Only now, thanks to documents that have been declassified after 60 years and scores of firsthand accounts from survivors, can the story finally be told. Informed by years of rigorous research and narrated with the immediacy of an action movie, Halsey's Typhoon is an enthralling true tale of courage and survival against impossible odds and one of the finest untold World War II sagas of our time.
©2007 Bob Drury and Tom Clavin; (P) and ©2007 HighBridge Company
"A vivid tale of tragedy and gallantry at sea." (Publishers Weekly)
This is an incredible story of courage and seamanship. It is even more amazing knowing the sailors were trying to avoid two foes (the Japanese and a major typhoon) at the same time with little available information. The authors expertly blend in the science of meteorology with the real life challenges of trying to keep these ships afloat and the struggle to survive in the open ocean. I highly recommend this book.
Excellent book for those who aren't aware of this little footnote of WWII. Because most people aren't familiar with the US Navy's Third and Fifth Fleets, much space is dedicated to background on how "Bull" Halsey and the Third Fleet came to be in the Philippine Sea on 17 December 1944.
The book is extremely well researched and tells the story in as impartial manner as possible. I listened to the book straight through in spite of the fact that I was very cognizant of the facts. The book reads like a historical novel. The authors weave essentially 5 story lines together to tell the 2 day saga. The result is a tale of hubris, tractability, heroism, insubordination, fatalism, life and death.
My only negatives are minor. The narrator mispronounced some nautical equipments, but was consistent in his mispronouncements. The authors also had minor problems with terminology. For example, the only "ceilings" onboard US Navy ships are those made of panels that are suspended by wires, hanging from the "overhead". I only mention these small errors because they stood out in an otherwise outstandingly researched book where the authors went to great pains to use authentic Naval terminology.
It's typical of the work of the US Navy in WWII. Great heroism and resourcefulness by the crews, leadership that was at times arrogant, at others incompetent and at others prescient and selflessly dedicated to serving their crews and others, risking their careers and lives on what others thought missions of a fool.
I didn't enjoy this quite as much as Drury and Clavin's other work "The Last Stand of Fox Company", but it was still unbelievably gripping at times. Definitely a good listen.
This is a riveting story of man against nature, and reads with heart-pounding action. The story of individual ships saved and lost during this little known side note of World War II is well told within the context of a string of mistakes, bad judgement and bad luck that put them at peril.
The narration is well suited for the work.
This is one of those books I always wanted to read and finally made the effort. This was not only an outstanding history of Halsey's fleet battling through this storm, it was an excellent audio recording, very engaging and clear. I really enjoyed this.
Great story that needs to be told of the men and the disaster. The fog of war mixed with the lack of technology we sometimes take for granted, the drive to win for Halsey possibly tempered with his failure at Battle of Leyte Gulf with corresponding need to support MacArthur's operation in Luzon. Coupled with poor battle communications that plagued the Pacific and the capricious nature of luck where when it works its a miracle and when it fails its devastating to those hopeful. The audio book is great and I do like the interview at the end with the author, producer, and narrator. Recommended heartily on a subject that is usually a very noted issue but one that is rarely fleshed out.
This book was well researched and well thought out. It told the story in an engaging way and the performance was unique. I listen mainly to non-fiction historical works and this is the first one I've listened to with two narrators and music fades. I found this style well suited to the particular subject matter and it added a bit of drama without being disrespectful of the events. The book gave a decent amount of technical and historical background and then got straight to the point. I only recall one instance of what could be perceived as a mispronunciation of a name, but I think some reviewers have too much time on their hands and pick too much apart with narrators. Obviously it's the narration that can make or break an audio book. The narration here was done very well and the narrator has been added to my top ten list.
The story telling is so good you feel like you are actually living through the heavy seas and pounding of the waves. Very realistic.
It is a great accurate and detailed account of what happen.
All of the detailed accounts from the sailors that were rescued.
Ted J. Welch
This is a great piece of history. The book is well documented and provides readers an unbiased view of the facts as they were. The authors do not try to apply today's sensibilities to the events detailed, but rather points to the issues of the day. The narration is entertaining and easy to listen to. If you are a Naval history enthusiast, this is a must read.
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