Drawing on oral histories, diaries, correspondence, postwar testimony from both American and Japanese participants, and interviews with survivors, ...Show synopsisDrawing on oral histories, diaries, correspondence, postwar testimony from both American and Japanese participants, and interviews with survivors, Thomas provides this riveting account of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944, the culminating battle of the war in the Pacific. Photos. Maps.Hide synopsis
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The other side of the hill is the title of a book written by Lidell-Hart based upon the interrogations of German generals. On this book we have much information about the Japanese point of view during the the Pacific. Very interesting!
Evan Thomas has captured the accounts of both the emotional and the intellectual decisions which made these admirals show their personalities in their actions. The shoot first, think later, Halsey, the Japanese bound by lessons learned in the past plus their egos which had been trampled by westerners led for a battle to the death with logic thrown to the wind. In the Americans the rash decisions of Halsey caused the Taffy 3 disaster. In the Japanese the entire group of admirals due to hubris led them to the ultimate use of suicide missions by untrained victims of desperation. The images using words was thrillingly chilling, and drew the reader into the very scene depicted. This was a thrilling naval history, a thrilling military history, and a thrilling history of decisions caused by ego, emotion, and the racist attitudes of those years.
I purchased this book to read, in detail, the battle of Leyte Gulf. The first third of the book went into some depth about the cultral differences and upbringing of the opposing countries. Japan and the U.S.
As much as I wanted the book 'to get on with it' the initial chapters did help prepare the reader for how later decisions were made during the height of battle.
A good read but be prepared for the slow start.
In "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.
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