- Hardcover: 212 pages
- Publisher: Naval Institute Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591147786
- ISBN-13: 978-1591147787
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,066,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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We Were Pirates: A Torpedoman's Pacific War 1st Edition
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Schultz (English, Roanoke Coll.) and Shell base their book one of the few completely candid accounts of the submarine war in the Pacific Theater on the war diary of torpedoman Robert Hunt, supplemented by their further original research. Hunt enlisted in 1939 and served on the USS Tambor from 1940 to 1944. He participated in and managed to survive an incredible 12 consecutive war patrols, which covered just about every major event in the war against Japan, from action in support of the U.S. Marines on Wake Island to the Kuril Islands and the Sea of Okhotsk. This is an excellent read, distinctive for its enlisted man's, rather than officer's, perspective. It should be in all World War II collections. --Library Journal
About the Author
Robert Schultz is the Fishwick Professor of English at Roanoke College in Virginia. His books include a novel, The Madhouse Nudes, and two collections of poetry. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Award in Fiction, Cornell University's Corson Bishop Poetry Prize, and, from The Virginia Quarterly Review, the Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry.
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The elations and the frustrations are all here: returning to Pearl Harbor two weeks after December 7, 1941, the scandalously defective torpedoes (covered up by Navy brass), the rare success of an attack, and the terrifying experience of being depth-charged for hours. But there are also the shore leaves, the long train rides back to Iowa, and the difficulty of fitting in again with the rest of the world. Other reviewers commented on Bob's frequent romantic adventures (and this is rare in nonfiction) but I noted that the women are shown to be quite equal to the sailors in these wartime encounters.
This isn't the usual tale of Pacific submarine warfare, confined as it is to the experience of one sailor on one submarine. Authors Schultz and Shell succeed in placing us right next to Bob Hunt - on duty and off. This is a very good book.
"I asked him if the boat had flown both the American flag and the battle flag, and he said, 'On patrol we didn't fly a flag. We were pirates.' "
Note: Like some others, I was put off by the high price of the Kindle edition. I ended up buying a used hardcover for less than $10, delivered. The photos, drawings, and facsimiles of Bob's diary were an added bonus. Glad to have this one in my library.
view. Though the main character was very much a true torpedoman his best friend
Gordon(Red)Mayo was my main intrest.I personnally know Gordon and he is one remarkable
person.Any one who can sit on the sonar gear wearing earphones of the day during 17 hours
of depth charge attack,let alone all the other depth charge attacks for a total of 575depth charges
dropped on the Timor during the war without going batty has to be remarkable.
The crew of this boat set a standard for the submarine force of the United States Navy that will
hard to maintain.
I confess that I would not have read it, despite my enthusiasm for the Kindle sample, had I not clicked on "Buy Now." I started the sample a few days after downloading it, and I had forgotten the price.
The price the publisher set, $16.99, is beyond outrageous for a Kindle book.
I paid for the book, and finished it in two days. The narrative is a bit hard to follow, because it treats Chief Hunt's R & R periods as almost a separate biography, and it was difficult to relate the rest period(s) to a particular patrol. That aside, this is one compelling read.
I didn't regret spending the money on this Kindle book--the book is a must-read for serious historians, military or otherwise--but I wonder how many people will not even try the sample when they see the price tag. Publishers should note that many e-book readers don't buy e-books with prices that are close to hardcover prices.
It's very important to collect these narratives, especially from enlisted personnel, as so many of the submarine non-fiction from World War II has come from officers, and the enlisted men should have some narratives to balance the officer books,especially since most submariners weren't officers.
Well worth the time. The price? I'm going to be very careful about clicking on "Buy Now" in the future. I repeat, I don't regret buying the book, but a price under $10 would bring the book to a much larger audience.