The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945

The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The extraordinary story of the World War II air, land, and sea campaign that brought the U.S. Navy to the apex of its strength and marked the rise of the United States as a global superpower

Winner, Commodore John Barry Book Award, Navy League of the United States • Winner, John Lehman Distinguished Naval Historian Award, Naval Order of the United States

With its thunderous assault on the Mariana Islands in June 1944, the United States crossed the threshold of total war. In this tour de force of dramatic storytelling, distilled from extensive research in newly discovered primary sources, James D. Hornfischer brings to life the campaign that was the fulcrum of the drive to compel Tokyo to surrender—and that forever changed the art of modern war.

With a close focus on high commanders, front-line combatants, and ordinary people, American and Japanese alike, Hornfischer tells the story of the climactic end of the Pacific War as has never been done before. Here are the epic seaborne invasions of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam, the stunning aerial battles of the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, the first large-scale use of Navy underwater demolition teams, the largest banzai attack of the war, and the daring combat operations large and small that made possible the strategic bombing offensive culminating in the atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From the seas of the Central Pacific to the shores of Japan itself, The Fleet at Flood Tide is a stirring, authoritative, and cinematic portrayal of World War II’s world-changing finale.

Illustrated with original maps and more than 120 dramatic photographs

“Quite simply, popular and scholarly military history at its best.”—Victor Davis Hanson, author of Carnage and Culture
“The dean of World War II naval history . . . In his capable hands, the story races along like an intense thriller. . . . Narrative nonfiction at its finest—a book simply not to be missed.”—James M. Scott, Charleston Post and Courier
“An impressively lucid account . . . admirable, fascinating.”The Wall Street Journal
“An extraordinary memorial to the courageous—and a cautionary note to a world that remains unstable and turbulent today.”—Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander, NATO, author of Sea Power
“A masterful, fresh account . . . ably expands on the prior offerings of such classic naval historians as Samuel Eliot Morison.”The Dallas Morning News

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101889541
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/25/2016
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 558,276
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 2.20(d)

About the Author

James D. Hornfischer is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Neptune’s Inferno, Ship of Ghosts, and The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award. A native of Massachusetts and a graduate of Colgate University and the University of Texas School of Law, he lives in Austin, Texas.

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Copyright © 2016 James D. Hornfischer.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.
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Table of Contents

Maps and Diagrams xi

Military Designations and Abbreviations xiii

Preface: Total War xvii

Prologue: Cashiered n Algiers xxi

Part 1 Sea

1 Engine of Siege 3

2 On the Western Warpath 20

3 In Turner's Train 37

4 A Charge for Ozawa 65

5 The Outer Colony 71

6 A Rumor of Fleets 81

7 OBB and UDT 88

8 Heavy Weather 99

Part 2 Land

9 Heavier, Higher, Faster 111

10 D Day 116

11 Trail, Attack, Report 144

12 Tank Attack 153

13 The View from the Mountain 163

14 First Contact 170

15 War of the Wind Machines 178

16 Fast Carriers Down 194

17 To Build a Better Airfield 204

18 Beyond Darkness 212

19 Smith Versus Smith 233

20 Satan's Breath 247

21 The Dying Game 263

22 Sniper Ship on a Cave Shoot 268

23 Beyond All Boundaries 279

24 Atop Suicide Cliffs 290

25 Regime Change 301

26 Steel Like Snowflakes 318

27 The Will to Lose Hard 332

Part 3 Air

28 Secrets of New Mexico 347

29 Going Critical 366

30 Everybody's Business 384

31 Divine Winds 393

32 Methods of Death on the Wing 410

33 Opportunity and Madness 416

34 Prompt and Utter Destruction 429

35 Clear-cut Results 440

Part 4 Earth

36 Eight Bells for an Empire 461

37 The War Wearies 482

Acknowledgments 505

Notes 507

Bibliography 541

Index 569

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The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Jason_A_Greer More than 1 year ago
The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific is a sweeping military history, told in three parts, about the last 15 months of the Pacific theatre of WWII. In a very readable and engaging writing style, James Hornfischer, in the third of his histories about US military action in the Pacific, has written a compelling popular history driven by understanding the strategic aims of the combatants. This history is divided into three major sections, sea, land and air, and within each, he uses notable serviceman to stand in for the massive undertaking. For the sea, he uses Admiral Raymond Spruance, for the many amphibious operations, Admiral Kelly Turner, and for the revolutionary air conflict, he uses Paul Tibbets, commander of the Enola Gay. The reader is taken with the massive undertaking that this conflict required, and with the emphasis on the different types of operations, this book is a great discourse on perhaps the greatest sustained joint operations in military history. Considering the great distances, the supply and communications issues, the large ramp up of new men and materials and ships and planes, the coordination involved is mind boggling, especially being a few decades before computer technology made much of the coordination much easier. In an island hopping campaign, the invasions of Saipan, Tinian and Guam, and what their uses were going forward by leadership is the important focus. Culminating in the atomic bombings of Japan, Hornfischer goes to great lengths to show how the final decisions were made and justified, and what their motivations were.There is not much attention in this work to the combined operations with allied forces, particularly from the British Empire, as this book is mostly concerned with the central thrust towards Japan. One of the great strengths of this book is you come away with a greater understanding of why strategic and tactical decisions were made in a push to end this most terrible of wars. The reader should come away with greater sympathy and understanding of the hard and intractable decisions that were made, even down to the platoon level and local civilians caught in the cross fire. As a readable account of the end of the Pacific War, this comes highly recommended.