Barrett Tillman has been an aviation historian for the past 30 years, having written over 500 articles in leading military journals, as well as four novels, a novella, a screenplay, and 30 works of nonfiction. Author website: btillman.com.
Clash of the Carriers: The True Story of the Marianas Turkey Shoot of World War IIby Barrett Tillman, Stephen Coonts
In June, 1944, American and Japanese carrier fleets made their way through the Philippine Sea, both hoping to take control of the vital Marianas Islands. When they met, they embarked upon a naval engagement that escalated into the most spectacular aircraft carrier battle in history. Here is the true account of the battle, told from both sides-by those who were there. Drawing upon numerous interviews as well as official sources, Clash of the Carriers is an unforgettable testimonial to the bravery of those who fought and those who died in a battle that will never be forgotten.
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.38(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.23(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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Clash of the Carriers is Barrett Tillman's new accounting of the epic Battle of the Phillipine Sea in June 1944. Dubbed 'The Marianas Turkey Shoot' because of grossly disproportionate Japanese losses, the battle cost the enemy three aircraft carriers, 476 planes, and 445 pilots and aircrewmen. Imperial Japan's desperate attempt to prevent the capture of the Marianas islands (future B-29 bases) was perhaps the final nail in its coffin, the first being its debacle at Midway two years previously. But 'Clash' would be a rather ordinary book if it only told the story of the Turkey Shoot. Instead, Tillman has gone deep into the battle's background, comparing it to other great naval battles in history (it surpasses nearly all of them in some regards) and providing important insight into its principal personalities as well as the aircraft, ships, and fleet structure of both sides. He provides additional important background by painting a picture of America of the 1940s, a time and a culture that is unknown, even alien to most Americans of today. That unique character of the Greatest Generation's society played an important role in bringing about the smashing victory in the Marianas and beyond. As for the battle itself, though, the narration is all-encompassing, with nonstop action in the air as well as on and under the sea. It would be tough to conceive of any element of the wide-ranging conflict that isn't covered in gripping detail. It should be said that those favoring a scholarly reference on the Battle of the Phillipine Sea may find 'Clash' disappointing. That's because Tillman's style is more of a storyteller rather than a historical archivist. But for those who just want a darn good nonfiction account of blistering naval combat, Clash of the Carriers is a first class winner.
The author lays out the strategic situation in the beginning of the book, introduces you to the command staff, carrier officers and pilots, then proceeds to give you an exciting blow-by-blow recounting of the strategic and tactical aspects of the engagement. As the book progresses, he re-enacts the battle with little vignettes probably written based on interviews with the survivors/victors, and official reports. All-in-all, a pretty interesting read once you get through the introductory stuff, although that is even understandable for the casual reader.