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Wolf Pack: The American Submarine Strategy That Helped Destroy Japan: The American Submarine Strategy That Helped Defeat Japan [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Steven Trent Smith


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Kurzbeschreibung

15. August 2003
An enthralling story of courage and adventure under the high seas Wolf Pack traces the development of one of the most effective naval strategies employed by the American fleet in World War II. Steven Trent Smith recounts the behind-the-scenes struggles of the visionary U.S. naval commanders who sought to adapt the highly effective strategy of using coordinated submarine attack groups, or "wolf-packs," first pioneered by the German Navy to devastating effect. Smith provides vivid profiles of the major players involved and clearly explains the important technology involved. Working from survivor accounts and government documents, he recounts, in scenes packed with nail-biting undersea action, some of the most hair-raising wolf pack operations in both the European and Asian theaters of war. The story culminates in the massive penetration of the mine-laden Sea of Japan by nine boats in June 1945 that marked the pinnacle of the U.S. pack strategy. Steven Trent Smith (Philadelphia, PA) is the author of the critically acclaimed The Rescue: A True Story of Courage and Survival in World War II (0-471-41291-0) and a five-time Emmy award - winning freelance TV photojournalist with a passion for history.

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Synopsis

An enthralling story of courage and adventure under the high seas Wolf Pack traces the development of one of the most effective naval strategies employed by the American fleet in World War II. Steven Trent Smith recounts the behind-the-scenes struggles of the visionary U.S. naval commanders who sought to adapt the highly effective strategy of using coordinated submarine attack groups, or "wolf-packs," first pioneered by the German Navy to devastating effect. Smith provides vivid profiles of the major players involved and clearly explains the important technology involved. Working from survivor accounts and government documents, he recounts, in scenes packed with nail-biting undersea action, some of the most hair-raising wolf pack operations in both the European and Asian theaters of war. The story culminates in the massive penetration of the mine-laden Sea of Japan by nine boats in June 1945 that marked the pinnacle of the U.S. pack strategy.

Steven Trent Smith (Philadelphia, PA) is the author of the critically acclaimed The Rescue: A True Story of Courage and Survival in World War II (0-471-41291-0) and a five-time Emmy award - winning freelance TV photojournalist with a passion for history.

Klappentext

In early June 1945, nine American submarines slipped beneath the waves of the Tsuchima Strait, picked their way through a dense minefield using state-of-the-art sonar, and entered the Sea of Japan, Emperor Hirohito’s "private pond." Over the next few weeks, these relentless hunters would decimate what remained of the Japanese merchant fleet, already driven to near extinction by coordinated submarine attack groups. It was the culmination of one of World War II’s most successful naval strategies–the wolf pack.

In Wolf Pack, the acclaimed author of The Rescue traces the development of the pack from its origins at the end of the First World War, through its devastating use by the Nazis against British convoys, to the key role it played in America’s victory in the Pacific. Drawing from personal letters and journals, ships’ logs, official reports, interviews, and thousands of top secret documents only recently declassified, Steven Trent Smith creates a brilliantly detailed history of the people, ideas, tactics, and technologies that made the wolf pack such an effective weapon.

Bristling with undersea action, compelling human drama, and nerve-jangling suspense, this powerful account of the war beneath the Pacific includes unforgettable portraits of the commanders, officers, and crewmen who carried out these extremely hazardous and complex operations. You’ll meet Blair’s Blasters, Parks' Pirates, Whitaker’s Wolves, and many others as they stalk the "Convoy College" in search of prey, sink hundreds of enemy vessels, and test new tactics and technologies in the constant drive to perfect their deadly skills.

You'll also meet the visionary German and American officers who transformed submarine warfare. Vizeadmiral Karl Donitz developed the first successful German wolf packs; Captains Charles "Swede" Momsen and John "Babe" Brown created a masterly doctrine of coordinated submarine attack; and Vice Admiral Charles "Uncle Charlie" Lockwood struggled to implement the strategy in the Pacific.

This authoritative account of one of the most important, least-explored aspects of the Pacific war also features scores of memorable anecdotes. Entertaining, engrossing, and meticulously detailed, Wolf Pack is must reading for anyone fascinated by submarine warfare; World War II; or the conduct of men whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity are put to the ultimate test.


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Amazon.com: 3.9 von 5 Sternen  8 Rezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Wolf Packs - used by America? 7. Januar 2006
Von Eric Hobart - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Steven Trent Smith, in his book Wolf Pack, has tried to tell the tale of Admiral Charles Lockwood and his desire to utilize group tactics to hunt Japanese shipping during the Second World War.

