A modern take on personalities of the PTO in WWII.
by ryefish on June 8, 2007In "Sea of Thunder," Evan Thomas has written a compelling piece of WWII history that is of interest to both casual readers and historical scholars alike.
Thomas's research has sought to reveal the human side of the men whose four way paths may have been destined to cross, but not for the Fates of history.
To some readers it will outwardly appear that Thomas has sought to malign Admiral Halsey, I do not believe that was his intent. The sources for Thomas's book are obviously more akin to reveal the shortcomings of American commanders as Japanese sources remain inherently less transparent on their misgivings and opinions of the leadership of Imperial Japan.
If anything, I would say that "Sea of Thunder," reveals the humanity of men like Halsey who could in one sentance call for the all-out slaughter and suspicion of the Japanese, while criticizing Truman’s use of the atomic bombs as excessive. We should be grateful and not ashamed that much of our WWII leadership was indeed human, and therefore subject to all the characteristics of human imperfection.
In the clarity of historical hindsight, it is easy to make generalized appraisals of what was done right and what was not. I believe that despite the outward appearance of tactical errors during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, destiny prevailed.
Though Thomas is a journalist and not considered a “historian,” it should be understood that journalists are very much history’s storytellers. There is no reason to believe that Thomas’s journalistic background cannot produce a book that both captures a historical event while also producing the entertaining read that “Sea of Thunder” indeed is. Thomas taps into the anecdotes of the story that stuffy historical monographs often lack, producing a work that transcends the limited audience of historians alone.
You're signed up (and we ♥ you). Watch for our Welcome e-mail and your first coupon. Thanks!