John Wukovits tells of the most dramatic naval battle of the Pacific War and the incredible sacrifice of the USS Samuel B. Roberts.
On October 25, 1944, the Samuel B. Roberts, along with the other 12 vessels comprising its unit, stood between Japan’s largest battleship force ever sent to sea and MacArthur’s transports inside Leyte Gulf. Faced with the surprise appearance of more than 20 Japanese battleships, cruisers, and destroyers - including the Yamato, at 70,000 tons the most potent battlewagon in the world - the 1,200-ton Samuel B. Roberts turned immediately to action with six other ships. Captain Copeland marked the occasion with one of the most poignant addresses ever given to men on the edge of battle: "Men," he said over the intercom, "we are about to go into a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected."
The ship churned straight at the enemy in a near-suicidal attempt to deflect the more potent foe, allow the small aircraft carriers to escape, and buy time for MacArthur’s forces. Of 563 destroyers constructed during World War II, the Samuel B. Roberts was the only one sunk, going down with guns blazing in a duel reminiscent of the Spartans at Thermopylae or Davy Crockett’s Alamo defenders. The men who survived faced a horrifying three-day nightmare in the sea, where they battled a lack of food and water, scorching sun and numbing nighttime cold, and nature’s most feared adversary - sharks.
The battle would go down as history’s greatest sea clash, the Battle of Samar - the dramatic climax of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
"On October 25, 1944, the USS Samuel B. Roberts took part in one of the most doomed naval battles in US history…. Wukovits recounts the battle in harrowing detail, while providing intimate glimpses into the lives of the men on board." (Publishers Weekly)
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Amazing Story, Heart Rending and Brave
The story of ordinary men and their extreme, selfless acts of bravery. You get to know the crew, their lives, their loves and hopes, and you see how that affects them in the time of greatest crisis.
I have not, but this one was pretty good. I'd definitely give him another listen without hesitation.
The Ship That Fought Like A Battleship
This is not a rather happy book by the end, and many times while listening to it on my lunch break or driving around I had to switch to something more upbeat. Be prepared for that when you give a listen. Despite that (or maybe because of it) I feel that this should be essential reading for anyone interested in WWII, or history at all. It feels like the quintessential story of American heroism, and what we want to be.
- K. Winters
What a story!
unbelievably scary story
I prefer audio....Dean is a fine reader.
The miniscule destroyer escourt attacking cruisers & battleships...the torpedo run.
This HAS to be one of the best story's ever written about....
ranking with the Alamo & Charge of the Light brigade in the Crimean war.....
The unvbelievable heroics of Charles Natter brings tears to the eyes.
Spartans have NOTHING on these American Sailors...
George WIlliams QM2 USNR....attached to the USS Whitehurst, DE634 (many years ago)