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Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue
     

Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue

3.8 30
by Tom Clavin, Bob Drury
 

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In the tradition of The Perfect Storm and In Harm's Way, Halsey's Typhoon chronicles the epic tale of man clashing against the ruthless forces of war and nature

Set in the Pacific Theater during the climactic days of World War II, Halsey's Typhoon is the story of how Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, America's most popular naval hero,

Overview

In the tradition of The Perfect Storm and In Harm's Way, Halsey's Typhoon chronicles the epic tale of man clashing against the ruthless forces of war and nature

Set in the Pacific Theater during the climactic days of World War II, Halsey's Typhoon is the story of how Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, America's most popular naval hero, unwittingly sailed his undefeated Third Fleet into the teeth of the most powerful storm on earth while supporting General Douglas MacArthur's famous "I Shall Return" invasion of the Philippines. A Homeric epic of man versus nature, Halsey's Typhoon chronicles how nature attacked America as the enemy never could. In its wake, the typhoon left a previously invincible fleet devastated, inflicting more damage and loss of life than the Battle of Midway.

Stunned Navy brass suppressed the scope of the disaster so as not to endanger the American advance on Tokyo, and Halsey never spoke about the ensuing Court of Inquiry for the rest of his life. Only now, thanks to declassified documents and dozens of firsthand accounts from survivors -- including former President Gerald Ford, will the tragic yet heroic story finally be told.

Halsey's Typhoon will take readers through Halsey's smashing victories against the Japanese, to a detailed account of the extraordinary forces of Typhoon Cobra, to the bold courage of Lt. Com. Henry Lee Plage, who, defying orders to rejoin the fleet, sailed his tiny destroyer escort through 70-foot waves and 150-mile-per-hour winds to rescue drifting sailors from capsized ships.

Riveting, dramatic, and heroic, Halsey's Typhoon will introduce readers to the greatest battle of World WarII -- which was fought without a shot fired.

Bob Drury is an award-winning adventure and travel writer and foreign correspondent whose work has appeared in Men's Journal, GQ, Vanity Fair, and Sports Illustrated. He is the author of The Rescue Season: The Heroic Story of Parajumpers on the Edge of the World. Tom Clavin is the author of seven books, including the recent Dark Noon: The Final Voyage of the Fishing Boat "Pelican." Clavin has been a regular New York Times contributor for fifteen years. Both authors live on Long Island.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A powerful and engrossing story of tragedy, survival, and heroism.” —Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down

“A taut chronicle of the storm and its survivors, impeccably researched and thrillingly told.” —Men’s Journal

“This book is so good that I kept forgetting I was reading it to ensure accuracy instead of merely reading because it was captivating. What a terrific story. Where did we find such men?” —Captain Michael J. Jacobsen, United States Navy

“If the Beaufort scale were a thrill meter, Halsey’s Typhoon would rate a force 12.” ––Anthony Brandt, National Geographic Adventure

“An impressive, long-overdue account of the U.S. Third Fleet's encounter with a savage typhoon off the Philippines in the autumn of 1944 . . . Entirely gripping . . . A guaranteed hit with maritime buffs.” —Booklist

“A great strength of this book is how the reader is made to feel the tension between logistical necessity and fate in the form of a storm whose path was rendered unpredictable by the imperfect science of the day. The pay off is in the body of the book, a nonstop, teeth-gritting, nonfiction thriller that is made up of eyewitness accounts of nature doing her worst and men doing their best…under horrific circumstances…. Reads at a gallop and is extremely well researched…. Bob Drury and Tom Clavin have done it.” ––Russell Drumm, East Hampton Star

“For more than 60 years, one of the country’s greatest tales of bravery and heroism has gone untold. The story, told in plain language by dozens of men who witnessed or survived the actual tragic events but kept mum for outdated reasons, spent that time gathering dust in a box amid hundreds of thousands of other boxes in a cavernous government warehouse. Until Tom Clavin and Bob Drury found it.” ––Michael Wright, Southampton Press

