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Operation Storm: Japan's Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of World War II Hardcover – March 19, 2013
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*Starred Review* This meticulously researched piece of WWII naval history spectacularly fleshes out an episode that even naval buffs may have only heard sketched. It is the story of the largest conventional submarines ever built, intended to carry seaplane bombers within striking range of American targets. Those targets changed as the war progressed and Japan’s position regressed, from American cities to the Panama Canal to American fleet anchorages. Plagued by shortages of materials, the slow development of the seaplane bombers, and personality clashes of the officers of the “special submarines,” the I-400s (like so many Axis wonder weapons) never drew Allied blood, let alone having a major effect on the war. However, the Japanese persevered and sent to sea remarkable achievements in naval architecture. The thoroughness with which the author has covered his subject speaks of a Labor of Hercules, although readers who are not fairly serious students of naval history may find the book slow going before the story takes hold of them. --Roland Green
"John Geoghegan's 'Operation Storm' is a fascinating, meticulously researched and deft account of this bizarre chapter." - The Wall Street Journal
"An exciting narrative of a naval showdown revealing hubris and humility on both sides...Geoghegan has scoured the archives to present a little-touted facet of Japanese naval history that offers a fascinating glimpse into the workings of the Japanese mindset at the endgame of the war." -- Kirkus
"Operation Storm is an exciting page turner comparable to the best of Tom Clancy's techno-thrillers--except this tale happens to be true...Geoghegan has delved deeply into...(the) records to tell a fascinating story." -- Aviation History
"Aviation historian Geoghegan’s virtuoso research turns up surviving witnesses and obscure documents to corroborate this engrossing story of politics, logistics, and the technological leaps and bounds made during wartime, and the resulting tale is a thrilling take on a little-known aspect of the conflict in the Pacific theater." -- Publishers Weekly
"A magnificent page-turner that reveals the inside story of a remarkable top secret program, Operation Storm is a powerful, towering achievement." -- David King, bestselling author of Death in the City of Light
“A great historical read, scrupulously researched and brilliantly written. Geoghegan has produced a marvelous insight into the men on both sides who fought a brutal underwater war beneath the waters of the Pacific in WWII.” --Clive Cussler, bestselling author of the Dirk Pitt and NUMA Series
“The Imperial Navy’s submarine force in WWII is still barely understood in the West. Geoghegan has given us one of the first detailed glimpses into the workings of Japan’s undersea fleet. His detailed coverage of the Imperial Navy’s I-400 program is uniquely interesting.” -- Jonathan Parshall, author of Shattered Sword
“Anyone who believes there are no more hidden secrets to World War II will feel differently on seeing this book. I’ve been reading about the war all my life, but knew nothing of the extraordinary weapon whose story John Geoghegan tells here. And tells, I might add, in a riveting, vivid, suspenseful way that makes it hard to stop reading once you’ve begun…it's a remarkable tale.” -- Adam Hochschild, bestselling historian and author of, To End All Wars and King Leopold’s Ghost
“Just when we were beginning to think that every conceivable World War Two topic worthy of study has already had a shelf’s worth of books devoted to it…John Geoghegan’s Operation Storm combines painstaking research and crisp writing to bring to life, for the first time in English, the fascinating story of Japan’s late war I-400 experimental submarine program.” -- M.G. Sheftall, author of Blossoms in the Wind: Human Legacies of the Kamikaze
“Operation Storm does for Japanese submarines what Das Boot did for U-boats showing the human side of a remarkable story no less extraordinary for being true. Geoghegan's splendid research combined with his writing skill makes Storm a genuine page turner." -- Col. (ret.) Walter J. Boyne, former head of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum
"Impressively documented and lucidly written, here is a lively, well-balanced account of
the Imperial Japanese Navy's huge I-400 class submarines and their eleventh hour ‘game-changer’ mission.” --Carl Boyd, co-author of The Japanese Submarine Force and World War II; Professor Emeritus, Old Dominion University; and U.S. Navy submariner 1954-58
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Top Customer Reviews
The story has many twists and turns that keep you wondering, what would have happened if this had been pulled off before the A-bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The writing is vivid and brings to life both sides of this incredible tale. The book reads like a great espionage novel. What makes it all the more amazing is that it really happened!
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a Japanese technological "Hail Mary " that almost worked.
I could see this book being turned into the next big WWII movie. It would be great on the big screen! Buy it! You won't be disappointed!
The brain child of Admiral Yamamoto just after Pearl Harbor, these giants each carried two or three single-seat bombers (floats for return optional) and had enough range to attack New York or Washington. They were finished too late to perform their mission. As the war evolved so did the plans for their use. From pinprick attacks on American cities, their mission was switched to attacking the Panama Canal in an effort to close the vital lifeline,
Although they were a technological marvel, they weren't very practical. The American crew that brought one back to the US for study after the war found them uncomfortable and cranky boats to handle. Their construction consumed enormous amounts of resources the Japanese couldn't spare. Their fuel demands were insupportable by the time they were finished. And their military valuable was questionable at best
Still, it was a fascinating concept.