In November 1943, while on war patrol in the Makassar Strait, the USS Billfish submarine was spotted by the Japanese, who launched a vicious depth charge attack. Explosions wracked the sub for fifteen straight hours. With his senior officers incapacitated, diving officer Charlie Rush boldly assumed command and led key members of the crew in a heroic effort to keep their ship intact as they tried to escape.
Now, in War Beneath the Waves, this intense story is finally told in all its harrowing detail. It is an inspiring tale of one man's leadership and courage under fire, and of the remarkable efforts of a submarine crew to do their duty and save their ship.
Included here are some familiar names. Slade Cutter, who earned four Navy Crosses as a skipper in World War II, describes the process that made him a capable submariner. Dennis Wilkinson, first skipper of the nuclear-powered Nautilus in the 1950s, tells of being in the first missile-firing submarine in the 1940s.
Robert McNitt recalls his experiences as executive officer to Medal of Honor skipper Gene Fluckey. Among the other submariners who present their personal memories are Jerry Beckley, contemplating the possibility of firing nuclear missiles during the 1962 Cuban crisis; Hosey Mays, describing what it was like to be a black man in a boat with a nearly all-white crew; Paul Foster, discussing the sinking a German U-boat in World War I; and Wayne Miller, explaining the enormous satisfaction he felt when he earned his silver dolphins.
In January 1968, a U.S. intelligence ship, USS Pueblo, was seized by North Korea. Among other items, the North Koreans confiscated a valuable cryptographic unit that was capable of deciphering the Navy's top-secret codes. Unknown to the Navy, a traitor named John Walker had begun supplying the Navy's codes to the KGB. Once the KGB acquired the crypto unit from the North Koreans, the Russians were able to read highly classified naval communications.
In March, a Soviet sub, K-129, mysteriously sank near Hawaii, hundreds of miles from its normal station in the Pacific. Soviet naval leaders mistakenly believed that a U.S. submarine was to blame for the loss, and they planned revenge. A trap was set: several Soviet vessels were gathered in the Atlantic, acting suspiciously. It would be only a matter of time before a U.S. sub was sent to investigate. That sub was Scorpion. Using the top-secret codes and the deciphering machine, the Soviets could intercept and decode communication between the Navy and Scorpion, the final element in carrying out the planned attack.
All Hands Down shows how the Soviet plan was executed and explains why the truth of the attack has been officially denied for forty years. Sewell and Preisler debunk various official explanations for the tragedy and bring to life the personal stories of some of the men who were lost when Scorpion went to the bottom. This true story, finally told after exhaustive research, is more exciting than any novel.
Dwight D. Eisenhower achieved prominence as a military leader during World War II and as a statesman following the conflict, but less is known about his ambitions and preparation between the wars that served as the foundation for his later success. The first modern analysis of Eisenhower's career before his rise to fame, this study examines Ike's intellectual ideas concerning politics, military strategy, and history in the decades between the wars. Holland details Eisenhower's quest to make himself the best officer in the U.S. Army and to prepare for the next war--which he firmly believed was coming.
Based upon the voluminous collection at the Eisenhower Library, this book includes discussion of Eisenhower's intellectual development, family life, military education, the roles of mentors and friends, as well as his political and international experiences. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Ike labored thanklessly in an army marked by budget cuts and incompetence. Despite this atmosphere, he persevered to become a pioneer in mechanized and aerial warfare, the author of an official history of World War I, the creator of the first industrial mobilization plan in American history, a one man public relations section for the War Department, and the organizer of the Philippine army. Through it all, Ike remained a man with a big heart, a man equally able to work with presidents or privates without losing his common touch.
Plotting a True Course: Reflections on USAF Strategic Attack Theory and Doctrine : the Post-World War II Experience
Examining wars from the allied victory in World War II to the conflict in Viet Nam, and finally to the operations in the Gulf and Kosovo, this book presents a comprehensive look at the evolution of strategic air attack theory and doctrine over the years.
