“The destiny of our country has been inextricably interwoven with the sea. This was never more true than in the giant World War II that involved all seas and most of mankind. To fight the sea war we needed many types of ships, large and small, from aircraft carriers and battleships to PT boats.
“Small though they were, the PT boats played a key role. Like most naval ships, they could carry out numerous tasks with dispatch and versatility. In narrow waters or in-fighting close to land they could deliver a powerful punch with torpedo or gun. On occasion they could lay mines or drop depth charges. They could speed through reefs and shark infested waters to rescue downed pilots or secretly close the shore to make contacts with coast watchers and guerrilla forces. PT boats were an embodiment of John Paul Jones’ words:
“I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast for I intend to go in harm’s way.”
“Naval strength must function from shore to shore and on inland waters where the mobility and flexibility provided by ships can be employed to support land operations. PT boats filled an important need in World War II in shallow waters, complementing the achievements of greater ships in greater seas. This need for small, fast, versatile, strongly armed vessels does not wane. In fact it may increase in these troubled times when operations requiring just these capabilities are the most likely of those which may confront us.
“The thorough and competent account herein of over-all PT boat operations in World War II, compiled by Captain Robert Bulkley, a distinguished PT boat commander, should therefore prove of wide interest. The widest use of the sea, integrated fully into our national strength, is as important to America in the age of nuclear power and space travel as in those stirring days of the birth of the Republic.”–President John F Kennedy.
World War II changed the course of history. Douglas MacArthur changed the course of World War II. MACARTHUR AT WAR will go deeper into this transformative period of his life than previous biographies, drilling into the military strategy that Walter R. Borneman is so skilled at conveying, and exploring how personality and ego translate into military successes and failures.
Architect of stunning triumphs and inexplicable defeats, General MacArthur is the most intriguing military leader of the twentieth century. There was never any middle ground with MacArthur. This in-depth study of the most critical period of his career shows how MacArthur's influence spread far beyond the war-torn Pacific.
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