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The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

James D. Hornfischer
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29. März 2005
“This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.”

With these words, Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland addressed the crew of the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts on the morning of October 25, 1944, off the Philippine Island of Samar. On the horizon loomed the mightiest ships of the Japanese navy, a massive fleet that represented the last hope of a staggering empire. All that stood between it and Douglas MacArthur’s vulnerable invasion force were the Roberts and the other small ships of a tiny American flotilla poised to charge into history.

In the tradition of the #1 New York Times bestseller Flags of Our Fathers, James D. Hornfischer paints an unprecedented portrait of the Battle of Samar, a naval engagement unlike any other in U.S. history—and captures with unforgettable intensity the men, the strategies, and the sacrifices that turned certain defeat into a legendary victory.

From the Hardcover edition.

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The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour + Clash of The Carriers: The True Story of the Marianas Turkey Shoot of World War II
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  • Taschenbuch: 528 Seiten
  • Verlag: Bantam; Auflage: Revised. (29. März 2005)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0553381482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553381481
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,5 x 15,8 x 2,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 149.327 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"One of the finest WWII naval action narratives in recent years, this book follows in the footsteps of Flags of Our Fathers.... exalting American sailors and pilots as they richly deserve.... Reads like a very good action novel."—Publishers Weekly

"Reads as fresh as tomorrow's headlines.... Hornfischer's captivating narrative uses previously classified documents to reconstruct the epic battle and eyewitness accounts to bring the officers and sailors to life."—Texas Monthly

"Hornfischer is a powerful stylist whose explanations are clear as well as memorable.... a dire survival-at-sea saga."—Denver Post

"In The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, James Hornfischer drops you right into the middle of this raging battle, with 5-inch guns blazing, torpedoes detonating and Navy fliers dive-bombing.... The overall story of the battle is one of American guts, glory and heroic sacrifice."—Omaha World Herald

From the Hardcover edition.


Based on eyewitness accounts, declassified Navy documents, and interviews and correspondence with veterans, this epic account chronicles the October 1944 battle off Samar between a vastly outnumbered fleet of American warships and a flotilla of the Japanese Navy, a struggle that changed the course of World War II in the Pacific. Reprint. 37,500 fir

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Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Hervorragend 5. Februar 2014
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Hornfischer hat bereits mit "Neptune's Inferno" ein Meisterwerk hingelegt, dieses steht in nichts nach. Minutiös werden die Ereignisse der Schlacht vor Samar am 25.Oktober 1944 dargestellt. Einige kleine Zerstörer warfen sich dem Gros der japanischen Flotte entgegen und hielt sie von den leichten Geleitträgern fern. Minutiös stellt Hornfischer die Geschenisse in einer spannenden und kenntnisreich verfassten Dokumentation dar. Männer der Schiffe aller Dienstgrade kommen zu Wort, tragen ihren Teil der Geschichte bei.
In einem Zug durchgearbeitet. Auf youtube "Battle off Samar" eingeben, einige der Männer sowie Hornfischer selbst kommen dort zu Wort.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen  397 Rezensionen
541 von 545 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen And That's the Way It Was. 14. Februar 2004
Von Richard K. Rohde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
As one of the "Tin Can Sailors" mentioned in Jim Hornfischer's book, I would like to assure one and all of the authenticity of the content of this book. Personally, I am aware of the amount of research, interviewing and travel that was involved in the creation of this all too true story of one of the most amazing naval battles of World War II.
When I read the book for the first time I was back in time to October, 1944, when I was an eighteen year old kid, ready to take on the world, including the Japanese Navy - not realizing that I would soon have that opportunity. Hornfischer's accounts of the battles from the standpoint of each of the ships are wonderfully done. His stories of what it was like to be on life rafts with dying shipmates, sharks and unbelievable thirst, still bring tears to my eyes.
To gain a real understanding of what it was like to be a part of that Battle Off Samar, and in fact to be a sailor in World War II, read this book.
232 von 237 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An Epic Naval Battle Remembered 3. Februar 2004
Von Brian D. Rubendall - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do all the damage we can." - Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland, from the dust jacket.
One of the saddest truths about the turn of the new Millennium is the realization that the veterans of the so-called "Greatest Generation," those who defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, are now rapidly passing into history. As such, it has become even more important that the stories of their heroism and sacrifice be written down for posterity while the heroes themselves are still around to tell them. With his new book, "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors," literary agent and author James D. Hornfischer has documented one such lesser-remembered World War Two tale with a reverence befitting the brave men who fought and died for America's freedom.
The events of the book take place during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which stands as the largest naval engagement in world history, and was fought between the Japanese and American navies in the vicinity of the Philippines as General Douglas McArthur's forces were invading to take the archipelago back from the Japanese. The Leyte Gulf campaign has been well documented in other books about the Pacific war, so Hornfischer focuses most of his attention on one particular engagement off Samar Island. There, a small task force of American escort carriers and destroyers (the "Tin Cans" of the title), held off a far superior enemy fleet of battleships and cruisers with a combination of near-suicidal bravery and spectacular seamanship coupled with a healthy dose of sheer good fortune.
"Tin Can Sailors" is exhaustively researched, which gives the narrative the kind detailed nuance that elevates it above the level of mere reportage into inspired storytelling. Hornfischer sets the stage by introducing the main players, both the ships and the men who sailed on them. He gives an overall view of events leading up to the battle to assist the casual reader in placing it in context, and also presents enough of the Japanese point of view to give an appreciation of how desperate the forces of the Rising Sun were at this stage of the war. Desperate enough, in fact, to risk virtually their entire remaining surface fleet on a gamble, the success of which hinged on their ability to bluff hard-charging American Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey. If not for the almost superhuman courage of the Tin Can Sailors, they might well have succeeded and seriously imperiled McArthur's invasion forces.
The battle scenes in the book are particularly well depicted; some of the first hand accounts are every bit as graphically disturbing as, say, the first half-hour of the movie "Saving Private Ryan." Such images are absolutely vital to the telling of the story, and the author handles them deftly, never lapsing into sensationalism. Hour-by-hour position maps showing the locations of the ships are helpfully provided to assist the reader along with a generous selection of photographs. The extras make "Tin Can Sailors" one of the best battle books I've read in terms of helping the reader see the action as it is taking place. The epilogue contains a list of those who died fighting the battle, and what's immediately striking is that America lost more fighting men in just over three hours in this one small corner of World War Two than it has during the entire nine-plus months of the Iraq war.
Overall, "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" is a first rate work of history that will be enjoyed equally by both military buffs and more casual readers. The book was obviously a labor of love for its author, and he should be saluted for his efforts in writing it.
89 von 92 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Heroic stand of tin can sailors 7. September 2004
Von Peter Lorenzi - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is an excellent illustration of leadership, courage and heroism. While the major forces of the American navy went after a diversion to the north, early on the morning of October 25, 1944 a powerful Japanese fleet surprised a much smaller American force protecting nascent American gains on Leyte. While historians will long argue the errors that led to this surprise, none can argue that the response from the American forces was dramatic, powerful, effective and almost suicidal. Yankee ingenuity, respect for their leaders, and old-fashioned stick-to-it-iveness made up in quality what the Americans lacked in quantity.

