A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight [NOOK Book]

Overview

One of the great untold stories of World War II finally comes to light in this thrilling account of Torpedo Squadron Eight and their heroic efforts in helping an outmatched U.S. fleet win critical victories at Midway and Guadalcanal. These 35 American men--many flying outmoded aircraft--changed the course of history, going on to become the war's most decorated naval air squadron, while suffering the heaviest losses in U.S. naval aviation history.
Mrazek paints moving portraits ...
See more details below
A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

One of the great untold stories of World War II finally comes to light in this thrilling account of Torpedo Squadron Eight and their heroic efforts in helping an outmatched U.S. fleet win critical victories at Midway and Guadalcanal. These 35 American men--many flying outmoded aircraft--changed the course of history, going on to become the war's most decorated naval air squadron, while suffering the heaviest losses in U.S. naval aviation history.
Mrazek paints moving portraits of the men in the squadron, and exposes a shocking cover-up that cost many lives. Filled with thrilling scenes of battle, betrayal, and sacrifice, A DAWN LIKE THUNDER is destined to become a classic in the literature of World War II.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Robert Bateman
Academically trained historians too often reduce gripping events to soul-parching compilations of cautious statements that only the most generous might grace with the term "narrative." On the flip side, journalists attempting to write works of history sometimes jettison their skepticism; the result is often a great story but not very good history. In his first foray into history, Mrazek captures the best of both approaches, avoiding hagiography and telling the story of Torpedo Eight and the war in the Pacific as it was, not as some might wish it had been.
—The Washington Post
Library Journal

Mrazek (Stonewall's Gold) brilliantly captures the bravery of Squadron Eight in World War II's pivotal battle of Midway and the unit's subsequent involvement at Guadalcanal. Presented in logbook format, the author's clipped narrative offers fascinating vignettes of the aviators' prewar lives. At Midway the squadron, in obsolete torpedo bombers without fighter protection, was ordered to attack Japanese carriers-and was nearly decimated. Mrazek indicts the captain and air commander of the formation's carrier, the USS Hornet, for this fiasco and intimates that the squadron may have been used as a decoy to benefit high-altitude dive bombers as they took the greatest toll on the enemy flattops. Following Midway, Squadron Eight was reassigned to the USS Saratoga as part of a task force charged with expelling the Japanese from Guadalcanal. Mrazek's gripping account of the group's bombing activities is rich in detail and tactical analysis. A special treat is Mrazek's winsome epilog, which details the postwar achievements of the surviving squadron officers and men. A well-written and meticulously researched account of one of America's most distinguished World War II aerial groups; recommended for general military and aviation collections and all libraries.
—John Carver Edwards

Kirkus Reviews
Satisfying thought excessively popularized history of the bomber group that, legend has it, won the Battle of Midway. In the History Channel version, during the darkest days of World War II American carrier planes took off on June 4, 1942, to attack the immense Japanese fleet approaching Midway Island. Orders called for a simultaneous strike, but the planes separated, and Torpedo Squadron Eight sighted the enemy first. Attacking at sea level and unprotected by American fighters, the slow bombers were easy meat for defending Japanese Zeros, which shot down every plane. No torpedo struck home, yet these men did not die in vain. While the Zeros were preoccupied, American dive-bombers arrived overhead and attacked unopposed, sinking the Japanese carriers and winning the battle. Novelist and former congressman Mrazek (The Deadly Embrace, 2006, etc.) provides 200 pages of gripping details that do not tarnish the squadron's heroism but reveal spectacular incompetence among higher commanders. Two months after Midway, the survivors fought around Guadalcanal, a second critical battle in which outnumbered Americans inflicted a crushing defeat on the Japanese. While their role was less crucial, the squadron's bombers inflicted considerable damage, becoming the most decorated naval air unit in history but also the one suffering the highest combat losses. Similar books concentrate on fighters and traditional bombers, so this account of torpedo planes offers an original perspective. Serious history buffs will be irritated by the docudrama style, which features invented dialogue and purports to reveal characters' thoughts and feelings, often up to the moment they die. Yet events undoubtedly happened moreor less as Mrazek describes, and his massive original research has produced a richly detailed story that never flags. Despite the lowbrow historiography, an admirable addition to the histories of air battles that turned the tide against the Japanese. Agent: David Halpern/The Robbins Office
From the Publisher
"Dick Hill gives this work an excellent reading.... His expressive and easygoing manner makes the art of narration seem effortless." —-AudioFile
Robert Bateman - Washington Post
"A Dawn Like Thunder melds a good story with solid and skeptical research....Fast-paced and yet personal, Mrazek's narrative carries the reader to Midway quickly. But it does not stop there, as so many other accounts have....With A Dawn Like Thunder Mrazek earns the title of historian, one that this reviewer does not apply lightly."
Robert Bateman
A Dawn Like Thunder melds a good story with solid and skeptical research....Fast-paced and yet personal, Mrazek's narrative carries the reader to Midway quickly. But it does not stop there, as so many other accounts have....With A Dawn Like Thunder Mrazek earns the title of historian, one that this reviewer does not apply lightly.
Washington Post
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316040983
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 12/8/2008
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 127,015
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Robert J. Mrazek is the author of Stonewall's Gold, winner of the Michael Shaara Prize for Best Civil War Novel of 1999. A five-term Congressman, he co-authored the law that saved the Manassas battlefield from being bulldozed. He lives in upstate New York and Maine.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Dawn Like Thunder

