Marcia Merry Morales
Well-written and well-researched, this book is a must-read for readers of World War II naval history.
Jeffrey T. Munson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas E. Sarantakes on November 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In 2007 two different publishers released two different books on the 1944-1945 typhoons that sank three ships in the U.S. Third Fleet. Under the command of Admiral William Halsey, the U.S. Navy lost more men due to these natural disasters than it did at the battle of Midway. Bob Drury and Tom Clavin's "Halsey's Typhoon" was the first one to make it to book stores and garnered more attention and sales than Buckner F. Melton Jr.'s "Sea Cobra." Given the timing and focus of these two books, this review will compare and contrast the two. In short, there is no question that Melton wrote the better book.

The illustrations of carriers, battleships, oilers, destroyers, and destroyer escorts compared to 30, 60, and 90 foot waves is the best feature of Drury and Clavin's account. It gives landlubbers a good idea of how rough seas are problems for some ships and not for others. The shortcomings of this book, however, are much more significant. First, the book ignores altogether the second typhoon Halsey sailed into. Melton discusses this one, but not at length. This brevity is understandable, the second typhoon did less damage and sank no ships. It does show, though, that the commander and staff of the Third Fleet learned little from their experiences with the first typhoon despite efforts to do so. The problem that Drury and Clavin have is that this second storm undermines their argument that Halsey was largely blameless for sailing into the typhoons.

The mechanics of publishing also favor Melton. Drury and Clavin have only one map. Melton has nine. He also provides an extensive bibliography and footnotes, whereas Drury and Clavin have a brief bibliography and make no effort to provide any sort of documentation on their sources.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By tombo on September 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great story and a great story-teller! The most user friendly book I've read. There was no over blown technical term or military acronym that I couldn't understand. You didn't have to have 20 years service time in the Navy to know what was happining to the sailors and what the command leadership was doing right or wrong. You felt you right there with the sailors in their battle to survive! An amazing story of heroes and tragedy. The story of Commander Henry Lee Plage of the destroyer USS Tabber is awesome! He stands 3 times taller than John Wayne ever did! He was a 29 year old reservist with only one and a half years of sea time. He amazingly avoided direct orders and rescued over 50 sailors inside the fury of a killer typhoon (almost a thousand sailors died and many ships were sunk or nearly sunk). The other current book on this event "Halsey's Typhoon" doesn't even come close to the passion or power of "Sea Cobra".
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey T. Munson on November 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
During the autumn of 1944, Task force 38, commanded by Admiral William Halsey, had the task of supporting General Douglas MacArthur's drive through the Philippines. Halsey's task force was to provide air support by knocking out Japanese air power along with kamikaze staging areas. Halsey, having made a controversial decision during the battle of Leyte Gulf to attack the empty Japanese carriers rather than guarding the invasion beaches, was determined to atone for his mistake. After several strikes against the Japanese, Halsey moved his fleet to refuel and replenish. But, there was a menace even greater than the Japanese waiting for him; a monstrous typhoon packing 100-plus miles-per-hour winds and towering seas which sent waves over the tops of Halsey's fleet carriers.

In this powerful book, author Buckner F. Melton does a magnificent job of describing the struggle Halsey's ships faced during this ordeal. He even devotes a chapter to discussing how a typhoon forms, which I found very helpful while reading. The ships that suffered the most were the destroyers and destroyer escorts. With dwindling fuel supplies after the attacks on the Philippines, these ships were riding high in the water, which made them vulnerable to extreme rolls caused by the winds. Even the heavy battleships and carriers were not immune, and many planes (along with sailors) were swept overboard. Three ships and upwards of 800 men were lost as a result of the storm.

Buckner next describes the events of the court of inquiry, called immediately after the task force sailed into Ulithi. Again, Buckner does an excellent job of describing the testimony and ultimate outcome. Halsey was found to have made errors in judgment, due to the effects of battle.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By matt huntsman on June 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great book,quick delivery,book was as advertised,book was very informative,and well written.if you are into history and world war two facts check out this book
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Lujan on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my father. He was in the Navy in World War II and served on a destroyer. His small ship was tossed around for days in that typhoon, but didn't sink, though other destroyers went down. They even managed to rescue one survivor from the water.
Dad said this book was so well-written and full of details that he felt he was living through that typhoon all over again!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By R. Slater on August 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I've read three books on this subject - the Pacific typhoons of December, 1944 and June, 1945 - and in most cases I consider this the best of the three. The author takes pains to explain the history of typhoons in the Pacific; while the other two major versions highlighted the destroyers, especially the three which were sunk - the Monaghan, Hull and Spence), Melton does a good job of covering what was going on in the other ships, without . He does an excellent job of explaining Pacific storms and typhoons.

My only two complaints; 1) the extraordinarily long introduction, in which Melton takes two out of the three opening chapters to discuss the war in the Pacific to December, 1944, the Kamikaze threat and the 3rd Fleet. Probably a short chapter would have sufficed. 2) In one of the other books I read, ("Down to the Sea" by Bruce Henderson), he describes an almost "Caine Mutiny" situation on the "Hull", who captain froze mentally during the height of the typhoon. Melton mentions nothing about this.

Still, the best book, overall on storm, which Admiral Nimitz said, did the most damage to the U.S. Navy, without hurting the enemy, since Savo Island.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews