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This collection of popular naval stories covers the entire span of World War II, beginning when Britain's Royal Navy faced fascist forces on its own until the final Allied victory over the Japanese in 1945. It offers a rich mixture of stories about such large and well-known battles and operations as the Battle of the River Plate, Pearl Harbor, and the Battle of the Coral Sea, and such lesser-known actions as the submarine attack on Corfu harbor, the loss of USS Leedstown, and the saga of USS Rich to characterize the breadth and variety of the war at sea. Also included are memories of John F. Kennedy's heroic actions with PT 109 and George Bush's near-death experience with an aircraft known as the flying casket.
While readers might have heard some of the stories before in greater detail, John Frayn Turner's prose crackles with action and tension to keep their rapt attention. Even those who know little about the war will be drawn into the combat. A sailor's eye view of the war at sea in every sphere, this compelling account has broad appeal. Offering special attraction are the all-too-little-known contributions of rescue ships and merchant seamen and the adventures of civilians, among them Johnnie Ferguson, who spent three weeks adrift in an open boat when her ship was torpedoed. Readers will come away with a clear understanding of the giant scope of World War II and the individual grit and determination that produced a victory.