Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It | [Robert Gandt] PLAY AUDIO SAMPLE The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It

By:  Robert Gant
Rated 5 Stars

A while back I purchased this book with one of my audible credits. It's about a squadron of airman who were commissioned in the Naval air force right at the end of WWII in the pacific. Why such a pacifist person like me likes war books is a mystery for the ages. But this particular book caught my eye because the blurb said it was about the invasion of Okinawa and was the largest naval battle of WW2. My husband participated in that battle as a very young 17 year old sailor. He joined on this 17th birthday scared to death he was going to miss the war completely. This attached photo of him was taken around that time. I did not have this picture of him but in a serendipitous moment Ree posted it on his tribute to her Dad. It was so perfect for this post
I swiped it from her.
After listening to this book, I am sorry I didn't ask him more about it. I don't remember him saying much other than he said he was one of the picket ships designed to make smoke that obscured the bigger ships from the kamikazes and to provide extra anti aircraft fire, that he heard more fighting than he saw since he was in the engine room when his ship was engaged in fighting. He also said that at the time he was not smart enough to be scared but I think he must have lied about that because in this book the pickett ships suffered way more casualties because they were the first things the suicide pilots saw and he would have to have been really clueless not to be. But at 17? Well he might have been. <shrug>.
I realize this is ancient history to people now. Heck it was 69 years ago. But having a personal connection sure made the book more interesting to me and I wish now I had asked him more about what it was like for a cocky 17 year kid who didn't have enough sense to be afraid. The sailor I knew and loved was the man who held responsible positions and swaned off to Viet Nam for 6 months at a time where I never considered him to be in the least bit of danger even though he probably was in some. All navel ships can be dangerous in certain circumstances.
Any way this year on November 11th I am going to remember the young boy who became the man I loved and married. Adding together all his service he was downright awesome

Publisher's Summary:

"April 1945. The end of World War II finally appears to be nearing. The Nazis are collapsing in Europe, and the Americans are vastly overpowering the Japanese in the Pacific. For a group of pilots in their early 20s who were trained during the twilight of the war, the biggest concern is that they'll never actually see real action and will go home without having a chance to face the enemy. They call themselves Tail-End Charlies. They fly at the tail end of formations, stand at the tail end of chow lines, and now they are prepared for battle at the tail end of the war. Little do they know that they will be key players in the most difficult and bloodiest of naval battles---not only of World War II but in all of American history: the campaign to take the Japanese island of Okinawa to serve as a basis for an eventual invasion of Japan. Derived from interviews with and newly discovered memoirs, journals, and correspondence of Okinawa veterans from both the American and Japanese sides, The Twilight Warriors provides a thrilling you-are-there narrative. Like the HBO series The Pacific, this book combines thrilling action with human stories of courage and sacrifice and triumph. It's Band of Brothers at sea and in the sky."