To document the Franklin's ordeal and the chaplain's actions, the author draws on interviews with survivors and O'Callahan's family and many unpublished sources.
"If you believe that President Harry S. Truman made the right decision to drop nuclear weapons on Japan, this book will supply grist for your mill. If you feel that an invasion or blockade was an alternative, you might reconsider your opinion after reading this book."--Military Review
President Truman's determination to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki remains one of the most controversial decisions in American history.
In Truman's Dilemma: Invasion or The Bomb, military historian Paul D. Walker examines the circumstances of the war in the Pacific and weighs the factors that resulted in America's attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the atomic bomb. Walker argues that, faced with the genuine threat of overwhelming military and civilian casualties, Truman made the correct decision in a difficult situation.
Within this compelling book is a summary of Japanese history and an overview of the circumstances surrounding the war in the Pacific. Americans met a unique challenge when faced with their opponents. The Japanese had a fascinating mentality based on the traditional Japanese Bushido (way of the warrior) philosophy. This philosophy indoctrinated the entire populace with a desire to win--at any personal cost-- thereby adding new and distinctive elements to America's idea of traditional warfare. After weighing the options, Truman found himself looking for a solution that would quickly end the war. Demands for surrender had been met with deliberate silence. It was twelve days after the first bomb that peace came. Even then, an attempted coup by the Japanese militants had to be thwarted.
This epic story opens at the hour the Greatest Generation went to war on December 7, 1941, and follows four U.S. Navy ships and their crews in the Pacific until their day of reckoning three years later with a far different enemy: a deadly typhoon. In December 1944, while supporting General MacArthur's invasion of the Philippines, Admiral William "Bull" Halsey neglected the Law of Storms, placing the mighty U.S. Third Fleet in harm's way. Drawing on extensive interviews with nearly every living survivor and rescuer, as well as many families of lost sailors, transcripts and other records from naval courts of inquiry, ships' logs, personal letters, and diaries, Bruce Henderson finds some of the story's truest heroes exhibiting selflessness, courage, and even defiance.
Known throughout the fleet as “Big Ben,” the USS Franklin was christened for the legacy of the four prior U.S. Navy ships named after Benjamin Franklin. The Franklin was one of twenty-four Essex-class fast carriers built during World War II, forming the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s war against Japan.