The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan

The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan

by James Scott
4.8 9

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The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan by James Scott

“Beautifully researched and masterfully told” (Alex Kershaw, New York Times bestselling author of Escape from the Deep), this is the riveting story of the heroic and tragic US submarine force that helped win World War II in the Pacific.

Focusing on the unique stories of three of the war’s top submarines—Silversides, Drum, and TangThe War Below vividly re-creates the camaraderie, exhilaration, and fear of the brave volunteers who took the fight to the enemy’s coastline in World War II. Award-winning journalist James Scott recounts incredible feats of courage—from an emergency appendectomy performed with kitchen utensils to sailors’ desperate struggle to escape from a flooded submarine—as well as moments of unimaginable tragedy, including an attack on an unmarked enemy freighter carrying 1,800 American prisoners of war.

The casualty rate among submariners topped that of all other military branches. The war claimed almost one out of every five submarines, and a submarine crewman was six times more likely to die than a sailor onboard a surface ship. But this valorous service accomplished its mission; Silversides, Drum, and Tang sank a combined sixty-two freighters, tankers, and transports. The Japanese were so ravaged from the loss of precious supplies that by the war’s end, pilots resorted to suicidal kamikaze missions and hungry civilians ate sawdust while warships had to drop anchor due to lack of fuel. In retaliation, the Japanese often beat, tortured, and starved captured submariners in the atrocious prisoner of war camps.

Based on more than 100 interviews with submarine veterans and thousands of pages of previously unpublished letters and diaries, The War Below lets readers experience the battle for the Pacific as never before.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439176856
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 05/14/2013
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 92,510
File size: 16 MB
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About the Author

James Scott is a former investigative reporter with The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, where he was named Journalist of the Year in 2003 by the South Carolina Press Association. A 2007 Nieman Fellow for Journalism at Harvard University, Scott is the author of The Attack on the Liberty, which won the Samuel Eliot Morison Award. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

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The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The War Below by James Scott Best of the Best! As a twenty-plus years U.S. Navy veteran and Submariner, and a personal friend of one of the Tang survivors, I commend James Scott for writing one of best, accurate and readable undersea warfare books I have ever read. His creative methods of succinctly yet interestingly bringing out the big picture and incorporating various aspects of WW-II and how  they relate to and affect submarine operations is extremely well done. His exhaustive research his obvious. Bravo Zulu!
BES62 More than 1 year ago
An avid reader of WWII history, I was thrilled to begin The War Below. It tells the stories, individually, of three different submarines that played an integral part of the war in the Pacific. Having toured the U.S.S. Drum in Alabama, I was particularly interested in this book. It is written in a concise manner., making the reader feel as if they were actually on the submarine. Well documented, factual, and truly tells the stories of the actual submariners who fought gallantly against Japan in the Pacific. Epic read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book! To really bring it up close and home, visit and tour the USS Drum at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park at Mobile, Al. It is worth the trip to see it and actually walk the passageways and touch it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down, and went to sleep with the taste of sea water in my mouth and the smell of sweat and diesel in my nose. The level of bravery of the submariner is well defined and simultaneously inconceivable. Read this book...
sainthelenaislandman More than 1 year ago
One look at the phenomenal James Hornfischer's strong endorsement of this book and there was no stopping me getting a copy as soon as possible. Five stars is only a nominal assessment in this case, as Mr. Scott's book is better than that. Painstakingly researched and elegantly written, "The War Below" is a must read for WWII and history buffs but I hope it reaches a far broader audience. Americans should know this story well, for without the nearly unimaginable courage and skills displayed under the most stressful if not horrific conditions imaginable by our submariners in WWII, we would not know and enjoy our world today in its present form. Were it not for the inclusion of only one high level map of the Pacific (several more would have been helpful) and the too small (for me, at least) font, this might be a perfect book. The patrol sequences, frequently ending in the fiery and acrid destruction of enemy shipping and warships, are not merely thrilling but highly educational. One learns time and again of duty fulfilled that in fact went well beyond the call of duty. The recounting of a pharmacist's mate performing an emergency appendectomy while the skipper held the boat deep enough to minimize turbulence is simply beyond the pale. Get this book and devour it. And if you can get to the end-- right through the passages about our men being tortured in captivity-- without being emotionally overcome then perhaps you should make an appointment with the Wizard of Oz to see if you can be granted a heart. Six stars.
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excellent reading !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book