“Not just a top pick for World War II history holdings, but for general interest collections strong in wartime adventure stories…. An extraordinary account of an extraordinary, little-revealed event which provoked extreme heroism under extreme conditions.” ––Library Bookwatch

“Drury and Clavin’s book could not be better timed, given the renewed interest in the Pacific theatre … and public awareness now of the infighting between and among military and civilian leaders over policies and procedures in Iraq. Halsey’s Typhoon delivers a fine, fact-filled account of the various rivalries and disagreements of the major players…. The book also provides a suspense-laden account of extraordinary endurance and heroic risk that resonates as a contemporary disaster tale…. Easy, engaging and informative reading.” ––Joan Baum, The Independent

“[Halsey’s Typhoon] is not just a top pick for World War II history holdings, but for general-interest collections strong in wartime adventure stories…. An extraordinary account of an extraordinary, little revealed event which provoked extreme heroism under extreme conditions.” ––Internet Bookwatch

“A riveting tale of the fierce storm that capsized three ships, damaged dozens of others and killed 793 sailors.” ––Carol Comegno, Courier-Post (NJ)

“Superb . . . My father flew torpedo bombers off these same carriers in these same waters, perhaps with these same men. Drury and Clavin’s writing is as clever and compelling as it is rich with detail, and for me, my father lived in each line. He once told me that the second most magnificent sight he had ever seen (after my mother on a blind date) was while flying his TBM off Saipan, and being able to see in all directions nothing but the United States Navy steaming toward Japan. I wish he were still alive so I could present him with this magnificent book.” —Gary Kinder, author of Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea

“I thought I was a student of military history, but until I read Halsey’s Typhoon, I had no inkling that such an epic disaster—and an even more epic rescue mission—struck the U.S. Navy in World War II. This is a brilliant book, a rip-roaring read that puts you, sweating with fear, right in the middle of the action. It’s so good, I’ll ignore the fact that the navy guys are the heroes.” —Colonel (Retired) David Hunt, Fox News counterterrorism and military analyst and author of They Just Don’t Get It

“[Halsey’s Typhoon] tells the story of human heroes and human failure in terms of those who lived the ordeal and suffered great loss. The anecdotal aura, supported by scientific, technical, and naval tactical information, places this story in the peerless category with Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. It is a part of our history that deserves the light of day because of its valuable lessons and the intrepidity of those who came courageously to the rescue of sailors at sea—a tradition that stands at the pinnacle of man’s responsibilities.” —Vice Admiral (Ret.) Edward S. Briggs, United States Navy

“[Halsey’s Typhoon] is a tale of high adventure that was carefully researched by two established writers… Drury and Clavin have done a fine job. Their work has first place on my Christmas gift list for Navy Friends.” ––Colonel (Ret.) Gordon W. Keiser, U.S. Marine Corps, Proceedings

“I couldn't put this great read down. This account of Admiral William 'Bull' Halsey's Pacific Fleet facing a devastating typhoon during WW II has military history, naval operations, suspense, adventure, tragedy, and triumph interwoven in a little-known episode from the war in the Pacific.” —Rich Daley, Pass Christian Books, Pass Christian, MS, Book Sense quote

“With Halsey’s Typhoon, Drury and Clavin have discovered an epic nautical adventure worthy of Joseph Conrad. What’s more, their telling of the story is at once taut, poignant, and evocative. You can smell the blood in the water, but you can’t put it down.” —Mark Kriegel, author of Namath and Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich

“Terrifying . . . This is not just a tale of men against nature. It’s also a tale of men for, and against, other men.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Absorbing . . . A vivid tale of tragedy and gallantry at sea.” —Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802143372
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
11/10/2007
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
143,380
Product dimensions:
6.62(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.93(d)

