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The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors | [James D. Hornfischer]

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

Told from the point of view of the men who waged this steel-shattering battle, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors captures Navy pilots attacking enemy battleships with makeshift weapons and sacrificial valor, a veteran commander improvising tactics never taught in Annapolis, and young crews from across America rising to an impossible challenge.
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Publisher's Summary

Told from the point of view of the men who waged this steel-shattering battle, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors captures Navy pilots attacking enemy battleships with makeshift weapons and sacrificial valor, a veteran commander improvising tactics never taught in Annapolis, and young crews from across America rising to an impossible challenge. It takes us into the heart and mind of an iron-willed, self-made executive officer leading his men throughout a sea of carnage and two hellish days and nights clinging to survival amid oil, blood, sharks, and madness. And it dramatizes how the overmatched U.S. force, enduring the loss of five gallant ships and nearly a thousand brave men, turned a certain crashing defeat into a momentous victory that would lead to the final surrender of America's ruthless imperial foe.

Filled with riveting detail and based on the author's extensive interviews and correspondence with veterans, unpublished eyewitness accounts, declassified documents, and rare Japanese sources, this is war at sea as it has seldom been presented before. It is an unforgettable narrative that captures the essence of heroism, the power of loyalty, and the way in which the unadorned truth is more stirring than legend itself.

Also, this audio program contains excerpts of exclusive interviews with Navy veterans conducted by the author.

©2004 James Hornfischer; (P)2004 Random House, Inc., Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Readable from beginning to end, this popular history magnificently brings to life men and times that may seem almost as remote as Trafalgar to many in the early twenty-first century....One of the finest World War II volumes to appear in years." (Booklist)
"One of the finest WWII naval action narratives in recent years....reads like a very good action novel." (Publishers Weekly)
"Hornfischer is a powerful stylist whose explanations are clear as well as memorable....a dire survival-at-sea saga." (Denver Post)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (51 )
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4.6 (12 )
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  •  
    Anthony Birmingham, CA, USA 02-13-05
    Anthony Birmingham, CA, USA 02-13-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding"

    This book contains an exceptional detailed account of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, focusing on the engagement off the coast of Somar. This battle should be taught to school children in order to demonstrate the resilience of America's finest generation. The book is well written conclusion to a lot of hard work and research. I encourage any one with an interest in Naval history to give it a chance.

    The reader does a great job.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Hudson 07-25-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Greatest Navel Battle"

    This is an excellent account of a little know battle. The Sailors and Commanders do an impossible task with next to nothing. They really are the greatest heros ever born. The reader is great.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall Griffin, GA, USA 06-25-07
    Randall Griffin, GA, USA 06-25-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    "Excellent!"

    This is a riveting story, a David and Goliath tale- except that it is an historical fact! For 6+ hours, I was glued to my seat listening to the story unfold about the courage and sacrifice of our Pacific Fleet. Wonderful!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Danville, CA, USA 09-22-05
    Paul Danville, CA, USA 09-22-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    3
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    "An amazing narrative"

    The mind-boggling heroism displayed by the sailors in this battle is amazing. The story is very well-told and is very hard to put down (or to stop listening to). Almost as interesting is how the magnitude of the loss of life may have been totally avoidable, and the aftermath of this realization among senior Navy staff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Andrew
    Banchory, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom
    3/30/10
    Overall
    "Excellent book slightly let down by the reader."

    This is an excellent story of WWII naval combat at the very sharpest end as well as relating one of the USNs finest and most courageous actions. There is huge tension and drama of a real David vs Goliath battle in which US DDs, DDEs & CVEs were surprised by an overwhelming Japanese surface force and yet through immense bravery and determination won the day. If you're interested in WWII and/or naval history this is a superb story.

    The only fly in the ointment is the narrator, he sounds more like a robot than a person on several occasions although you do get used to his style it does grate somewhat. Listen to a clip before buying just in case.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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