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Hellcats: The Epic Story of World War II's Most Daring Submarine Raid Hardcover – November 2, 2010
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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A worthwhile addition to most naval collections, this is the uncensored story of the 1945 penetration of the Sea of Japan by nine U.S. submarines. Penetrating heavy minefields with the aid of a new short-range (and not wholly debugged) sonar, the submarines sank 28 Japanese ships in attacking Japan’s connection to the Asian mainland. Having received extraordinary cooperation from the operation’s survivors and their descendants, Sasgen gives eloquent and accessible accounts for the general reader of the development of the FM sonar, the picking of the submarines, and Operation Barney itself. He also gives a memorable and moving portrait of Laurence Edge, captain of Bonefish, the one submarine lost, and of his family. He suggests that the operation was not really worthwhile, coming as late in the war as June 1945, yet admits that Admiral Lockwood, commanding Pacific Fleet submarines, probably could not have known that. Deserves the commendation well done. --Roland Green
"Sasgen vividly recounts the pulsating drama of the Hellcats... well-written, engaging, and fills in the last chapter of the Navy's submarine war against Japan."
"A worthwhile addition to most naval collections...Sasgen gives eloquent and accessible accounts for the general reader of the development of the FM sonar, the picking of the submarines, and Operation Barney itself...memorable and moving ...Deserves the commendation well done."
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If you want to get more in-depth reading read Admiral Lookheads version as well. Well done sir!
FM Sonar had been developed to help locate enemy mines which would allow American submarines to successfully penetrate the Sea of Japan. After some initial problems were ironed out, nine American submarines, including the USS Bonefish, were headed to the Sea of Japan.
The subs managed to make their way into the Sea, and in the time that they were there, the group managed to sink well over twenty enemy ships. However, not all was well; the Bonefish was lost with all hands.
Sarah Edge, the wife of Captain Lawrence Edge of the Bonefish, refused to believe the initial news that the Bonefish was lost. She spent the next year writing letters to Lockwood and others trying to find out the fate of her husband. Ultimately, as she received replies from Navy personnel, she began to accept the fact that Lawrence was not coming back. The official synopsis of the sinking indicates that the Bonefish had attacked a group of three Japanese patrol boats. All torpedoes fired missed, and the patrol boats began a lethal depth-charge attack that ultimately sank the Bonefish.
Many questions were raised, by Sarah Edge and others, as to the necessity of Operation Barney. Critics argued that Japan was very close to defeat, so why risk nine submarines on a mission that might have proven to be unnecessary? However, in the final analysis, the mission was very successful, and the loss of one submarine can be viewed as acceptable when compared to the Japanese losses.
I found "Hellcats" to be an informative and interesting read. I've read many books about submarine warfare in the Pacific war, but this is the first book I've found that dealt specifically with Operation Barney. Author Peter Sasgen does a good job of describing the FM sonar that was installed in the American submarines to spot the Japanese minefields, and the action in the Sea of Japan is told in vivid detail.
I recommend this book to readers of submarine history. Operation Barney might have been controversial, but there's no denying the final outcome; the Sea of Japan was no longer safe from American submarine attacks.
He says it was an accurate account of " Operation Barney ".
I read it as well, it was a good a read... any book recognizing my Dad and every other man who crawled into a sub during world war two as the heroes they are ... I cannot help but love.
The book gives excellent information on the development of the FM sonar and Admiral Lockwood's unfailing devotion to it's development and installation.
Where the book fails is the almost non-existent tail of the submarines involved in the mission. The book seems to rely entirely on the letters between the only submarine lost in the mission, USS Bonefish and her captain Lawrence Edge, and his wife.
The letters give an emotional tug as Captain Edge speaks of his love for his wife, daughter and unborn child, and his wish to be done with the war and returning to his family.
Outside of each submarine's relation to the Bonefish, there's almost no information on the crews of the other submarines and their reactions to taking on this dangerous mission.
I'm torn about recommending the book, as it does have some good information, I was just left wanting more.