The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James D. Hornfischer
The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour

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Relying on interviews with aging, proud survivors of the flotilla, Hornfischer expertly conveys the sensory experience of warfare, its deafening roar and sickening stench, to produce a gripping minute-by-minute reconstruction of an engagement awful in cost but awesome in importance.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James D. Hornfischer's Neptune's Inferno.

“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.
 

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 November 12, 2008 by Bantam. 499 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Critic reviews for The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on May 20 2010

Relying on interviews with aging, proud survivors of the flotilla, Hornfischer expertly conveys the sensory experience of warfare, its deafening roar and sickening stench, to produce a gripping minute-by-minute reconstruction of an engagement awful in cost but awesome in importance.

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HistoryNet

Good
Reviewed by Dennis J. Ringle on Jun 12 2006

The author also does a commendable job of introducing the various ships that played such an integral role in the contest. He views them as a sailor would, and he has an uncanny knack of personalizing them, just as he does the men.

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World War II Database

Above average
Reviewed by C. Peter Chen on Dec 29 2004

One of the most informative feature of the book was the many maps it features...The center inserts featured photos of some of the participants, allowing the readers to match faces with the heroic actions.

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