Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all, July 26, 2006
This review is from: The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour (Hardcover)
One word summation: wow. During a critical moment in the movie The Hunt for Red October, the Russian Captain Ramius turns to Jack Ryan and asks almost casually what books he had written. Ryan, who is attempting to steer the submarine, looks up in bafflement, then mentions a specific title. Ramius says he has read the book, then goes on to berate Ryan because his conclusions were all wrong and Halsey acted stupidly. I have known for a long time there was controversy surrounding Halsey, but I never knew specifics. One of those specifics is this book which goes into great detail regarding the naval battle off Samar Island during October 1944 and the incredible accomplishments of a few small ships against the Japanese fleet. At first, I was a bit intimidated by the sheer number of individual personalities in the book and I began to worry about keeping them all straight. The author did an excellent job throughout of reminding me of who the major players were and where they were located. I learned enough about Halsey, including the origination of the famous message "Where is Task Force 34 The world wonders" that I'm ready to do other reading on him. But the book isn't centered around Halsey. Instead, it is the ordinary folks thrown together to form the group of ships known as Taffy 3. They unexpectedly faced an overwhelming opposition force and they met the challenge. Many lived to tell about it and they are in this book. Many didn't. Whether those lives could have been saved by a more responsive 3rd Fleet before, during and after the battle can be endlessly debated. We can save that for another time. For now, make this one a "must read."
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Location: Jackson, MI USA

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