The book focuses on four naval commanders, two American, two Japanese, whose lives collided at the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944 - a clash involving more ships (almost 300), more men (nearly 200,000) and covering a larger area (more than 100 thousand square miles, roughly the size of the British Isles) than any naval battle in recorded history. Sea of Thunder is the story of the titanic and grotesque cultural misunderstanding between people who consistently misjudged and underestimated each other.
©2006 Evan Thomas; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC.
Pretty well written with good narration. Not really much new here. Uses "Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailor", and Ugaki's diary "Fading Victory" as the primary sources, so if you have read them then pass on this. "Fading Victory" is a very good read and a must-have for any Pacific War buff, but it is not available in audio format.
This is an excellent view of the Pacific campaign in World War II seen through the eyes of a few of its participants, American and Japanese. Most interesting is the personal insights and the decision making on the part of Japanese command and staff officers from the start of the war through its inevitable conclusion. The narration is perfect, providing the fabric of the printed page without distraction.
I have listened to a lot of books about the Navy and Marine WWII battles in the south and central pacific. Most were accounts from people who were there some were fiction. Thomas did a very fine job of putting a real face on the commanders of the naval forces. At times I thought he was a little hard on the Americans and not hard enought on the Japanes. Halsey was painted out to be to driven as an admiral. From where I stand (which is in the cheap seats) thank god for men like Halsey yes he made some mistakes but over all he and the other admirals did a wonderful job. A fine work by Thomas I enjoyed it.
The narrator's style was good but some of his pronunciations of military jargon were a little off. It revealed a little lack of understanding of military history. A little annoying was his endless and repeated translations of military time to civilian time. After about the fiftieth time I would think he'd get it that the listener would know how to make the conversion.
Other than that, he did pretty well. I particularly liked the fact that he didn't try to sound too Japanese when the IJN admirals were speaking. Most narrators overdo that affectation.
The book offered some insight beyond that given in some previous works on the battle of Leyte gulf, which was its main schwerpunkt.
The narrator made me think he was Halsey, or Nimitz, or whomever. He sounded like someone from the WWII period, if one could describe that. The book however is tremendous and well researched. The author thoroughly researched the four main Admirals and you truly come to know them. I learn a lot about sea battles and tactics. The account is very honest in dealing with the good and bad decisions made on both sides.
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