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  • 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten

  • By: C. Snelling Robinson
  • Narrated by: James Killavey
  • Length: 14 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 559
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 521
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 516

In mid-1943, Snelling Robinson joined the crew of the Fletcher class destroyer USS Cotten as a newly commissioned ensign. The Cotten sailed to Pearl Harbor in time to join the Fifth Fleet. Under the command of Admiral Raymond Spruance, the Fifth Fleet participated in the invasions of Tarawa and Iwo Jima and several naval battles in the Philippine Sea and the Leyte Gulf.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding Book and Recording. Five Stars.

  • By Martin on 12-27-14

One of the Best

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'm a bit of a World War 2 buff and have read many first person accounts. Some are good. Some are mediocre and some poorly written. This one is good – in fact one of the best I've come across.

What did you like best about this story?

The book is an honest, personal recollection of the way things were during the author’s tour of duty during the latter part of World War 2. It shows both the good and the bad of being aboard such a Destroyer. In addition to the many battle scenes and tactical descriptions, I liked the way Robinson expressed his opinions honestly, the two biggest examples being his obvious contempt for “higher ups” who were quite lauded at the time, in particular Admiral Halsey and General MacArthur. As he saw it, they both seemed more interested in their own glory than efficiently getting the job done and often put soldiers and sailors in danger when it was not necessary. In hindsight, history now seems to back his opinions.Robinson managed to incorporate history, geopolitics, and strategy into his descriptions of fleet-level movements and battles and all this was well balanced with the more individual-level narrative. Something else I liked about the book was that the quality of the writing is quite good, much better than average for this sort of personal memoir.

What does James Killavey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narration is quite good. The reader takes a “back seat” and lets the story tell itself. It’s read intelligently but without over dramatization. I like this style of narration but some may not. I suggest you listen to the sample.

Who was the most memorable character of 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten and why?

The author and...the Cotten

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed the section on the post-war occupation, especially the tales about the visits to geisha houses. This may not have been politically correct but it was certainly honest and refreshing. Robinson was a very young man at the time, but his attitude toward his duty and attitude toward the Japanese during the occupation was very mature. All in all a refreshing and honest first person account. Five stars to both the book and the narration.

111 of 113 people found this review helpful