Unfortunately, the book reads more like a disjointed tale of multiple patrols than an explanation of how the US Navy implemented the wolf pack doctrine and utilized it to prove victorious in the battle of the Pacific.

Smith provides us with many exciting tales of different submarines sinking merchant vessels, or of their attacks upon Japanese military ships or even registered hospital ships (though these were being used as military transports rather than floating hospitals when they were attacked). The stories are compelling and very enjoyable, but they just don't help the reader to understand how the wolf pack doctrine came to be.

It is only in the last 100 pages of the book that we start to see tales of wolf packs being successful - prior to this, the stories of group attacks are fraught with peril and failure. Once the wolf packs entered the Sea of Japan, we see tremendous success - however, the question that is not answered conclusively in this book is whether that success was due to the employment of wolf packs or because of the tremendous surprise that was achieved by the Americans.

If one is looking for a rousing good tale of submarine warfare in the Pacific during WWII, this book will provide the requisite entertainment. It will also teach the reader a lot about a number of different subs tha patrolled the waters of the Pacific during 1941-1945. However, if one is looking for a true explanation of wolf pack doctrine and how it was successfully employed, he/she will have to look further than this.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Deep Trouble: US Submarines Against Japan 1. September 2003
Von Bill Marsano - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This book begins--one might instead says 'gets off on the wrong foot'--with an odd title. 'Wolf Pack' is, after all, a term associated in military history and the popular imagination with the dread Nazi submarine formations of the same war but a different ocean. It's as odd as if today we called the high-speed assault on Iraq as a blitzkrieg.
Be that as it may, 'wolf pack' is the right term: That's what American submariners aimed at creating in World War II (they were well aware of the effective U-boat tactics used in the Atlantic). Author Steven Trent Smith does a good job of explaining how the Navy's Pacific submarine chief, Adm. Charles Lockwood, and others worked to adapt German tactics for use against the Japanese (they started on the checkerboard dance floor of the officers' club). It wasn't easy. For one thing, communications between submarines was unreliable for a long time; another problem was that American sub skippers were used to being 'lone wolves' and didn't want to change.
Another problem--in the book as well as the war--is the need to develop 'pro-submarine' equipment, which slows the narrative down. Lockwood wanted improved torpedos (ours were lousy early in the war) but he also sought important devices that would help subs defend themselves. One of them was submarine sonar to help them penetrate minefields. The reader has to be a little patient here because the climax of the book involves infiltrating two wolf packs through minefields guarding the Sea of Japan--the huge Inland Sea between Japan and the Asian mainland.
Smith makes clear that sub skippers on both sides sought naval targets and considered merchant ships low class. Eventually the Americans realized that merchantment were the way to go--there were so many more of them and Japan, and island nation, was dependent on shipping. (The Japanese mostly stuck with naval targets, even though America's many Pacific bases were also islands, also fed by sea.)
As a writer smith is workmanlike at best; he did better in his previous book, "The Rescue," about Americans hiding in the Philippines from the beginning of the war until rescued by submarine some years later). He's sometimes a little weak on details; I noted a couple of muffed details. Some editing or copy-editing might have helped; publisher please note.
His biggest problem is the need to explain so many technical details. This is not a simple subject, and so you don't get here the slam-bang action of Cmdr. Edward L. Beach's famous "Run Silent, Run Deep." But Smith does get his licks in at least twice. And is doing so almost rises to 4 tars.
His description of the sub Parche's all-out cowboy assault on a convoy in July of 1944 is delightfully hair-raising, and it brings the book to life just in time. He also develops sweaty-palms tension when two wolf packs do at last penetrate Sea of Japan. Knowing something about mines will help, because Hollywood has taught you all wrong. They NOT big round cannisters of TNT bobbing free on the surface.
Mines float but they float below the surface, where they can't be seen. They are tethered by long cables to anchors on the sea bottom. Lockwood's packs had two choices. They could make a mad, high-speed surface dash, escaping the mines but risking surface attack, or they could snake through the minefields, using their new (and not battle-tested) sonar to locate the mines, and all their skill to steer their 300-foot subs safely between them.
Here Smith screws up the tension. The first time he puts you in a sub that come so close it grazes a mine's cable--and that awful grating, scraping sound inches its horrible way the whole length of the hull at a walking pace of two knots--well, check your palms. They'll be wet.--By Bill Marsano, a long-time devotee of WWII nonfiction books.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Solid treatment of the Pacific War 28. Mai 2004