An examination of Holland Smith's career in the Marine Corps follows its evolution from an insular constabulary at the turn of the 20th century to a juggernaut, landing American troops island by island in vital amphibious engagements up to 1945. Serving in important assignments from the Philippines to China to Latin America, Smith became deeply involved in the development of amphibious strategy and tactics, as well as in the creation of proper landing craft by the early 1930s. After Pearl Harbor, the Marines would turn to him to plan and lead operations in the Gilberts, the Marianas, and the Volcano Islands, culminating in the epic operation at Iwo Jima. Venzon details the life of this quiet, modest man who, she contends, deliberately cultivated the persona of an irascible, unreasonable perfectionist, in an effort to do everything possible to protect the Marines under his command.
Smith braved malaria and dengue fever in the Philippines, sailed through the backwaters of post-Manchu China, and fought in the earliest banana wars in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. After World War I, he was the first Marine to attend the General Staff College at Langres, and from then on became am important member of 4th Marine Brigade Staff, and later on the staff of the army's I Corps. Here, he learned that war in the new century would be as much about planning, logistics, communications, and intelligence as it was about brute force. Upon his return to the United States, he attended both the Naval War College and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. By 1940, he commanded the First Marine Division. His deliberately explosive behavior, however, would ultimately push him out of the circle of legendary World War II leaders.
By 1756 the wilderness war for control of North America that erupted two years earlier between France and England had expanded into a global struggle among all of Europe's Great Powers. Its land and sea battles raged across the North American continent, engulfed Europe and India, and stretched from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, Indian, and Pacific waters. The new conflict, now commonly known as the Seven Years' War of 1756-1763, was a direct continuation of the last French and Indian War. This study explores the North American campaigns in relation to events elsewhere in the world, from the ministries of Whitehall and Versailles to the land and sea battles in Europe, Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean.
Few wars have had a more decisive effect on international relations and national development. The French and Indian War resulted in France's expulsion from almost all of the Western Hemisphere, except for some tiny islands in the Caribbean and St. Lawrence. Britain emerged as the world's dominant sea power and would remain so for two centuries. Finally, within a generation or two the vast debts incurred by Whitehall and Versailles in waging this war would help to stimulate revolutions in America and France that would forever change world history.
From the mid-19th century to the early Cold War, the United States has a long history with China, and that interaction has not always been positive or productive. This brief history of foreign intervention in China, viewed through the experiences of the United States Marines, examines how the occupying powers dealt with a fellow sovereign nation. In many cases this involved the partition or outright absorption of Chinese territory through naked aggression. Clark contends that, considering the past two centuries, the Chinese have good reason to distrust all foreigners, and he urges the pursuit of a badly needed rapprochement.
This is, however, also the story of the evolution of the Marine Corps as a separate service. Although an occupying force, the Marines did make considerable efforts to earn the friendship of the Chinese people. Always on the brink of extinction due to budgetary cuts and the enmity of the army and navy, the Marines managed to perform an onerous and difficult duty in a foreign land. With a resurgent China constantly testing the United States, a fellow Pacific Rim nation, every policymaker should be well aware of the often difficult history that we share and the mistakes that have been made in the past.
During World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower became convinced that the era of separate land, sea, and air operations was over and that future military operations would involve all three elements acting in concert. He foresaw that, once peace had been restored, the waste and duplication of effort which characterized America's military operations during the war would not be tolerated by an economy-minded Congress. A fiscal conservative, Eisenhower saw national security as dependent upon maintaining a healthy economy and a strong military. His goal, therefore, was the achievement of an efficient, properly balanced military establishment within the context of a healthy economy through the unification of the services into a single Cabinet level department.
As Army Chief of Staff, adviser to Secretaries of National Defense James Forrestal and Louis Johnson, and then as president, Eisenhower was a leader in the effort to achieve unification. The final result of these efforts, the Military Reorganization Act of 1958, did not encompass all of the changes that Eisenhower originally sought. However, he had been instrumental in transforming the unorganized military establishment of pre-war America into a highly centralized organization led by a powerful secretary of defense. This structure would remain unchanged for twenty-eight years.