Russell Crenshaw's riveting account of the savage night battle for the Solomon Islands in early 1943 offers listeners a unique insider's perspective from the decks of one of the destroyers that bore the brunt of the struggle. Drawing on his experience as a gunnery officer in the USS Maury, Crenshaw's vivid, balanced, and detailed narrative includes the Battle of Tassafaronga in November 1942 and Vella Gulf in August 1943, actions that earned his warship a Presidential Unit Citation and sixteen battle stars. Crenshaw also discusses the impact of radar and voice radio, the shortcomings of U.S. torpedoes and gunfire, and the devastating effectiveness of Japan's super torpedo.
©1998 Russell Snydor Crenshaw, Jr. (P)2011 Tantor
This is a much needed window into the history of US destroyer action in the South Pacific. Other than the stories of "The Little Beavers" of Burke's DesRon 23, and the fate of the tincans of Halsey's 3rd Fleet in Typhoon Cobra, little has been written about American destroyer operations during World War Two with any great specificity. Unfortunately the narrator's ignorance of anything "naval" or any familiarity with Naval history detracts from the subject matter with his repeated mispronunciations of both terminology and proper names. One would think that the editors would ensure that these errors would nor occur. Any fellow member of the US Naval Institute will cringe at these glaring errors. Content is outstanding, but the delivery while enthusiastic, makes this a tedious book to listen to for long periods of time.
I have found that this naval terminology mispronunciation problem is systemic on audible books due to ignorance and a lack of oversight, but one should expect that they would get proper names such as "Grumman" and "Mitscher" correct!
This is the first time I have not been able to finish an audio book. To begin with, the story itself is tedious. The writer goes into exacting detail on how every part of the destroyer works even into how the gears of a particular machine operates. But the worst part about the book is the narration. This narrator is just horrible. He reminds me of those mine-numbing health movies we had to listen to in middle school. Think of paint drying - he really is that bad. After listening to "Unbroken" or "Lost in Shangria La" or "Finish Forty and Home" I guess I thought all narrators would be on their level. Boy was I wrong. From now on I will click on the little sample button before I purchase another audio book.
I liked the realistice portrayal of life on a Destroyer in WWII. The performance was less than acceptable
He doesn't seem to be familiar with the terms in the story-mispronouncing many of them. Overall his performance seems choppy.
I have read and listened to a ton of WWII history, focused most heavily on the pacific naval war theatre. Often you don't get a lot of the destroyer detailed perspective, so I was expecting a lot of minutia and thats what I got. I was interested in giving this book a try as some of the detail fills in gaps when you hear the "big picture" but not the daily grind. Based on the comments of other reviewers I was concerned, and they are correct. This reader really makes it tough, sorry to say I stopped listening halfway thru.
Reader inflection, tone, continuity in reading is all lacking to the point I couldn't get thru this.
Cannot recommend - this is the first book I have not been able to finish - as another reader remarked the narrator is horrible. Despite trying to infuse his own interpretation of drama, his narration actually comes off as annoying. Too bad, liked the premise but couldn't stand listening to the reader.
The narrator made listening to the book very difficult. I've listened to many books like this one. I can listen to them for hours. However, after listening to a third of the book I gave up.
This book goes into great detail, both about the battles and about the workings of destroyers. For hard-core military-history enthusiasts, this is excellent because that level of detail is rare. I value it because it gives me a good idea what it was like to do various tasks on a destroyer, especially in functions such as firing guns and operating the engine room. A non-hard-core reader might not want that level of detail, but every book has an audience for which it is the best fit.
The narrator is not a good fit for this material. He does not know the pronunciation of various naval terms, ship names, and place names, and his accent is offputting for this material. The material is worth it, though -- so if you don't like the narrator, please persevere. :)
Overall, I definitely recommend this book to readers who are interested in naval history and who like lots of technical detail. This part of WWII is not that well known, so I value a book on the topic with this level of detail.
For those who liked this book, you might also like Neptune's Inferno.
Real Story of Naval Surface Action!
The Narrator, Alan Jones, makes an excellent read of an already riviting story. Alan is one of the Best I have ever heard in my 100 Gb book collection. I am well read about WW ll. But, I have always thought most of the real victories came from Carrie/plane actions. I now appreciate just how much Suface Actions our little
Mr. Alan Bomar Jones is now my favorite voice. Great Job Alan!
Tin Can War, a Real Life Adventure in WW ll
WW ll students won't be disapointed.
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