Hellcats

  • by Peter Sasgen
  • Narrated by Grover Gardner
  • 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The incredible true story of nine Hellcat submarines assigned to penetrate the dense minefields protecting the sea of Japan. In 1945 - with no knowledge of the development of the atomic bomb- American submarine commanders, desperate to avoid an invasion of the home islands, believed that if the Japanese merchant fleet was sunk, the enemy would be forced to surrender.
The problem: the ships were protected in the Sea of Japan from American submarines by a seemingly impenetrable barrier of deadly minefields. For the first time, Peter Sasgen tells the gripping story of Operation Barney, a mission in which nine submarines, nicknamed Hellcats, were tasked with the impossible - get through the underwater mines and decimate the enemy fleet. Success would hinge on a new experimental sonar system that would, with luck, guide American submarines safely past the mines. Drawing on original documents and the poignant personal letters of one brave Hellcat commander, Sasgen crafts a classic naval tale of the heroic submariners and one of World War II's most ambitious and dangerous missions.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A WWII story well worth learning about

What did you like best about Hellcats? What did you like least?

With a tale to tell the author concentrated on two characters that brought the story to life. This I agree was the best way to present the details.

The part I liked least was the lack of suspense related to one characters demise. You knew he was lost and the book just took too long to explain what was unable to be explained. The Navy basically lost contact with a sub that the Japs likely took out based on post war records etc.


If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I would see it because it would make a better movie when presented with good visuals which are of course left to the readers imagination as the audio story is presented. It has been too long without a good Submarine movie hitting the theaters.


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- Harry Boyle

fascinating slice of WWII history

Where does Hellcats rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Any Grover Gardener narrated audiobook is bound to be at the top of my list. This was a wonderful exploration of the early submarine force. It follows the first set of subs to use FM Sonar to map mines, and how they exploited this new capability to operate close to the Japanese coast at the close of WWII. The sailors are brought vividly to life - great listen!


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- wendy "Tell us about yourself!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-14-2011
  • Publisher: Oasis Audio