    Considering the fairly short existence of Torpedo Squadron 8 and its disastrous losses of planes and aircrews at the Battle of Midway, you would not think that anybody could write a very substantial or readable history of this squadron and the heroic men who made it up. Yet this is what author Mrazek has done, with diligent research and numerous personal interviews with surviving squadron personnel. From the opening pages on he literally puts you in the squadron, both aboard USS Hornet and ashore at Midway with the TBF Avenger detachment, and later in the tropical muck of Guadalcanal. You get to know the guys who flew, and also the wrench-turners who worked hard to get planes in the air. Don't plan anything you can't re-schedule after you start this book, you will find it hard to put down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 25, 2009

    This is an updated retelling of the heroic story of Torpedo Squadron Eight. The squadron lost all fifteen aircraft on their first combat mission at the Battle of Midway. Many new facts are brought to light through personal accounts.

    Torpedo Squadron Eight was the most decorated Navy squadron of World War Two. Much has been written in print and portrayed in movies about their heroic actons during 1942. This book uncovers new details through personal interviews and extensive research that cuts through some of the hype and tells the story in a very personal and touching way. Some leaders of the American forces at Midway and Guadalcanal made poor decisions with disasterous consequences for many of the brave men that died as a result. Author Robert Mrazek gives an exiting and compassionate of what really happened.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2009

    An Absolutely Wonderful Account

    "A Dawn Like Thunder" is truly a masterful, gripping account of the history of USN Torpedo Squadron 8. The writing is superb, the author's management of timelines is impeccable, and he blends the personal biographies of each participant with the chronology of events with a skill I haven't enjoyed since reading Shelby Foote's 3-volume history of the Civil War. This is tremendous reading - I had trouble putting it down, and I recommend it to anyone interested in WWII.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended

    An excellant read. Mr. Mrazak's experience in writing novels serves him well in this non-fiction work. His writing style is easy to read and very enjoyable. I enjoyed it enough to read it twice.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 18, 2011

    Reads like a novel.

    I have read just about every book on US military history I can get my hands on. This book is an easy read and will pull you in like a well read novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hard to put down

    A Dawn like Thunder is an excellent read. I've read quite a few books on Midway and the Cactus Air Force, but until now there hasn't been a definitive study on TBS 8. Getting to know the squadron "warts and all" makes this aspect of American history that much more interesting.

    I would have liked a bit more of the Japanese point of view, but ignoring that minor blip this is a wonderful example of research and respect for the subject of that research.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2009

    Not just another WWII book

    Don't assume this is yet another WWII book about battles, high level commanders, etc. These are well written personal stories about the pilots who participated in the Midway and Guadalcanal campaigns. I place it in the "couldn't put it down" category.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2009

    A Dawn Like Thunder

    I gave the book as a gift to my boyfriend for our anniversary. He is a big history buff. He thoroughly enjoyed the book and found it to be easy reading for such a large book. He has a friend who also enjoys history and he gave it to him to read. He would not have done that had he not enjoyed it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A DAWN LIKE THUNDER Robert Mrazek

    I bought this book for my husband who is a reluctant reader. He could not put this book down. We would turn off the TV in the evening so we could spend our time reading. He has just recently taken to reading and this book has been one of his favorites. It has been a wonderful experience for me to see him becoming quite a reader. He isn't ready for fiction books yet; but has totally enjoyed the Viet Nam and WW II stories he has read. This was a big book and he read it in only 2 weeks.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    A MUST READ.INSTANT CLASSIC.  

    A MUST READ.INSTANT CLASSIC.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    V

    Nursery

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)