The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

  • by James D. Hornfischer
  • Narrated by Barrett Whitener
  • 16 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Told from the point of view of the men who waged this steel-shattering battle, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors captures Navy pilots attacking enemy battleships with makeshift weapons and sacrificial valor, a veteran commander improvising tactics never taught in Annapolis, and young crews from across America rising to an impossible challenge. It takes us into the heart and mind of an iron-willed, self-made executive officer leading his men throughout a sea of carnage and two hellish days and nights clinging to survival amid oil, blood, sharks, and madness. And it dramatizes how the overmatched U.S. force, enduring the loss of five gallant ships and nearly a thousand brave men, turned a certain crashing defeat into a momentous victory that would lead to the final surrender of America's ruthless imperial foe.Filled with riveting detail and based on the author's extensive interviews and correspondence with veterans, unpublished eyewitness accounts, declassified documents, and rare Japanese sources, this is war at sea as it has seldom been presented before. It is an unforgettable narrative that captures the essence of heroism, the power of loyalty, and the way in which the unadorned truth is more stirring than legend itself.
Also, this audio program contains excerpts of exclusive interviews with Navy veterans conducted by the author.


What the Critics Say

"Readable from beginning to end, this popular history magnificently brings to life men and times that may seem almost as remote as Trafalgar to many in the early twenty-first century....One of the finest World War II volumes to appear in years." (Booklist)
"One of the finest WWII naval action narratives in recent years....reads like a very good action novel." (Publishers Weekly)
"Hornfischer is a powerful stylist whose explanations are clear as well as memorable....a dire survival-at-sea saga." (Denver Post)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I have been listening to audo books for quite a while now and this is by far one of the best I have ever heard. The narrator adds dimension to the book that a reader could not possibly generate. This is a truly wonderful story, not just about a great battle, but of great people. It transcends a war story and really is a story of bravery and courage. Needless to say I highly recommend it. The listener will definitely not be disappointed. The only down side is that some of the chapters are long and you will find it hard to get out of the car when you get to the office! :)
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- John

What a generation

The more I read about the war in the Pacific and the more I talk to the men who lived throught that nightmare the more I really apprieciate what they did for me. It is hard to imagine the horror those boys lived through and most of them were only young boys. They sure didn't stay boys for long. They became men in a matter of minutes. Very nice work by Mr. Hornfischer,
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- Hill

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-12-2004
  • Publisher: Books on Tape