Admiral "Bull" Halsey: The Life and Wars of the Navy's Most Controversial Commander [NOOK Book]

Overview


From the tragic aftermath of Pearl Harbor, when he fashioned America’s first response to the attack, to the war’s final day in Tokyo Bay when he witnessed Japan’s surrender, Admiral William F. Halsey stamped a mighty imprint on the Pacific during World War II. He led or participated significantly in the Navy’s first offensive strikes against the Marshall Islands and Wake Island, the Guadalcanal campaign, and the offensive toward Japan. As a commander, he never shied from engaging the enemy, but boldly entered ...

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Admiral

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Overview


From the tragic aftermath of Pearl Harbor, when he fashioned America’s first response to the attack, to the war’s final day in Tokyo Bay when he witnessed Japan’s surrender, Admiral William F. Halsey stamped a mighty imprint on the Pacific during World War II. He led or participated significantly in the Navy’s first offensive strikes against the Marshall Islands and Wake Island, the Guadalcanal campaign, and the offensive toward Japan. As a commander, he never shied from engaging the enemy, but boldly entered into battle, ready for a fight. As a consequence, Halsey became the face of the Navy and its most attractive public relations phenomenon. Due to his bold tactics and quotable wit, Halsey continues to be a beloved and debated figure.

In this balanced biography, historian John Wukovits illuminates the life of a man who ultimately deserves recognition as one the great naval commanders in U.S. history. Europe had Patton; the Pacific had William “the Bull” Halsey.



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Popular military historian Wukovits economically and convincingly refurbishes a WWII hero inappropriately grown unfashionable. Contemporary evaluations of Adm. William F. Halsey present him as a media creation, whose heroic words and posturing camouflaged mediocrity. Wukovits, in contrast, describes the early career that persuaded Halsey of the sovereign importance of acting “promptly, and with decision.” The author stresses Halsey’s ability to inspire loyalty and respect in his men, his skills as a trainer, and his success in developing harmonious interservice and interallied relationships. All were vital in the war’s early stages, when odds were even and resources limited. Halsey’s aggressive command style gave momentum and structure to the vital South Pacific campaign—where, the admiral said, “we broke their backs.” Halsey then became, with Raymond Spruance, part of naval history’s greatest operational command team. By 1945 he brought the war to the home islands of Japan with devastating surface/air bombardments. His mistakes at Leyte Gulf, while not trivial, reflected commitment to decisive action. Wukovits fully justifies “Bull” Halsey’s place among America’s greatest admirals. (July)
AMERICA IN WWII magazine
“It’s hard to imagine that William Halsey would have been successful in today’s military. He was decidedly non-academic, went heavy on the sauce, had a knack for hot-blooded sound bites and was more reflexive than reflective. While the US Navy’s style of warfare evolved past Halsey’s temperament, few of its more modern practitioners can match his accomplishments. Wukovits writes an illuminating, balanced, extremely readable account of a matchless career that will continue to inspire.”
From the Publisher
Praise for Admiral "Bull" Halsey:

 

"A thorough, balanced, and readable biography of a great but flawed man. Halsey was a hero of the Second World War, and despite some blunders, he deserves this rich and exciting tribute."—Evan Thomas, author of Sea of Thunder

 

"Halsey—one of only four naval officers ever promoted to the five-star rank of fleet admiral—was an aggressive war-fighter with a combative personality, attributes that brought him fame in his lifetime and un-warranted derision in more recent times. Well, it's time to set the record straight, as Wukovits does with admirable candor."—Brayton Harris, author of Age of the Battleship and The Navy Times Book of Submarines

 

“The author argues persuasively that these errors are not the sum of Halsey’s career, however, and that his strategic and tactical judgments were more often sound than not. With his aggressiveness and charisma added in, he emerges as one of the great sea warriors in American history.”—Booklist

"Popular military historian Wukovits economically and convincingly refurbishes a WWII hero inappropriately grown unfashionable... Wukovits fully justifies "Bull" Halsey's place among America's greatest admirals." —Publishers Weekly

"An admiring reappraisal of the belligerent fleet commander who carried the day for the American Navy during World War II. [Wukovits] makes a good case that Halsey was the much-needed warrior for America's darkest hour. A solid biography of a significant American military leader." —Kirkus

Kirkus Reviews
An admiring reappraisal of the belligerent fleet commander who carried the day for the American Navy during World War II. Descended from a line of peripatetic buccaneers and sea captains, William F. Halsey (1882-1959) proved an indifferent student at the Naval Academy, but was "full of life and ready for action." His early career benefited from Theodore Roosevelt's plans to expand the Navy, and Halsey learned important lessons as a commander of destroyers after World War I. However, his love of aviation prompted his move to the aircraft carrier. By the spring of 1940, well liked by his men, truculent and with the appearance of a bulldog, he was put in charge of all Pacific aircraft carriers and their air groups. To his consternation, but ultimate good luck, he was out on maneuvers near Wake Island on Dec. 7, 1941, when he was apprised of the attack on the rest of the fleet at Pearl Harbor. Witnessing that scene of devastation and humiliation fueled his anger and determination for the duration of the war, sometimes to cringingly incendiary language ("Kill Japs, kill Japs, kill more Japs!") Halsey proved to be the answer to a swift, bold offensive, and with the elevation of Chester W. Nimitz as Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Halsey was sent to protect the crucial Midway-Johnston Island-Hawaii triangle from Japanese attack. His series of raids played well on the home front, and the press dubbed him "Bull" and "Knock-'em Down Halsey." Subsequent decisive victories at Midway, Coral Sea and Guadalcanal stopped the Japanese advance. Military historian Wukovits (American Commando: Evans Carlson, His WWII Marine Raiders, and America's First Special Forces Mission, 2009, etc.) deals evenly with Halsey's precipitous, potentially disastrous decisions in October 1944 at Leyte Gulf, and later recklessness during two typhoons. However, the author makes a good case that Halsey was the much-needed warrior for America's darkest hour. A workmanlike, solid biography of a significant American military leader.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230109599
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/6/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 320,916
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


John Wukovits is the author of Pacific Alamo, One Square Mile of Hell, and Eisenhower. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune. He lives in Trenton, MI.


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Table of Contents


Acknowledgements
Introduction: 'When You Went in, the Japs Went Out'
PART I: THE EMERGING WARRIOR
'I Had No Other Thought Except Going into the Navy'
PART II: 'TO FIND A FIGHT'
'Shoot First and We'll Argue Afterwards
'Admiral Halsey's Seagoing Commandos'
PART III: HALSEY'S AMAZING SOUTH PACIFIC TURNAROUND
'This Force Is Bound for Tokyo'
'A Knuckle-Swinger Like Halsey'
'I Will Stay on the Offensive'
PART IV: DISASTER AND TRIUMPH
'The Hunters Had Become the Hunted'
'Destruction of the Enemy Fleet is the Principal Task'
'Attack Was His Watchword'
'A Wholly Frightening Situation'
'Victory Has Crowned Your Efforts'
I Want to Fight
Bibliography


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