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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By K. Winters on 03-29-13
Amazing Story, Heart Rending and Brave
What did you love best about For Crew and Country?
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.
Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I have not, but this one was pretty good. I'd definitely give him another listen without hesitation.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
The Ship That Fought Like A Battleship
Any additional comments?
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.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By David on 05-15-13
Well Done Naval Story of the Samuel B. Roberts
This is one of the better written and read WWII naval stories I have listened to and I have listened to about 100 and read over 300 WWII histories and memoirs. I would rank it in the top 20. The author does a good job of explaining the big picture but mostly concentrates on the individual sailors stories who served on the Sammie B. which I prefer. The narrator was very good and helped the listener feel like it was the actural sailor telling us his part of the story. I especially liked that the author did not end the story when the battle ended. But instead, let the reader know what happened to the many sailors who survived and a little about their lives after the war.
Considering the young age of these sailors, what they accomplished and what they sacrificed for our country, it is no exaggeration that they truely are "Our Greatest Generation".
4 of 4 people found this review helpful