John Wukovits tells of the most dramatic naval battle of the Pacific War and the incredible sacrifice of the USS Samuel B. Roberts.
On October 25, 1944, the Samuel B. Roberts, along with the other 12 vessels comprising its unit, stood between Japan’s largest battleship force ever sent to sea and MacArthur’s transports inside Leyte Gulf. Faced with the surprise appearance of more than 20 Japanese battleships, cruisers, and destroyers - including the Yamato, at 70,000 tons the most potent battlewagon in the world - the 1,200-ton Samuel B. Roberts turned immediately to action with six other ships. Captain Copeland marked the occasion with one of the most poignant addresses ever given to men on the edge of battle: "Men," he said over the intercom, "we are about to go into a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected."
The ship churned straight at the enemy in a near-suicidal attempt to deflect the more potent foe, allow the small aircraft carriers to escape, and buy time for MacArthur’s forces. Of 563 destroyers constructed during World War II, the Samuel B. Roberts was the only one sunk, going down with guns blazing in a duel reminiscent of the Spartans at Thermopylae or Davy Crockett’s Alamo defenders. The men who survived faced a horrifying three-day nightmare in the sea, where they battled a lack of food and water, scorching sun and numbing nighttime cold, and nature’s most feared adversary - sharks.
The battle would go down as history’s greatest sea clash, the Battle of Samar - the dramatic climax of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
©2013 John Wukovits (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"On October 25, 1944, the USS Samuel B. Roberts took part in one of the most doomed naval battles in US history…. Wukovits recounts the battle in harrowing detail, while providing intimate glimpses into the lives of the men on board." (Publishers Weekly)
The story of ordinary men and their extreme, selfless acts of bravery. You get to know the crew, their lives, their loves and hopes, and you see how that affects them in the time of greatest crisis.
I have not, but this one was pretty good. I'd definitely give him another listen without hesitation.
The Ship That Fought Like A Battleship
This is not a rather happy book by the end, and many times while listening to it on my lunch break or driving around I had to switch to something more upbeat. Be prepared for that when you give a listen. Despite that (or maybe because of it) I feel that this should be essential reading for anyone interested in WWII, or history at all. It feels like the quintessential story of American heroism, and what we want to be.
This is one of the better written and read WWII naval stories I have listened to and I have listened to about 100 and read over 300 WWII histories and memoirs. I would rank it in the top 20. The author does a good job of explaining the big picture but mostly concentrates on the individual sailors stories who served on the Sammie B. which I prefer. The narrator was very good and helped the listener feel like it was the actural sailor telling us his part of the story. I especially liked that the author did not end the story when the battle ended. But instead, let the reader know what happened to the many sailors who survived and a little about their lives after the war.
Considering the young age of these sailors, what they accomplished and what they sacrificed for our country, it is no exaggeration that they truely are "Our Greatest Generation".
unbelievably scary story
I prefer audio....Dean is a fine reader.
The miniscule destroyer escourt attacking cruisers & battleships...the torpedo run.
This HAS to be one of the best story's ever written about....
ranking with the Alamo & Charge of the Light brigade in the Crimean war.....
The unvbelievable heroics of Charles Natter brings tears to the eyes.
Spartans have NOTHING on these American Sailors...
George WIlliams QM2 USNR....attached to the USS Whitehurst, DE634 (many years ago)
While most WW II history books focus on the Admirals and decision makers, this book is unique in that it covers the history of a single ship. From the laying of the keel and the composition of the crew through to the tragic end, this story will keep your interest.
As a Navy man myself, I appreciated the detail the author brought to this story. That he did so in such a smooth and interesting way gives tributes to the authors literary skills. While American in focus, the nationality of the ship isn't that important. What is important is the story of the men and how they came together in just 6 months. There are many lessons to be learned in this book.
I can recommend this to anyone with an interest in WWII, history, leadership, ships, or in excellent stories that just happen to be true. Try it. You won't be disappointed.
Audible books are the perfect companion for my 4 mile morning walk!
This book really reminds us that heroism can come from anywhere, but just as importantly it helps remind us why we should avoid sending our soldiers into harms way unless absolutely necessary. WWII didn't end with the Japanese surrender for the extended family of the Samuel Roberts - it continues today.
While this is a good story, it would almost be better told as an extended magazine article. There's just not enough material for a full book unless the reader is a Navy afficionado, or is perhaps related directly to events or people in the book. The crux of the story comes down to just a few pages in the entire book.
Exceptional story from military history.
Enjoyed the whole thintg from the background of the individuals to the battle and afterwards.
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