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Publisher's Summary

John Wukovits tells of the most dramatic naval battle of the Pacific War and the incredible sacrifice of the USS Samuel B. Roberts.

On October 25, 1944, the Samuel B. Roberts, along with the other 12 vessels comprising its unit, stood between Japan’s largest battleship force ever sent to sea and MacArthur’s transports inside Leyte Gulf. Faced with the surprise appearance of more than 20 Japanese battleships, cruisers, and destroyers - including the Yamato, at 70,000 tons the most potent battlewagon in the world - the 1,200-ton Samuel B. Roberts turned immediately to action with six other ships. Captain Copeland marked the occasion with one of the most poignant addresses ever given to men on the edge of battle: "Men," he said over the intercom, "we are about to go into a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected."

The ship churned straight at the enemy in a near-suicidal attempt to deflect the more potent foe, allow the small aircraft carriers to escape, and buy time for MacArthur’s forces. Of 563 destroyers constructed during World War II, the Samuel B. Roberts was the only one sunk, going down with guns blazing in a duel reminiscent of the Spartans at Thermopylae or Davy Crockett’s Alamo defenders. The men who survived faced a horrifying three-day nightmare in the sea, where they battled a lack of food and water, scorching sun and numbing nighttime cold, and nature’s most feared adversary - sharks.

The battle would go down as history’s greatest sea clash, the Battle of Samar - the dramatic climax of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

©2013 John Wukovits (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"On October 25, 1944, the USS Samuel B. Roberts took part in one of the most doomed naval battles in US history…. Wukovits recounts the battle in harrowing detail, while providing intimate glimpses into the lives of the men on board." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Story, Heart Rending and Brave

What did you love best about For Crew and Country?

The story of ordinary men and their extreme, selfless acts of bravery. You get to know the crew, their lives, their loves and hopes, and you see how that affects them in the time of greatest crisis.

Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not, but this one was pretty good. I'd definitely give him another listen without hesitation.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Ship That Fought Like A Battleship

Any additional comments?

This is not a rather happy book by the end, and many times while listening to it on my lunch break or driving around I had to switch to something more upbeat. Be prepared for that when you give a listen. Despite that (or maybe because of it) I feel that this should be essential reading for anyone interested in WWII, or history at all. It feels like the quintessential story of American heroism, and what we want to be.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Lawrenceville, GA, United States
  • 05-15-13

Well Done Naval Story of the Samuel B. Roberts

This is one of the better written and read WWII naval stories I have listened to and I have listened to about 100 and read over 300 WWII histories and memoirs. I would rank it in the top 20. The author does a good job of explaining the big picture but mostly concentrates on the individual sailors stories who served on the Sammie B. which I prefer. The narrator was very good and helped the listener feel like it was the actural sailor telling us his part of the story. I especially liked that the author did not end the story when the battle ended. But instead, let the reader know what happened to the many sailors who survived and a little about their lives after the war.

Considering the young age of these sailors, what they accomplished and what they sacrificed for our country, it is no exaggeration that they truely are "Our Greatest Generation".

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • George
  • Tombstone Arizona
  • 03-20-13

What a story!

If you could sum up For Crew and Country in three words, what would they be?

unbelievably scary story

What did you like best about this story?

the truthfulness

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

I prefer audio....Dean is a fine reader.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The miniscule destroyer escourt attacking cruisers & battleships...the torpedo run.

Any additional comments?

This HAS to be one of the best story's ever written about....
ranking with the Alamo & Charge of the Light brigade in the Crimean war.....
The unvbelievable heroics of Charles Natter brings tears to the eyes.
Spartans have NOTHING on these American Sailors...
George WIlliams QM2 USNR....attached to the USS Whitehurst, DE634 (many years ago)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Eh

This book - I think - would be confusing to anyone not already well familiar with the Battle off Samar. Important details are glossed over or omitted entirely. The author is also very critical of ADM Halsey in a manner not entirely based in reality.

Also, the individual reading the book seems confused by things like punctuation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brad
  • St. Louis, MO
  • 08-08-18

Entertaining and Powerful

This book made me cry. I had previously read Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, which also covers The Battle of Leyte Gulf. This book focuses entirely on the USS Samuel B Roberts instead of the entire battle so has a narrow and more powerful focus. The book is similar in format to Band of Brothers, in that it covers the sailors of Samuel B Roberts through training and early missions, culminating in their part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

The author is clearly biased against Admiral Halsey and lays the blame for the Japanese attack and lost ships with him.

The book presents both acts of heroism and acts of cowardice and self-preservation but does it in a thoughtful and fair manner, pointing out that at times each sailor was doing the best they could under the circumstances.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The “Sammy B”

A moving, profound record of the ship and crew of the Samuel B Roberts. They attacked the Imperial Japanese fleet which attempted to turn the tide of war . A “DE”, destroyer escort, she fought and was sunk in action that caused the Japanese officers aboard one of the warships to come to attention and salute the survivors as they clung to the remains of the Sammy B. A lasting inspiration.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Well worth the time to listen; inspirational.

This is a wonderful story that will make you want to be your best self.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Erik
  • Sooke, British Columbia, Canada
  • 01-24-14

A Navy version of "Band of Brothers"

While most WW II history books focus on the Admirals and decision makers, this book is unique in that it covers the history of a single ship. From the laying of the keel and the composition of the crew through to the tragic end, this story will keep your interest.

As a Navy man myself, I appreciated the detail the author brought to this story. That he did so in such a smooth and interesting way gives tributes to the authors literary skills. While American in focus, the nationality of the ship isn't that important. What is important is the story of the men and how they came together in just 6 months. There are many lessons to be learned in this book.

I can recommend this to anyone with an interest in WWII, history, leadership, ships, or in excellent stories that just happen to be true. Try it. You won't be disappointed.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mark T
  • Portland, OR
  • 01-08-14

A great story - not up to being a full book

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This book really reminds us that heroism can come from anywhere, but just as importantly it helps remind us why we should avoid sending our soldiers into harms way unless absolutely necessary. WWII didn't end with the Japanese surrender for the extended family of the Samuel Roberts - it continues today.

Any additional comments?

While this is a good story, it would almost be better told as an extended magazine article. There's just not enough material for a full book unless the reader is a Navy afficionado, or is perhaps related directly to events or people in the book. The crux of the story comes down to just a few pages in the entire book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Edward
  • Salt Lake City, UT, United States
  • 03-04-13

I would like to see a movie made for this book.

If you could sum up For Crew and Country in three words, what would they be?

Exceptional story from military history.

What was one of the most memorable moments of For Crew and Country?

Enjoyed the whole thintg from the background of the individuals to the battle and afterwards.

What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

Good

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Not sure

0 of 1 people found this review helpful