The crew of an old U.S. Navy destroyer steaming toward a deadly battle in the Java Sea is the focus of this famous novel set at the outbreak of World War II as the Allies attempted to defend the Philippines and Dutch East Indies against superior Japanese forces. Thrust into conflict against the highly trained modern navy, the American sailors often had only their own courage with which to meet the enemy, and Admiral Mack's memorable description of those men as they faced overwhelming odds has assured the book's popularity since it first appeared in hardcover in 1987.
About the Author
William P. Mack, the author of numerous books, served as a gunnery officer aboard the destroyer USS John D. Ford in the Java campaign. He was Vice Admiral and commander of the Seventh Fleet and later served as superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. William P. Mack, Jr. has coauthored a number of books with his father.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
South to Java based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Accurate and readable fictional depiction of the frustration and chaos of early naval activiies in the SW Pacific written by somone who was there.
This book might be described as old-fashioned. It reads somewhat like a war novel written in the 50s or 60s. However that does not mean that it is not a good read. In the first place, it was written by a man who knows what he is talking about, almost always a good recommendation for a novel. Also it is a well-written and very readable.I won't ruin the plot by describing it. I will simply say that the book is about an old destroyer in the pre-war Phillipines just before World War Two starts. The situation and the people, officers and enlisted, ring true. The events are authentic, written by a man who was there and took part in them.I liked the book. I recommend it heartily.
The book is about an old WW1 four stacker destroyer in the Philippines at the start of WW2. The main character is a young Naval Officer is the gunnery officer. Just so happens that at the start of WW2 that Adm. William P. Mack USN (Ret.) was was a young gunnery officer on the USS Pope an old WW1 vintage four stacker station in the Philippines. This is what makes this book unique from the many other fiction books that I have read set in this time frame. There is a feel of authenticity to the conversations among the characters; "Where and when will the war will start. Pearl Harbor, Hong Kong, Singapore etc." Also the characters or more fleshed out than in most books of this kind. Not only the officers but the enlisted as well. They all have their lives and problems aboard ship and ashore. We care about them.The battle sequences were well written and the fictional USS O'Leary DD 200 Took nothing away from the actual historical battles.Overall a good read and recommended to any that like Naval Fiction.There are a few more books that the author wrote to continue the story. I just might look into them