Silent Victory: The U.S. Submarine War against Japan

Overview


With the content of an authoritative reference and the excitement of a thriller, this history of the U.S. submarine war is one of the most informative and entertaining books written on the Pacific campaign. The author, a respected journalist and World War II submariner himself, is credited with providing a complete and unbiased account of what happened. When published in 1975, it was the first such account to detail controversial aspects of the American campaign, from the ...
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Overview


With the content of an authoritative reference and the excitement of a thriller, this history of the U.S. submarine war is one of the most informative and entertaining books written on the Pacific campaign. The author, a respected journalist and World War II submariner himself, is credited with providing a complete and unbiased account of what happened. When published in 1975, it was the first such account to detail controversial aspects of the American campaign, from the torpedo scandal to discrepancies between claimed and confirmed sinkings.

To get to the truth, Clay Blair interviewed scores of skippers, staff officers, and code breakers, and combed thousands of documents and personal papers. In addition, he thoroughly researched the development of the submarine and torpedo from pre-war to post-war times. As a result, he takes the reader into the submarine war at all levels--the highest strategy sessions in Washington, the terrifying moments in subs at the bottom of the ocean waiting out exploding depth charges, the zany efforts of a crew coaxing a chicken to lay an egg. He also exposes the reader to the jealous infighting of admirals vying for power and the problems between cautious older skippers and daring young commanders. Supplementing the text are nearly forty maps showing submarine activity in the context of every important naval engagement in the Pacific, more than thirty pages of photographs, multiple appendixes (including a calendar of submarine war patrols), and an index of over 2,000 entries. This is a work of great scholarship and scope that makes a timeless contribution to the history of World War II.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557502179
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Pages: 1071
  • Sales rank: 190,700
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 17
1 Background for War 23
2 Pearl Harbor, December 1941 97
3 Manila, December 1941 127
4 Java and Australia, January through April 1942 163
5 Pearl Harbor, January through March 1942 204
6 Brisbane, April and May 1942 217
7 Pearl Harbor, April through June 1942 223
8 Washington, June and July 1942 256
9 Alaska, 1942 267
10 Fremantle, April through August 1942 273
11 Brisbane, May through September 1942 294
12 Pearl Harbor, July through December 1942 307
13 Brisbane, October through December 1942 338
14 Fremantle, September through December 1942 349
15 Summary, 1942 359
16 Submarine Command, January 1943 365
17 Brisbane, January through May 1943 369
18 Fremantle, January through July 1943 389
19 Pearl Harbor, January through March 1943 398
20 Alaska, 1943 416
21 Pearl Harbor, April through August 1943 422
22 Brisbane, June through December 1943 472
23 Fremantle, August through December 1943 486
24 Pearl Harbor, September through December 1943 505
25 Summary, 1943 551
26 Pearl Harbor, January through April 1944 557
27 Australia, January through March 1944 606
28 Australia, April through June 1944 620
29 Pearl Harbor, May and June 1944 642
30 Pearl Harbor and Australia, June to July 1944 664
31 Washington, Summer 1944 689
32 Pearl Harbor and Australia, July and August 1944 693
33 Pearl Harbor and Australia, September to October 1944 722
34 Pearl Harbor and Australia, October to November 1944 744
35 Pearl Harbor and Australia, November and December 1944 787
36 Submarine Command, December 1944 812
37 Summary, 1944 816
38 Pearl Harbor and Guam, January through March 1945 823
39 Fremantle and Subic Bay, January through August 1945 845
40 Pearl Harbor and Guam, April through August 1945 857
41 After the War 877
App. A World War II Submarine Squadron Commanders, Pacific 889
App. B World War II Submarine Skippers Selected to Flag Rank 890
App. C Postwar Commanders of Submarines Atlantic Fleet 892
App. D Postwar Commanders of Submarines Pacific Fleet 892
App. E Submarine War Patrols, Atlantic 893
App. F Submarine War Patrols, Pacific 900
App. G Top Skippers of World War II 984
App. H Best War Patrols by Numbers of Ships Sunk 988
App. I Best War Patrols by Tonnage of Ships Sunk 988
App. J Top Submarines by Number of Ships Sunk 989
App. K Top Submarines by Tonnage of Ships Sunk 990
App. L Submarine Losses in World War II 991
Sources 993
Index 1007
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2002

    Authoritative and Definitive History, But Has Its Faults

    This is considered the most accurate and comprehensive history on submarine warfare in the Pacific. Unlike other such works, a relatively great deal of attention is paid to the efforts of US "codebreakers." The one criticism I have of this book, is that Blair fails to include Japanese documentation or literature. But overall, this is an entertaining acedemic work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2001

    The Gold Standard on US Subs in WWII

    Originally printed in 1975, Blair exhaustively interviewed many who had served (as he himself had) in the submarine service. Sadly, many of those, including Blair himself, have passed on since the original printing. He weaves together a story of both the personalities and the machines involved in US undersea warfare. This book pulls no punches, and describes the early 'skipper' problems, and the multi-layer torpedo problems. It also describes the incredible triumphs of the Silent Service during this period, in which 60% of Japanese shipping fell to US submarines, which represented less than 2% of Naval personnel. Most fascinating is the development of several key submarine officers in their leadership abilities and successes. This book is a 'must read' for all who are interested in military and naval history. Blair spent the next 20 years after 'Silent Victory' working on his equally well-researched 2 volume 'Hitler's U-Boat War'.

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