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69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you read one WWII submarine memoir, be it this one
If you read but one WWII submarine memoir, be it this one. Far from a dispassionate account of the exploits of a successful submarine skipper, with Thunder Below, you are there. I've read many a book about submarines; but Fluckey's lively and coherent style makes it much easier to understand life aboard a WWII sub. Most other books, O'Kane's for example, I'd...
Published on September 14, 2000 by Bryan MacKinnon

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Good As it Could've Been
I was annoyed with the over-the-top manner in which Adm Fluckey writes, and then on the whole I often had to ask myself if people actually did talk back in the 40's the way it's presented in the book - maybe in fact they did, but it just seemed so much like how you would hear people talk in the movies, which back then were hardly representative of how people actually...
Published 22 months ago by JamesMN


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69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you read one WWII submarine memoir, be it this one, September 14, 2000
By 
Bryan MacKinnon (Setagaya-ku, Tokyo Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Thunder Below!: The USS *Barb* Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II (Paperback)
If you read but one WWII submarine memoir, be it this one. Far from a dispassionate account of the exploits of a successful submarine skipper, with Thunder Below, you are there. I've read many a book about submarines; but Fluckey's lively and coherent style makes it much easier to understand life aboard a WWII sub. Most other books, O'Kane's for example, I'd recommend for students of history or submarine warfare. Not this one. Anyone who likes a good tale, be it fiction or non-fiction, could like this one. And it's not just his account he presents either; it's also richly filled with accounts from the Japanese, other American subs, and an illegal diary kept by one of his crewman. So a balanced, all around perspective is given that is lacking in other memoirs. Fluckey's presentation of an American wolf pack attack that decimated a Japanese convoy unknowingly filled with Allied POW's (and some of their subsequent rescue) is one of the most moving stories I've ever read.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on submarine warfare., January 30, 1998
Everybody rates this book EXCELLENT except for one reviewer on this web site who must be one of those sub skippers who kept his boat under at 60 ft day and night. I've read about 20 WWII submarine books and Gene Fluckey's book about the Barb is one of the best. It's the equal to Dick O'Kane's book on the U.S.S. Tang. Both were outstanding submariners and both later went on to become Admirals. BOTH skippers won the Congressional Medal of Honor, something awarded to only 7 WWII sub skippers out of more than 200, and 4 of the 7 were posthumous. Gene Fluckey was one of those who received the medal for daring and successful action, not for going down with his ship. They don't give the medal out lightly, especially in the United States Navy.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Historical Account, May 9, 2006
By 
This review is from: Thunder Below!: The USS *Barb* Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II (Paperback)
This book is the firsthand account of the World War II submarine, USS Barb, written by the skipper recollecting his 15 months of command. It is a fascinating account detailing the audacious exploits of his ship and crew. You are not going to find any plot twists and intrigue popular among fictional seagoing stories, but the book is filled with the details of real life characters and their bold and exemplary accomplishments. As I read this book I had to remind myself that this was a true story and these people were real.

Fluckey's narrative is interlaced with other perspectives of the same incidents including the Japanese describing their reception of the business end of the USS Barb. The description of the crew members that paddled to shore to place a scuttling charge under the tracks to blow up a train was one of the most compelling sequences I have read. It was filled with light humor and suspense. This would have made extraordinary fiction if it had not actually occurred. The Japanese account of the incident included a report that some people thought they saw a man in a trench coat smoking a cigarette under a dock. When I read this I thought that they had been reading too many spy novels.

