The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

  • by James D. Hornfischer
  • Narrated by Grover Gardner
  • 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Abridged 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foe.Filled with riveting detail and based on the author's extensive interviews and correspondence with veterans, unpublished eyewitness accounts, declassified documents, and rare Japanese sources, this is war at sea as it has seldom been presented before.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


This book contains an exceptional detailed account of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, focusing on the engagement off the coast of Somar. This battle should be taught to school children in order to demonstrate the resilience of America's finest generation. The book is well written conclusion to a lot of hard work and research. I encourage any one with an interest in Naval history to give it a chance.

The reader does a great job.
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- Anthony

Greatest Navel Battle

This is an excellent account of a little know battle. The Sailors and Commanders do an impossible task with next to nothing. They really are the greatest heros ever born. The reader is great.
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- William Hudson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-13-2004
  • Publisher: Random House Audio