The Fleet at Flood Tide by James D. Hornfischer
America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945

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Though oddly selective—the battles of Leyte Gulf and the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa are barely mentioned—this is a thoroughly satisfying account of the final years of World War II.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, here is an unprecedented account of the extraordinary World War II air, land, and sea campaign that brought the U.S. Navy to the apex of its strength and marked the rise of the United States as a global superpower.      Drawing on new primary sources and personal accounts by Americans and Japanese alike, The Fleet at Flood Tide is a thrilling narrative of the climactic end stage of the Pacific War, focusing on the U.S. invasion of the Mariana Islands in June 1944 and the momentous events that it produced.     With its thunderous assault into Japan's inner defensive perimeter, America crossed the threshold of total war. From the seaborne invasion of Saipan to the stunning aerial battles of the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, from the largest banzai attack of the war to the first mass suicides of Japanese civilians to the strategic bombing effort that culminated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Marianas became the fulcrum of the drive to compel Tokyo to surrender--with consequences that forever changed modern war.     These unprecedented operations saw the first large-scale use of Navy underwater demolition teams; a revolution in the fleet's ability to sustain cross-hemispheric expeditionary warfare; the struggle of American troops facing not only a suicidal enemy garrison, but desperate Japanese civilians; and the rise of the U.S. Navy as the greatest of grand fleets. From the Marianas, B-29 Superfortresses would finally unleash nuclear fire on an enemy resolved to fight to the end.     Hornfischer casts this clash of nations and cultures with cinematic scope and penetrating insight. Focusing closely on people who rose to challenging events, he shows us Raymond Spruance, the brilliant, coolly calculating commander of the Fifth Fleet; Kelly Turner, whose amphibious forces delivered Marine General "Howlin' Mad" Smith's troops to the beaches of Saipan and Tinian; Draper Kauffman, founder of the Navy unit that predated today's SEALs; Paul Tibbets, the creator of history's first atomic striking force, who flew the Enola Gay to Hiroshima; and Japanese warriors and civilians who saw the specter of defeat as the ultimate test of the spirit.     From the seas of the Central Pacific to the shores of Japan itself, The Fleet at Flood Tide is a stirring and deeply humane account of World War II's world-changing finale. 
 

About James D. Hornfischer

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James D. Hornfischer is a writer, literary agent, and former book editor. He is the author of The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors and Ship of Ghosts, both widely acclaimed accounts of the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Pacific.
 
Published October 25, 2016 by Bantam. 656 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Nov 13 2016
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Critic reviews for The Fleet at Flood Tide
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on Sep 06 2016

Though oddly selective—the battles of Leyte Gulf and the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa are barely mentioned—this is a thoroughly satisfying account of the final years of World War II.

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Jerry Lenaburg on Nov 23 2016

This is another marvelous addition to Hornfischer’s portfolio of naval histories. The story of the mightiest navy in history is both compelling and personal as he portrays a navy rising from near disaster to decisively defeat their opponent in open battle and pave the way for the eventual unconditional surrender of Japan.

Read Full Review of The Fleet at Flood Tide: Amer... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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