Three small destroyers dashed into harm's way and leveled mortal blows before they succumbed to withering, overpowering -- but often inaccurate -- Japanese fire. While some would flinch at calling these acts 'suicidal' against cruisers and battleships, the sense of purpose and patriotism, combined with the small chance that a good offense is the best defense seemed to drive these men to heights of fury and fight against the thunderstorm of Japanese ships.

Storms actually played a positive role in this fight, hiding both the smaller American ships, sometimes at lucky moments, as well as those pesky American fighter planes darting in and out of the clouds. But what really seems to have mattered was accurate firing, productive -- if incomplete -- intelligence, good leadership, and the absolute audacity of the crews aboard the American ships and planes. And timidity on the part of the Japanese admiral, believing he had stumbled upon a superior force of sull-sized carriers and cruisers, helped turn the onslaught into a full-fledged diaster for the Japanese, who lost perhaps 11,000 men to terrible but lesser casualties of fewer than 1,000 for the inspired Americans.

The research is thorough, with fascinating detail and first-hand reports from the battle and the men who fought it. Maps detailing the progress of this brief but spectacular battle help guide the reader. Read it and respect the men who made this happen.
37 von 38 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Pays tribute to heroes and their sacrifices for us 16. Februar 2004
Von Scott Tyler - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Anyone who is unsure of whether to get this book should set their reservations aside and grab it now. I have no hidden agenda to hype this book - I just grabbed it off the shelf at the store and struck gold. Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors stands proudly in my library and holds its own with other great non-fiction books.
James Hornfischer didn't just find a great story to tell, he crafted it with a very skillful narration. A writer of non-fiction who can capture a reader and pull him into his story is rare and the author does this very well. He had me cheering as Ernest Evans led the Johnston on the attack against the entire Japanese fleet. He left me horrified by the effects of the pounding that the Tin Cans took and stunned by the heroism and sense of duty of those who manned their posts until the very end.
The book gives a nice overview of the Pacific Theater until the point of this battle. Hornfischer clearly explains what has happened so that you can understand the context of the Battle off of Samar. He does this without going too far in depth and losing the reader. The explanations of the development of the Navy and Naval Aviation were clear and concise. I learned quite a bit about the planes that were used and the men who piloted them. The same can be said for his explanations of the different naval vessels and what made them unique.
If you like books told from numerous first-person accounts that personalize a story and let you get to know those involved, then this book is for you. It is an honorable salute to those who survived and the heroes who did not.
20 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The best historical account. of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. 20. August 2004
Von Kevin C. B. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
When I was a young adolescent, I wasn't like other kids. I actually read about WWII history. When I found out my 7th grade English teacher was a "Fireman" in the boiler rooms of the USS Pennsylvania facing the Southern force in Surigao Strait, I bombarded him with a host of questions, and my classmates had no idea what we were talking about. Suffice it to say, through my previous reading, I thought I was pretty knowledgable about this naval battle.

The author has blown that preconception out of the water. He brings the level of scholarship on this battle to a whole new plane. The meticulous research he has undertaken shines forth in this account, and it is simply an incomparable work. No matter if you have previous exposure to historical accounts of this battle (specifically for Taffy 3 and it's air groups facing Kurita's Central force, Southern and Northern aspects are not as in depth), or not, this book is the definitive work on the topic. Included is the deep and detailed bibliography. A true historical gem.
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