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Publisher's Summary

December 1944, the Pacific Theater. General Douglas MacArthur has vowed to return to the Philippines. He will need the help of Admiral William "Bull" Halsey's Pacific Fleet. But at the height of the invasion, Halsey's ships are blindsided by a typhoon of unprecedented strength and scope. Battleships are tossed like toys, fighter planes are blown off carriers, destroyers are capsized, and hundreds of sailors are swept into the roiling, shark-infested sea.

Only now, thanks to documents that have been declassified after 60 years and scores of firsthand accounts from survivors, can the story finally be told. Informed by years of rigorous research and narrated with the immediacy of an action movie, Halsey's Typhoon is an enthralling true tale of courage and survival against impossible odds and one of the finest untold World War II sagas of our time.

©2007 Bob Drury and Tom Clavin (P)2007 HighBridge Company; 16 9

Critic Reviews

"A vivid tale of tragedy and gallantry at sea." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Weather and Naval History Masterpiece

This is an incredible story of courage and seamanship. It is even more amazing knowing the sailors were trying to avoid two foes (the Japanese and a major typhoon) at the same time with little available information. The authors expertly blend in the science of meteorology with the real life challenges of trying to keep these ships afloat and the struggle to survive in the open ocean. I highly recommend this book.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Overcome by Circumstances

Excellent book for those who aren't aware of this little footnote of WWII. Because most people aren't familiar with the US Navy's Third and Fifth Fleets, much space is dedicated to background on how "Bull" Halsey and the Third Fleet came to be in the Philippine Sea on 17 December 1944.
The book is extremely well researched and tells the story in as impartial manner as possible. I listened to the book straight through in spite of the fact that I was very cognizant of the facts. The book reads like a historical novel. The authors weave essentially 5 story lines together to tell the 2 day saga. The result is a tale of hubris, tractability, heroism, insubordination, fatalism, life and death.
My only negatives are minor. The narrator mispronounced some nautical equipments, but was consistent in his mispronouncements. The authors also had minor problems with terminology. For example, the only "ceilings" onboard US Navy ships are those made of panels that are suspended by wires, hanging from the "overhead". I only mention these small errors because they stood out in an otherwise outstandingly researched book where the authors went to great pains to use authentic Naval terminology.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Navy story

It's typical of the work of the US Navy in WWII. Great heroism and resourcefulness by the crews, leadership that was at times arrogant, at others incompetent and at others prescient and selflessly dedicated to serving their crews and others, risking their careers and lives on what others thought missions of a fool.

I didn't enjoy this quite as much as Drury and Clavin's other work "The Last Stand of Fox Company", but it was still unbelievably gripping at times. Definitely a good listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Blake
  • Annapolis, MD, United States
  • 09-21-09

A Nice Detour In Military Reading

This is a riveting story of man against nature, and reads with heart-pounding action. The story of individual ships saved and lost during this little known side note of World War II is well told within the context of a string of mistakes, bad judgement and bad luck that put them at peril.
The narration is well suited for the work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Iain
  • Clinton, CT, United States
  • 09-14-09

A Gripping Maritime Narrative

This is one of those books I always wanted to read and finally made the effort. This was not only an outstanding history of Halsey's fleet battling through this storm, it was an excellent audio recording, very engaging and clear. I really enjoyed this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Amazing story!

I learned a lot of stuff about WW2. I like good stories about the war.

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

interesting

The book was interesting, but lacks some intelligent editing to deal with the misuse of maritime terminology.

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

A true drama on the high seas

Extremely well written book with a great narration. A little known story of world war 2 that needed to be told.

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

Very well presented piece of history

Enjoyed learning about this episode of WWII. A glimpse into a moment of time.this the second audiobook I have from this author and look forward to the next.

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

Great and powerful

Great story that needs to be told of the men and the disaster. The fog of war mixed with the lack of technology we sometimes take for granted, the drive to win for Halsey possibly tempered with his failure at Battle of Leyte Gulf with corresponding need to support MacArthur's operation in Luzon. Coupled with poor battle communications that plagued the Pacific and the capricious nature of luck where when it works its a miracle and when it fails its devastating to those hopeful. The audio book is great and I do like the interview at the end with the author, producer, and narrator. Recommended heartily on a subject that is usually a very noted issue but one that is rarely fleshed out.