Eugene B. Fluckey writes for his readers, filling the pages with fine points from all angles making the sequence of events appear to unfold as I am sure they actually did. He includes his personal feelings towards the crew, his boat and how his experiences shaped his life. There are many firsthand accounts of historical events, but few are captured so eloquently and thoughtfully as they are in this book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Advertised, August 20, 2002
By 
This review is from: Thunder Below!: The USS *Barb* Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II (Paperback)
I bought this book from Amazon after reading the reviews here -- a big thank you to all you reviewers! Adm. Fluckey does a terrific job of recreating the tension and detailing the actions of his wonderful ship and crew; unlike more static narratives, this one comes alive with the voices of these heroes. Adm. Fluckey deserves special praise for the detailed research he did as well, tracking down even the Japanese radio messages to help illuminate his amazing story. A must-read!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book, May 10, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Thunder Below!: The USS *Barb* Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II (Paperback)
I have just completed reading "Thunder Below" and "Clear the Bridge" back to back and being an ex-submariner the contrasts between the two commanding officers is remarkable. I couldn't put Thunder Below down until it was finished. Adm. Fluckey was a commanding officer every sailor dreams of serving under. I just missed serving under him when he was COMSUBPAC in 1966. The combination of the patrol reports and the illegal diary along with remembered conversations puts the reader in the middle of the action. The exploits of the Barb and her crew contains the ingredients of a great movie, and I understand Steven Spielberg has purchased the rights. This review is more of a salute to the Barb and her crew than a book review, and Adm. Fluckeys writing style is to be creditied. Thanks Admiral for a great book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a case of beer out of the shower........, March 23, 2002
By 
Mike "Squirrel Nutkin" (Fairfax, Virginia USA) - See all my reviews
This is the best first person account of submarine operations in the Pacific I have read to date. Adm. Fluckey does a great job of taking the reader through each of the patrols and how the Barb truly does revolutionize submarine tactics as well as strategies. If you own just one book on the Silent Service operating in the Pacific, then but this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding,, January 28, 1998
By A Customer
I have read Thunder Below ! twice and find it is hard to put down. I know that the book is factual because I was there, in fact I was one of the eight men that made the landing to blow up the train, and I served on the Barb for six war patrols. Admiral Fluckey was an outstanding skipper and his crew would follow him anywhere.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucky Fluckey does it again, August 27, 2001
By 
This review is from: Thunder Below!: The USS *Barb* Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II (Paperback)
Thunder Below is the personal account of Commander (later Rear Admiral) Eugene Fluckey's adventures as skipper of the legendary WWII submarine, USS Barb. This is a wonderful book that reads more like a thriller than a naval history. I was hard pressed to put it down and only wish it could have gone on another 445 pages. Along with Admiral Fluckey's engaging prose, the book is full of photos of the Barb and her crewmembers, as well as charts of her various patrols and engagements. Fluckey's good humor and enthusiasm permeate every page, all the more remarkable when one considers he was well into his seventies when he wrote it...and the old fellow is still alive and kicking! I've learned that Thunder Below has been optioned by Hollywood. This is unquestionably the kind of book that can make the transition to the silver screen. Hope it's done soon, for the sake of Admiral Fluckey, the remaining Barbarians, and all the men of the silent service.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SHOULD BE MADE INTO A MOVIE!, February 6, 2004
By 
Kyle Young (Las Cruces, New Mexico United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Thunder Below!: The USS *Barb* Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II (Paperback)
Written by the Barb's skipper, Rear Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey, recounting the Barb's 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th War Patrols. From the beggining to the end Fluckey's writing style grips you. This was the first Submarine novel that I have read and after reading his book I feel like I could talk the talk, but only Fluckey could walk the walk. His tactics were well thought and he wasn't afraid of testing new technologies, which is what the 12th (his Graduation) Patrol was all about. He added some great maps at the beginning of each chapter that give the reader a picture of where he is and where he sinks ships. The appendixes have great bare facts about the Patrols, the Barb's crew and a copy of the Presidential Unit Citation (PUC). You won't be sorry for buying this book; after you read it I think you would agree, the story of the Barb, her skipper and her couragious crew NEEDS to be made into a movie!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true American Hero, July 5, 1999
By A Customer
There are very few books written that give the reader a glimps of the heart of a true hero. I am also a submariner and there hasn't been a day since I've read "A Thunder Below" that I haven't looked back on Admiral Fluckey's exploits for inspiration. He tells it how it was with great passion, without alignating those who have never set foot on a submarine. Each patrol is vividly detailed to give the reader the feeling that he is standing on the Conn watching the action.
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Thunder Below!: The USS *Barb* Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II
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