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The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour - James D. Hornfischer most Americans are familiar with the Battle of Midway, June 1942, the famous cryptological decrypts; the US aircraft carrier rushed to repair; the 4 Japanese fleet aircraft carriers caught at the vulnerable moment as they switch from land bombs to ocean torpedoes-- and Pearl Harbor is avenged. lesser known is the last fleet-on-fleet battle in history, the Battle off Samar 25 October 1944 in which due to Japanese decoy action, the US Navy Task Force 3 ("Taffy 3") comprising 'jeep carrier' escort aircraft carriers and destroyers under Vice Admiral 'Ziggy' Sprague faced the pride of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the Yamato, and other major battleships. the central point of the drama (although historians disagree) was that if IJN Admiral Kurita could break through US lines, vulnerable transport ships including many packed full of Marines would have become sitting ducks. faced with the absolute need for defense, the US Navy started to put up a spirited defense, even firing handguns from planes that had already dropped their bombs or torpedoes... and the reviewer will stop here to prevent the need for well we won

Hornfischer's account is very tersely written, without ornament or unnecessary detail. he keeps up the tempo, and the action/excitement doesn't flag, through the battle and aftermath, and dashing from pilot's eye view to admiral's eye view to ordinary gun crew's viewpoint. his vivid, exciting prose brings the battle to life, and indeed, as mentioned, some historians are now struggling to point out that, well actually, there was another destroyer task force between Kurita and the vulnerable transports so disaster was not quite so imminent. however, just about all historians agree Kurita could have bagged all 6 escort carriers, instead of the two he did sink

4/5 very high quality military non-fiction, a-list, and in some circles a legendary work