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Thread: "Sea of Thunder" by Evan Thomas

  1. #1
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    Default "Sea of Thunder" by Evan Thomas

    Best Naval battle book I've read yet. In fact, I'd venture to say it's one of the best WWII books I've read yet. I've read several books about Midway that were very good, but this book trumps them all.

    The book is very story-based and doesn't waste a lot of time telling you banal details that don't pertain to the story like many other Naval books. It tells the story of the Battle of the Phillipine Sea from the perspective of the US and Japanese Navies. It does a very good job of presenting the IJNs side of the battle.

    You'll have to make your own decision as to whether you think the book is too hard or too easy on Bull Halsey. The WWII vet that gave it to me said, "Boy he sure gives it to old Bull don't he?". I saw it kindof the opposite. I came away from the book a Bull Halsey fan whereas before reading it I was of the opinion that he was a bit of a fool. Again, you have to make your own decisions on that one.

    9/10 on the Krisler Scale. Get this book.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Sea of Thunder" by Evan Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
    Best Naval battle book I've read yet. In fact, I'd venture to say it's one of the best WWII books I've read yet. I've read several books about Midway that were very good, but this book trumps them all.

    The book is very story-based and doesn't waste a lot of time telling you banal details that don't pertain to the story like many other Naval books. It tells the story of the Battle of the Phillipine Sea from the perspective of the US and Japanese Navies. It does a very good job of presenting the IJNs side of the battle.

    You'll have to make your own decision as to whether you think the book is too hard or too easy on Bull Halsey. The WWII vet that gave it to me said, "Boy he sure gives it to old Bull don't he?". I saw it kindof the opposite. I came away from the book a Bull Halsey fan whereas before reading it I was of the opinion that he was a bit of a fool. Again, you have to make your own decisions on that one.

    9/10 on the Krisler Scale. Get this book.
    "Sea of Thunder" is NOT about the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and describes that battle only in passing. It is about the personalities of some of the Japanese and American commanders at the Battle of Leyte Gulf and attempts (poorly) to analyze that battle.

    As for being the "the best naval battle book", I have to strongly disagree. Thomas, in my opinion, is badly deficient in understanding WW II-era naval operations, gets several details wrong, and completely ignores many issues bearing on the battle, such as MacArthur's flawed preparations for the invasion, and KinKaid's serious mistakes during the battle. Thomas also glosses over the real reason for American errors, a divided command structure in the Pacific, and the real culprit, the JCS. He also fails to mention that Nimitz's orders to Halsey were contradictory and included mutually exclusive objectives.

    Cutler's book on Leyte Gulf, flawed as it is, is a far better choice for understanding the battle and it's implications. It's my opinion that the definitive story of the Battle of Leyte Gulf has yet to be written; when it does appear it will probably be in two or more volumes, and will be authored by an historian of the stature of Richard Frank. Thomas has not yet come near such stature.
    Last edited by Wizard; 01-02-2011 at 05:31 PM. Reason: edited for punctuation

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