The thunderous roar of exploding depth charges was a familiar and comforting sound to the crew members of the USS Barb, who frequently found themselves somewhere between enemy fire and Davy Jones's locker. Under the leadership of her fearless skipper, Captain Gene Fluckey, the Barb sank the greatest tonnage of any American sub in World War II. At the same time, the Barb did far more than merely sink ships-she changed forever the way submarines stalk and kill their prey. This is a gripping adventure chock-full of "you ...
The thunderous roar of exploding depth charges was a familiar and comforting sound to the crew members of the USS Barb, who frequently found themselves somewhere between enemy fire and Davy Jones's locker. Under the leadership of her fearless skipper, Captain Gene Fluckey, the Barb sank the greatest tonnage of any American sub in World War II. At the same time, the Barb did far more than merely sink ships-she changed forever the way submarines stalk and kill their prey. This is a gripping adventure chock-full of "you-are-there" moments. Fluckey has drawn on logs, reports, letters, interviews, and a recently discovered illegal diary kept by one of his torpedomen. And in a fascinating twist, he uses archival documents from the Japanese Navy to give its version of events. The unique story of the Barb begins with its men, who had the confidence to become unbeatable. Each team helped develop innovative ideas, new tactics, and new strategies. All strove for personal excellence, and success became contagious. Instead of lying in wait under the waves, the USS Barb pursued enemy ships on the surface, attacking in the swift and precise style of torpedo boats. She was the first sub to use rocket missiles and to creep up on enemy convoys at night, joining the flank escort line from astern, darting in and out as she sank ships up the column. Surface-cruising, diving only to escape, "Luckey Fluckey" relentlessly patrolled the Pacific, driving his boat and crew to their limits. There can be no greater contrast to modern warfare's long-distance, videogame style of battle than the exploits of the captain and crew of the USS Barb, where they sub, out of ammunition, actually rammed an enemy ship until it sank. Thunder Below! is a first-rate, true-life, inspirational story of the courage and heroism of ordinary men under fire. "
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Other reviewers have already mentioned the aspects of this extremely well researched and written book that deal with WWII submarine operations. I want to focus on the book as a manual for what truly outstanding leadership looks like--and not just in the life or death context of war. Just watch and ponder how Admiral Fluckey handles his men in all sorts of situations. The inclusiveness. The trust he receives--and gives. His--gasp--copping to mistakes. The complete dearth of discipline problems in five war patrols. There are so many lessons on leadership here that I wish this book was required reading at business schools, police academies, schools of education, and service academies. It really is one of the best books I've ever read. Period.
Apr 10, 2014
A Must Read!
One of the best books I have ever read. If you enjoy books about WW 11, then you must read this book.
May 23, 2013
An excellent story of an operational submarine. It gives one the idea of how one has to live on a sub plus the events that happened during the operation of the craft.
Feb 21, 2008
This is one of the best books I have ever read. It takes you on an hour and daily true life aboard a deasel submarine during wartime operations. The author ( Captain ) has used factual documents for this book. Great reading!
Aug 31, 2007
Thunder Below by Gene Fluckey
Admiral Fluckey presents his exploits as theCaptain of the submarine USS BARB during WWII. One must start this read with some idea of submarine technology from that period and the conditions in which the submariners lived. The movie DAS BOOT will provide a background. With that in mind, Admiral Fluckey discusses in a straightforward way how he came to be so successful. It is somewhat like General Grants Autobiography where he presents his Civil War work in a straightforward unemotional way. Admiral Fluckey does, however, report his thinking and feelings and goes to great lengths to determine the results of some of his attacks. All in all, the book tells what is was like in WWII in a very readable interesting manner. PS: This book is out of print. I bought a used copy.
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