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Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Halsey's Typhoon is one of a few recently published WWII books. The subtitle is not accurate. The story of Typhoon Cobra has been told many times, in fact, someone WHO WAS ACTUALLY THERE wrote a book titled Halsey's Typhoons (emphasizing plural and singular). Yes, there were two typhoons. Other than this misleading title, there are many other errors throughout the book. The authors have overdone metaphors, as if in a competition to see who could speak the most figuratively. One of the metaphors compares Halsey's destroyers to "Mrs. O'Leary's cows". Really, what does that mean? The authors do not know very much about the seamanship and the navy. I have read many WWII novels and histories and have found many conflicting statements. Firstly, Admiral King was not 'Navy Chief of Staff', the position does not exist. They must have been trying to implement different word choice that distract from the meaning of the story. The authors fail to explain ballasting effectively, probably because they do not understand the process. The two authors refer to the flags flown on the ships as "battle gidurons", which are used by land forces, not the navy. Destroyers are constantly referred to as DDs, and destroyer escorts as DEs. As far as I know, this book isn't a technical manual. It is as if the authors attempted to sound like they knew what they were taking about. Other than the authors obvious lack of basic seamanship and understanding of the navy, the book is very entertaining. The experiences of the sailors and ensigns is quite astounding. They do a very good job at making the story imminent, and are very good at expressing emotion. That is why this book earns three stars. There are many other books out there that accomplish all of the above criteria. I enjoyed reading it but think that anyone with a navy hunch will find the flaws distracting. This is why I recommend Down to the Sea by Bruce Henderson or Battle of the Leyte Gulf.
lorihanson More than 1 year ago
For anybody interested in WWII in the pacific will want to read this. It shows how limited radar was to the pacific fleet in tracking storms and how impossibly long it took to inform the admiral that he was sailing into a disaster. A definite must read.
RWatson28 More than 1 year ago
The book was non-stop action. From the onset of the typhoon, to the rescues and on to the investigation, the drama never stops. The comraderie, compassion and devotion of these men to each other was remarkable. The sacrifices they made and the will to live will astound you. I developed such a connection with the characters that I actually contacted one who was in the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book
Sourkraut More than 1 year ago
Having read Sea Cobra by Buckner F. Melton years before Halsey's Typhoon, it was not as good as Sea Cobra. No, Halsey's Typhoon is not an unknown thing, especially by serious historians and by those that love reading books about the sea. One of the issues I had was what happened to the CO of the Hull after he was rescued. I could not  find out what his life after the typhoon was like. Did he get another command? Did he do as well on his new ship? Did he gain the trust of his crew. These are all answers I would have liked to see answered.  I gave it four stars because other than that small issue, Drury and  Clavin weave a strong tale of what happens when nature meets a modern Naval Task Force. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She pads in and looks around. "Hello?"
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BillCA More than 1 year ago
Halsey's Typhoon is the true story of Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet encounter with a super Pacific typhoon, 90-foot waves and 150 knot winds, while enroute to support the allied landings in the Philippines. It is a powerful well written story of courage and ship-handling skill by young naval officers in an attempt to save their ships and crews. The sacrifices made by the sailors on the small ships, destroyers and destroyer escorts, are described in vivid detail. For anyone who has been at sea, this is an absolute must read. Well researched, good character development.
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She herded the kit out of the bursery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She shrieked as he attacked her. "W-wolfdash!! What are you doing?!" She cried. Her heart began to race, her eyes scanning frantically for a possible escape route. "Help!!" She screamed. Snow
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She easily slippe into the nursery, her body as frail as ever. Dovespots, they are beautiful." She purred, laying next to her daughter. "Have you named them yet?"
Luis Garcia More than 1 year ago
The good: this book cover most of the aspects regarding 'Typhoon Cobra', including the memories of the survivors. a very well written book that conveys the feelings of desperation and fear the tin can sailors must have felt. The bad: the text os no easy read as the author willing it or not creates that very feeling of chaos the fleet was in as the story jumps from one ship to the other. ys
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He padded back to camp.