Von T. P. S. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
When it comes to the role of submarines in World War II, the focus of history has been centered upon German U-boats and the Allied effort to defeat them. Despite the work of many authors, including Clay Blair and his outstanding study "Silent Victory: The U.S. Submarine War Against Japan," the flood tide of books on the subject is still running heavily in favor of the Battle of the Atlantic. That is a shame, because the role of American submarines in the Pacific is a big reason why we defeated the Japanese. Hopefully, Steven Smith's excellent "Wolf Pack" will help make this point clear to a new generation of readers.
Wolf Pack (a name usually reserved for groups of German U-boats) begins with a good discussion on the development submarine warfare and tactics from World War I through the interim years, and how the Germans perfected the art of attack against Allied convoys. This is important because these tactics were copied and applied to the Pacific War by the Americans. It can also make for slow reading, but it is well done and important.
Unlike so many authors, Smith relies primarily on manuscript sources and a wide variety of firsthand accounts to weave an interesting, informative, and generally well-written account of the men and equipment used to destroy the Japanese merchant fleet and bring the empire to its knees. The writing varies from workmanlike (especially when covering technical details) to compelling (when he is narrating battle action). Although the men initially frowned upon sinking merchant ships and were instead actively seeking capital ships, they soon learned that the fastest way to win the war was to sink the island empire's merchant shipping. And they did, with gusto.
In many ways this book reminded this reviewer of Peter Padfield's "The War Beneath the Sea: Submarine Conflict in World War II" (still one of the best single volumes on the subject ever written) where the men involved drive the narrative. Smith's effective use of biographical portraits is very effective and allows the reader to meet men as diverse as Karl Donitz, Sam Dealey, Earl Hydemann, and Charles Lockwood.
The only disappointment I have (and it is admittedly minor) is that lesser-known commanders like Ralph Metcalf of the USS Pogy are largely ignored. Admiral Metcalf is still alive and conducted several amazing patrols-including one that sunk a diesel-filled Japanese submarine. He appears not to have been contacted or consulted. Similarly, the accidental sinking of the USS Extractor by the submarine Guardfish (a significant lesser known but fascinating episode that confirms the danger and stress under which these seamen lived), did not receive coverage. It was written about by radar technician Claude Conner in "Nothing friendly in the Vicinity: My War Patrols on the USS Guardfish."
What is in the book, however, is well presented gripping historical writing. It is well worth its price and adds significantly to the literature.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Yes, the U.S. used Wolf Packs! 1. September 2003
Von Ron Martini - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
A valuable addition to anyone's naval library. Information gleaned from much research by the author. Details of each pack's patrol never seen before. Also of interest were the many trials and tribulations that Admiral Lockwood faced in getting the proper equipment for his submarines. The FM Sonar (Hell's Bells) enabled the subs to get into Japan's backyard (Sea of Japan) for the first time. The first wolf pack there sank some 28 ships and were only able to get into the Sea by using the untested in combat, FM Sonar.
Other details were uncovered by the author such as the Navy's use of a grid system in numbering the areas of the Pacific and the publication of a doctrine for submarine commanders which was a document similar to the German "The U-Boat Commander's Handbook."
The terror felt by crew members when undergoing an attack or transversing a minefield was well described by the author as was the real comradship only felt by elite units of the military in times of danger. Humor was added as well to make the book real as were many direct quotes from commanding officers and Admiral Lockwood.
A sure bet and a must have for all historians.
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Wolf Pack; Sea of Japan Revisited 5. Januar 2004
Von john f. hinchey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
As a veteran of five submarine war patrols, including the Hellcats venture into the Sea of Japan, I found "Wolf Pack" to be very well done and as accurate as can be hoped for, considering the passage of time. The author did an excellent job of putting the whole story of the development and prosecution of wolf pack tactics into context. Combat submarines typically spent two months at sea followed by one month for refit, R&R and training. While at sea we maintained radio silence and, while surfaced, copied radio traffic on the sub frequencies, resulting in a fragmented picture of what was happening. Steven Smith has done a fine job of recreating a picture of what was taking place, helping me to finally understand things that I was part of.
His rendition of the Hellcats Sea of Japan venture was excellent. It could have been improved only by writing it twenty years earlier when most of the participants were still alive to add their views and stories to the record. My plaudits to Smith for an excellent piece of work.
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