Men of Poseidon : Life at Sea Aboard the USS Rall Paperback – October 1, 2000
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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From the Publisher
What's also impressive is that Dick is a natural storyteller with an excellent memory. He has filled the book with many anecdotes, such as the touching story of an underage recruit, and Dick's own unsuspecting participation in a "torpedo juice" drinking party. He has included a lot of funny tales and wry observations.
Dick is also a stickler for accuracy, and has spent countless hours with the original ship's log, the battle damage report, and correspondence with living crew members to get the facts straight.
Another thing I like is that this story starts before the war, when many young men were ambivalent about what America's involvement should be. It concludes after the war, as we learn which crew members went where after the USS Rall was decommissioned.
In short, this is an excellent book. I'm very glad I published it.
From the Author
Imagine a bunch of 17 or 18 year old kids, and a handful of "90 day wonders" like me out there fighting a war. I was an "old man" of 24 when I stood Officer of the Deck (OOD) watches on the USS Rall.
It's a gut-wrenching experience to take full responsibility for a ship and its 210 lives for a watch. When we were escorting a division of troops, 20,000 lives and all their supplies could be imperiled by my decisions and the crew's actions.
But that's why this book is called "Men of Poseidon." Poseidon was the Greek god of the sea, and this story is about young men who, in the beginning, did not know the sea but developed into seamen worthy of Poseidon's approval. You can also take it as the story of any one of tens of thousands of young sailors of that time.
We had all been to Naval schools and for the most part had learned our jobs well. We were young, self-assured, and maybe a bit cocky. No one was especially brave, yet we were confident and ready. After the war, when we came home, we were heroes and damned proud of our accomplishments.
After the battle of Okinawa. the USS Rall was awarded a Navy Unit Commendation. It starts, "For outstanding heroism in action..." This book is dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives while fighting, especially our crewmates killed on the USS Rall in the battle of Okinawa.
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Paperback : 220 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0615114156
- ISBN-13 : 978-0615114156
- Product Dimensions : 7.75 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Willow Valley Pr (October 1, 2000)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,101,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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When I found this book, Men of Poseidon, I was pretty impressed. The binding is professional, as are the pictures and the layout. There are no weird grammatical errors or spelling problems. The research is impeccable. Throughout, the author refers to specific log entries that he himself had made in the official ships log, which he requested from the US Navy in order to write this book. That brings up an important point. Since the author was an officer on the USS Rall, he was able to get the big picture and understand the real behind the scenes missions. He not only explains what happens on a day to day basis, but addresses why it happened. I learned a great deal from this book that no film or military history book will ever convey. In fact I learned so much that I couldn’t resist emailing the publisher to try to contact Mr. Graves himself, to see if he could help resolve some questions I had run into researching “my” DE, the USS Wintle. Imagine my surprise when he wrote me back and gave me wonderfully detailed information to help me in my work. A DE officer with an amazing memory is a tremendous resource. And he turned out to be a really nice guy.
The most important thing about the book is that the author, Richard Graves, is a very good writer. I was never confused, since the book takes the time to explain everything, yet I was never bored, since he kept things moving. That’s a very hard balance to achieve. The book does not skimp on scope either. It starts in the time leading up to the war, so you can appreciate the anti-war sentiment that was real, and the ambivalence that many people had about it, and continues on to the ships 50-year reunion.
When I categorized DE books, I didn’t put Men of Poseidon in the “action” category, because it doesn’t read that way. It’s not written to culminate in an exciting battle. However, it’s definitely more than a memoir. The USS Rall saw real action. The punishment it took at the hands of a concentrated 8-aircraft Japanese Kamikaze attack was substantial and deadly. I’m sure Mr. Graves could have chosen to write an action book about the episode. But instead he wrote a very personal memoir. It’s not about drama, it’s not about action or inflated speeches. It’s not about firepower, speed and camouflage schemes of a particular ship class. This book really is the story of the sailors of the USS Rall -- regular men in extraordinary circumstances, forced into heroism to serve their country and oppose imperialism. It’s a good book, a fun read, and an inspiring real-life, real-world memoir. It’s one of those book that, after you finish reading it, makes you feel like you just had the most amazing dinner conversation with a great story-teller. In other words, I highly recommend it.