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Publisher's Summary

A dramatic World War II adventure set on a US destroyer under ferocious kamikaze attack, by the Boyd Award-winning author of Pacific Glory.

By the spring of 1945, the once mighty Japanese fleet has been virtually destroyed, leaving Japan open to invasion. The Japanese react by dispatching hundreds of suicide bombers against the Allied fleet surrounding Okinawa. By mid-May, the Allied fleet is losing a major ship a day to murderous swarms of kamikazes streaming out of Formosa and southern Japan. The radar picket line is the first defense and early warning against these hellish formations, but the Japanese direct special attention to these lone destroyers stationed north and west of Okinawa.

One destroyer, the USS Malloy, faces an even more pressing issue when her Executive Officer Connie Miles begins to realize that the ship's much-admired Captain Pudge Tallmadge is losing his mind under the relentless pressure of the attacks. Set against the blazing gun battles created by the last desperate offensive of the Japanese, Executive Officer Miles and the ship's officers grapple with the consequences of losing their skipper's guidance - and perhaps the ship itself and everyone on board.

Vividly authentic, historically accurate, and emotionally compelling, Sentinels of Fire is military adventure at its best.

©2014 P. T. Deutermann (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Published by arrangement with St. Martin’s Press, LLC.

What listeners say about Sentinels of Fire

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Continued excellence

It amazes me that I, a 64 year old woman, am riveted by this series, including Sentinels of Fire. This third novel is mostly sea battle scenes, yet the author holds my attention throughout. He weaves in each character’s humanity, bravery, and fear in each battle and the cost to them, be it mental or physical.
As the daughter of a WWII Pacific Theatre veteran, I was always aware of the brutality of war, but as a child of the ‘60’s, I questioned the wisdom of using the atomic bomb in Japan. Between my father's explanation and reading these novels by P.T. Deutermann, I fully understand. Kudos to this author for bringing the desperation of WWII to life for those of us who could only try to imagine it.

#military #gritty #inspiring #World War II #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

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Riveting

This story takes place in the spring of 1945 aboard the destroyer USS Malloy. The destroyer is on radar picket duty off the coast of Okinawa. The Malloy is fitted with the brand new long range radar system and is to serve as an early warning for the fleet. Our protagonist is the executive officer, Connie Miles. The ship’s Captain is losing his mind under the pressure of constant attacks plus he has been in the war since the beginning. Miles is new to destroyer duties as he is a transfer from the Aircraft Carrier. Miles and fellow officers need to cover for the Captain and Miles needs to take over his duties. Miles being new to the destroyer tries out new techniques some successful others not.

The book is well written and meticulously researched. The description of the Kamikaze attacks is dramatic. The author is a master in writing battle scenes. Deutermann vividly portrays the battle off Okinawa in all its horror. This is a great historical fiction story of life on a destroyer during WWII.

Dick Hill does an excellent job narrating the book. His voice is perfect for this type of book. Hill is a multi-award winning audiobook narrator.

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Outstanding!!! Hmc usn retired

Best book I have ever read. I was 21 years in navy on active service

4 people found this helpful

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Another Masterful Story From P.T. Deutermann

I won't spend a lot of time extolling the virtues of this well written novel of WWII naval action at the destroyer level. I recommend though that YOU DO go to Amazon and read all the compelling reviews there. I rarely give 5 star reviews, but I have in all three categories rated for this novel. I especially want to commend the performance of the narrator Dick Hill, a real professional. Years ago when my eyes started to tire easily, I switched to audio books vs. reading the written page. To my great amazement, I found that an author's great writing and story line could be even more enhanced by the choice of a skilled and talented narrator. A good one can add so much life and character to the written version through nuance and emphasis that creates a reality of complete believability and puts you right in the middle of it. WELL DONE Mr. Hill... 5 PLUS stars...

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An outstanding story of the Destroyers on the picket line at Okinawa in 1945

My father was with 10th Army on Okinawa in 1945 so I grew up hearing stories of the land battle there all my life. I had a chance to spend 3 weeks there during the Vietnam War and got to visit where my father was stationed at Naha. This interest in the island drew me to P T Deutermann's epic saga of the Destroyers on the picket line just north of Okinawa during the historic campaign there from April to June 1945.
This story is very well told and the detail is incredible. It is a page turner of a book (as are all of P T Deutermann's tales) and highly recommended. If you are seeking to really understand what the Navy went through during this campaign, this is the book for you.
The narration and audio are top notch. I'm picky about that since I figure that if I am going to invest a significant amount of time studying a period of history I want it to sound right. This is very well done and I'm glad I set the the time aside to listen to it.

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Fascinating and brutal

During World War II, Japan invaded many parts of Asia and Southeast Asia, much for natural resources Japan needed but did not have in Japan, primarily oil and gasoline, as well as materials needed to build their war machines. They overextended themselves. Their 2nd greatest mistake was the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Their 1st mistake was to withdraw after the attack.

