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Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue Hardcover – November 27, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 164 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the height of the Second World War in 1944, the U.S. Pacific Fleet was struck by a typhoon that sank three destroyers and drowned 800 sailors. Drury (The Rescue Season) and Clavin (Dark Noon: The Final Voyage of the Fishing Boat Pelican) draw on proceedings of a navy board of inquiry and eyewitness recollections to recreate the catastrophe. On the one hand, this is an absorbing if disjointed maritime disaster saga in which shrieking winds and monstrous waves batter warships to pieces. It's also a study in judgment under pressure, as hard-charging Adm. William "Bull" Halsey (motto: "Kill Japs") keeps his fleet positioned in the storm's path because of faulty weather reports, accusations that he improperly left his station during the earlier Battle of Leyte Gulf and general overaggressiveness. Closer to the waterline, the authors contrast the fecklessness of Capt. James Marks of the U.S.S. Hull, which sank, to the steadiness of Capt. Henry Plage of the U.S.S. Tabberer, which braved mountainous seas to rescue survivors. The trumped-up leadership parable is perhaps unfair to Halsey and Marks. Still, the authors make their account a vivid tale of tragedy and gallantry at sea. Photos. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

Two seasoned writers on maritime subjects offer an impressive, long-overdue account of the U.S. Third Fleet's encounter with a savage typhoon off the Philippines in the autumn of 1944. Admiral William "Bull" Halsey was aggressively determined to remain on station in support of General Douglas MacArthur's "I Shall Return" campaign, the weather-reporting network was inadequate, and a number of ships were low on fuel and, not having taken in water ballast to compensate, had become less stable. The results of the storm encounter thereby entailed the loss of three destroyers, more than 800 men, and many aircraft, and many other ships were heavily damaged. Particular emphasis in this account is laid on the exploits of the destroyer escort Tabberer, one of the smallest ships in the fleet. She not only rode out the mountainous seas with a minimum of damage but also rescued most of the survivors of the sunken destroyer Hull. An entirely gripping account and a guaranteed hit with maritime buffs. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; 1st edition (November 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871139480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871139481
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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on July 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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on November 29, 2007
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
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