Condition Red: Destroyer Action in the South Pacific Paperback – September 18, 2017
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- Item Weight : 14.1 ounces
- Paperback : 130 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1976500214
- ISBN-13 : 978-1976500213
- Product Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.33 x 11 inches
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 18, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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To think of this as a book of military history can be misleading; it's a personal experience of war from the perspective of a unit commander. He knew little of U.S. plans less of the enemy's, and writing in 1943 he had no way of knowing how it would all end. But if you want to know what it was really like then this is a great book.
I only give 4 instead of 5 stars because I would like to have read more details of particular engagements and tactics and less of his personal interactions with friends, but it's obvious that he was constrained by military rules of the time (he can't even give the name of the destroyer he commanded) and also that his friends were important to him - if not to history overall.
Still, this is an invaluable window into the actual life and times and events and boredom during a heroic struggle against forces that threatened to oppress the world, and the bravery of those who stood on the decks of the 'fightingist ships.'
There is an unexpected focus on US Navy damage control procedures I found fascinating. Not surprising since the ship did damage control exercises/problems daily when they were not in action and when in action they were not exercises.
The one major issue and the reason I knocked this down a start is because the timeline is a nightmare to follow. It bebops all over the place and often the is no clear indication of when the timeline changed. I found this extremely annoying. The timeline is really not that critical to the points the book is making, but its something that I cling on to for dear life when reading a non-fiction book so it may just be me.
A must read for one wanting to better understand life on a Destroyer during the Solomons campaigns.
That said its easy to find books about the 10%, but if you, like myself have always been curious about the daily goings on, the other 90%, then this is the book for you. Bell tells a very descriptive and no doubt very accurate accounting of the many different responsibilities your average sailor and officer is forced to learn and know by heart, many of which he hopes never to actually have to perform, most of these under dire circumstances. Having spent many hours at sea I can only imagine how warfare can complicate and compromise the already taxing job of running a large ocean going vessel. If anything this book increased the already great respect I have " for those in peril on the sea ."
Despite a larger than normal number of typo errors, I would have given this book 3.5 stars if able.