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Publisher's Summary

The thunderous roar of exploding depth charges was a familiar and comforting sound to the crew members of the USS Barb, who frequently found themselves somewhere between enemy fire and Davy Jones's locker. Under the leadership of her fearless skipper, Captain Gene Fluckey, the Barb sank the greatest tonnage of any American sub in World War II. At the same time, the Barb did far more than merely sink ships-she changed forever the way submarines stalk and kill their prey.
This is a gripping adventure chock-full of "you-are-there" moments. Fluckey has drawn on logs, reports, letters, interviews, and a recently discovered illegal diary kept by one of his torpedomen. And in a fascinating twist, he uses archival documents from the Japanese Navy to give its version of events. The unique story of the Barb begins with its men, who had the confidence to become unbeatable. Each team helped develop innovative ideas, new tactics, and new strategies. All strove for personal excellence, and success became contagious. Instead of lying in wait under the waves, the USS Barb pursued enemy ships on the surface, attacking in the swift and precise style of torpedo boats. She was the first sub to use rocket missiles and to creep up on enemy convoys at night, joining the flank escort line from astern, darting in and out as she sank ships up the column. Surface-cruising, diving only to escape, "Luckey Fluckey" relentlessly patrolled the Pacific, driving his boat and crew to their limits. There can be no greater contrast to modern warfare's long-distance, video game style of battle than the exploits of the captain and crew of the USS Barb, where the sub, out of ammunition, actually rammed an enemy ship until it sank. Thunder Below! is a first-rate, true-life, inspirational story of the courage and heroism of ordinary men under fire.
©1992 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (P)2013 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Fluckey is a fine writer with a lively, colorful style. His book is packed with action and suspense and is rich in details about the day-today operation of a submarine in combat." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Boone on 09-28-13

Action, Excitement, & History. A great read!

Great read!! Fluckey did a great job putting you right in the action. Those who were there are the best at this. The book doesn't just tell you what happened, it lets you experince it first hand. You also get to know the men on the boat. I feel like I have a bunch of new friends. This book would be great for anyone interest in action, excitement, and history.

The production of the Audible portion was one of the best I have ever heard. The reader even pronounces the word " submariner" correctly. If you have ever spoken to an old submarine man he will be quick to tell you it's "submarine-er" not "sub-mariner."

This one of several titles that have needed to be on Audible for a long time. If everybody buys this title then maybe Audible will add other tiltes like: Richard Kane's "Wahoo" and "Clear the Bridge," and Edward L. Beech's, "Run Silent Run Deep," "Dust on the Sea," "Cold as the Sea," and "Submarine."

I want more!

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17 of 19 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 12-15-14


This is a great story; it is one of those books that grab your attention immediately. Eugene B. Fluckey and the USS Bark sank 140,000 tons of Japanese shipping from April 1944 to the end of the War.

Admiral Fluckey takes his own memories and weaves it together with a crewman’s illegal diary, reports, letters, ship logs, and interviews as well as archival documents from the Japanese Navy to provide a detailed account of the U.S.S. Barb’s eight through twelfth War patrols. Apparently Fluckey was a brilliant, courageous, fair Captain most concerned about bringing his men home safe. Not a man was wounded onboard Barb while he was the Captain.

“Lucky Fluckey” pioneered new submarine tactics that are still used today. The high point in the book is a night surface attack through miles of shoal water to attack two Japanese convoys in a harbor in China. Fluckey won the Medal of Honor and the Barb was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. Fluckey won the Navy Cross four times, the Navy Distinguish Service medal with one gold star and many more medals. Eugene B Fluckey was a 1935 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy. In 1989 the Navy honored him by naming the Nuclear Submarine Combat System Training Center after him. The only building named for a living person.

The narration is clear, concise and vivid. Admiral Fluckey is a good writer and the story is not just about him but all the crew of the Barb. The book is well researched. The hardcover book also has lots of photographs. The book is an excellent study of sub warfare tactics and naval leadership. If you are looking for an excellent book about submarines in World War II this is a book for you. I read somewhere that Steven Spielberg has purchased the movie rights to the story. Corey Snow narrated the book. Corey Snow does an excellent job narrating the book.

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12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Craig on 12-10-13


What did you like most about Thunder Below!?

Right from the first chapter you are kept riveted by this incredible journey into the life of a WW2 Submarine Commander.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Thunder Below!?

When Eugene Fluckey takes you to the point where they have to rescue the Australian and British troops on board Japanese ships that had just been torpedoed. Its a dramatic and incredible rescue, testament to the determination of the troops to help each other stay alive for as long as possible in order to be saved. Its also incredible just how far Eugene and his men strived to rescue them. A wonderful moment that lives in Fluckey's memory.

Have you listened to any of Corey Snow’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Corey Snow gets right into the naritive. At some points you can believe that this is the voice of Eugene Fluckey, he brings the Commander and his Submarine alive.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the submariners start to pull the survivors aboard their Sub and Eugene says he shed tears as they thanked him. The description of the survivor's alone moves the listener.

Any additional comments?

A first class listen. Every chapter a story in its own right.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By stig1875 on 02-26-15

Brilliant Listen

This is not the normal type of book that I would normally listen to, but I could not put my IPod down, Luck Fluckey was a true natural born leader who men followed and the reason the allied forces won the second world war, I highly recommend it to everyone to give it a go you won't be disappointed, believe me.
Mark H

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 06-28-17

war history at its best

detail . facts and narrators pace make this documentary a must for war buffs excellent story

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4 out of 5 stars
By Tigershark on 08-14-14

A fast paced and exciting story

What made the experience of listening to Thunder Below! the most enjoyable?

A brilliant author who brings to life the action packed stress and excitement of working and living in a military submarine during wartime.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Captain of the boat. It is his story of actual events that occurred during WWII.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Corey Snow?

Grover Gardner. Without a doubt. The best narrator I've listened to!

American Corey Snow sounds like a college kid who made the terrible mistake of attempting woefully childish British and Australian accents in order to differentiate the characters. It was totally unnecessary.
The story is meant to be an account of the ships log and diary entries based upon the life of the Captain, his wife and crew in a historical sense, not a narration of a children's Golden Book.

If you can't accomplish a genuine accent of another nation or language, either get someone else to sit in for you or don't attempt it.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was totally engrossed in the action of the book and didn't want to stop listening until I shuddered at the sound of the accents.

Any additional comments?

Great story. Full of action and utmost detail.

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0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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