In the previous books I've read in this series, the setting was onboard American submarines and the form of war submariners endure and bring to their adversary. In this book, the setting is the 'tin can' Navy, i.e. destroyers. Furthermore, the story concentrates on the bloody & brutal invasion of Okinawa in the waning days of the war. Japanese forces prepared for the invasion by building caves and stocking them with food, water and ammo. Japanese military commanders knew the war was almost over and they faced imminent defeat. They intended to make the American Marines & Army soldiers earn Okinawa at great cost and loss. This of course was not lost on senior US military officers as well as the President of the United States. Gaining Okinawa was supposed to provide the American forces with a staging area for Marines, Naval ships, fighter aircraft and bombers to invade the Japanese home islands, but the battle for Okinawa made it bloodily apparent that the invasion of Japan's home islands could result in the deaths of millions of Japanese citizens as well as Japanese & American military forces. There would be no quick surrender by Japan if American military forces invaded Japan's home islands.

Japan was already experiencing a serious loss of the natural resources they desperately needed to wage war, especially oil and gasoline as US submarines inflicted serious losses on tankers, cargo ships and troop carriers. As the Japanese forces were being pushed back towards Japan, they began using every means possible to prosecute the war. Most shocking of all was Japan's use of young, barely trained pilots to be used as suicidal missiles against US Navy warships. These kamikazes became fairly accurate human driven missiles and caused the destruction of many US Navy ships and the loss of many sailors and Marines. They were very difficult to fight against. Furthermore, the idea of a human being purposely committing suicide as a weapon was demoralizing to Americans as the concept of kamikaze pilots was far beyond our culture and our reverence for life.

This book details the impacts of kamikazes upon destroyers during the battle for Okinawa. The author doesn't hold back on detail!

Some things I've noticed in Mr. Deutermann's style of writing is that he keeps the story firmly rooted in it's time period. There's no political correctness to be found, which is refreshing in this day and age. History is based on facts and the facts are not always very pretty. As President John Adams was fond of saying, 'facts are inconvenient things.' So we experience the hatred Americans had for the Japanese during the war as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many Americans had racist perceptions of Japanese that was fed by this anger and hatred. (I'm sure Japanese felt the same way towards Americans. Much propaganda is always employed during wars.) Black people are referred to as Negroes, which was actually quite common. The lone Black sailor on the destroyer in this story was the ship's baker. Black sailors weren't permitted to handle weapons at that time.

One other thing I've noticed is that Mr. Deutermann has a clear focus on smoking, specifically cigarette smoking. He appears to find cigarette smoking disgusting, maybe for personal reasons. Few characters are non-smokers and many are heavy smokers. Again, quite common back then. What I found interesting is his use of the term 'cancer sticks' in referring to cigarettes. I thought that term came into use in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I thought that lung cancer became linked to smoking in the late 1950s, leading to warnings from the US Surgeon General to be printed on cigarette packs in the mid 1960s. Until then, doctors smoked as much as everyone else. If true, perhaps Mr. Deutermann is employing some literary license.

Now, on to "The Commodore!"

1 person found this helpful

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Destroyer Picket Line - Okinawa

I knew of the WW2 Kamakazie attacks at the end of the war but never read much about them. I thought they were occasional and not something that had any impact on how the war was being waged at the end. This story is remarkable in telling the plight of the destroyer picket line that was supposed to give the carriers and big gun ships warning of what was coming. And what was coming was horrendous. Before Okinawa, it was thought that there might be 500 or so planes left for Kamakazie attacks. It turns out there were more like 5,000. And teenage Japanese boys (watch the U tube videos) were willing and eager to fly themselves into American ships since that was about the only viable weapon Japan had left for waging the naval war.

This story is more than a story about naval heroism on the picket line American destroyers. The author attempts to give the flavor of what it was like to serve on one of those destroyers on the picket line.

On a side note, I was a college wrestler in the late 1960s on a top ranked NCAA Division II team. The coach recruited Japanese High School Champions, from Japan of course. They did well. One was an NCAA Division I National Champion.

I wish I had not been too reserved to talk with one of my Japanese teammates about his three uncles who had been Kamakazie pilots. He was outspoken and would have told me. (My father piloted B-29s off of Tinian with the fire bombings of Japan at the end of the war. My teammates never knew that.) My teammate and the other three Japanese wrestlers on the team, also my friends, were more serious and different from the other guys on the team who were White and Afro-American. Probably cultural. But also a work ethic that was very strong, like the work ethic that built Japan into an international economic power in the years after the war.

Today three of them now have successful businesses in Washington, Oregon, and Michigan. I know that I, born in 1947, was heavily influenced by all the WWII veterans who surrounded me as a kid: both of my parents, relatives, neighbors, teachers, work supervisors, and men I worked with in my 20s and 30s. How would my friends from Japan have been influenced by the people they grew up with, people who lived through the war?

I think of Maus, Koji, Yoshi, and Toshi sometimes when I read books about the war with Japan. And I read books like Capt. Duetermann's books to understand the kinds of things the men and women veterans who influenced me growing up went through in their 20s, the years in our lives that I believe are the foundation to our adult personalities and lives.

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Deutermann Nailed it Again

Great book about the WWII Pacific battle for Okinawa, and the brave men who manned the destroyer picket line.

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Impressive telling

Commander Deutermann provided an excellent recount of the events of the “Tin Can sailors” crucial role during WWII. I highly recommend this excellent novel.

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Absolutely great book !

Narration was top notch for a top notch book. The picket line off Okinawa is a fascinating subject and this novel does a great job presenting it.