The Fleet at Flood Tide

  • by James D. Hornfischer
  • Narrated by Pete Larkin
  • 23 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The extraordinary story of the World War II air, land, and sea campaign that brought the US Navy to the apex of its strength and marked the rise of the United States as a global superpower.
One of America's preeminent military historians, James D. Hornfischer has written his most expansive and ambitious book to date. Drawing on new primary sources and personal accounts of Americans and Japanese alike, here is a thrilling narrative of the climactic end stage of the Pacific War, focusing on the US invasion of the Mariana Islands in June 1944 and the momentous events that it triggered.
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, to the largest banzai attack of the war and the strategic bombing effort that led to 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 US 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 the people who rose to the challenge under fire: Raymond Spruance, the brilliant, coolly calculating commander of the Fifth Fleet; Kelly Turner, whose amphibious forces delivered Marine General Holland "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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hornfischer's Philosophical Summary Up to VJ Day

I have never written a review for Kindle/Audible Books, but I was compelled to take advantage with this method to applaud the author's work. My reading preference has been history, predominantly military accounts, ancient and modern. My father was an Army Veteran of the Pacific campaigns of WW-2, and his stories of the war aroused my interest in this part of history that resulted in great sacrifices for a righteous victory and the introduction of the Atomic Age. This book revealed the actions, reasoning and personalities of key players of the conflict from both cultural and philosophical standpoints that gave me a greater understanding and deeper contemplation of the story. I am a Navy Veteran that served during Vietnam and the Gulf War. It is important to study these terrible events of history to understand how precious and costly our American freedom is.
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- Amazon Customer

Good at filling in all those other details

What did you love best about The Fleet at Flood Tide?

Getting a lot of the details from both USN and IJN about the final year of the war. I was disappointed that so little time was spent on the Battle of Samar, 25 Oct. The author has written a whole book about this and it is excellent.


Any additional comments?

Very good for those interested in WWII naval history that already know the overall picture.

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- R. Denton

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-25-2016
  • Publisher: Random House Audio