The Twilight Warriors

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Winner of the 2011 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature, The Twilight Warriors is the engrossing, page-turning saga of a tightly knit band of naval aviators who are thrust into the final—and most brutal—battle of the Pacific war during World War II: Okinawa.

April 1945. The end of World War II finally appears to be nearing. The Third Reich is collapsing in Europe, and the Americans are overpowering the once-mighty Japanese Empire in the Pacific. For a group of young pilots trained in the twilight of the war, their greatest worry is that it will end before they have 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 catching the tail end of the war. What they don’t know is that they will be key players in the bloodiest and most difficult of naval battles—not only of World War II but in all of American history.

The Twilight Warriors relives the drama of the world’s last great naval campaign. From the cockpit of a Corsair fighter we gaze down at the Japanese task force racing to destroy the American amphibious force at Okinawa. Through the eyes of the men on the destroyers assigned to picket ship duty, we experience the terror as wave after wave of kamikazes crash into their ships. Standing on the deck of the legendary superbattleship Yamato, we watch Japan’s last hope for victory die in a tableau of gunfire and explosions.

The fate of the Americans at Okinawa, including a twenty-two-year-old former art student, an intrepid fighter pilot whose life abruptly changes when his Corsair goes down off the enemy shore, and a young Texan lieutenant who volunteers for the most dangerous flying job in the fleet—intercepting kamikazes at night over the blackened Pacific—is intertwined with the lives of the “young gods”: the honor-bound kamikaes forces who swarm like killer bees toward the U.S. ships.

The ferocity of the Okinawa fighting stuns the world. Before it ends, the long battle will cost more American lives, ships, and aircraft than any naval engagement in U.S. history. More than simply the account of a historic battle, The Twilight Warriors brings to life the human side of an epic conflict. It is the story of young Americans at war in the air and on the sea—and of their enigmatic, fanatically courageous enemy.
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About the author

ROBERT GANDT is a former naval officer and aviator, international airline pilot, screenwriter, and a military and aviation historian. He is the author of several novels and non-fiction books, including Bogeys and Bandits, the definitive work on modern naval aviation, which was adapted for the television series Pensacola: Wings of Gold. He and his wife Anne live in the Spruce Creek Fly-In in Daytona Beach, Florida. Visit his web site at www.Gandt.com.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Broadway Books
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Published on
Nov 2, 2010
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780767932431
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Naval
History / Military / World War II
Transportation / Aviation / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From Hell Hawks! author Bob Dorr, Mission to Tokyo takes the reader on a World War II strategic bombing mission from an airfield on the western Pacific island of Tinian to Tokyo and back. Toldin the veterans' words, Mission to Tokyo is a narrative of every aspect of long range bombing, including pilots and other aircrew, groundcrew, and escort fighters that accompanied the heavy bombers on their perilous mission.Several thousand men on the small Mariana Islands of Guam, Saipan, and Tinian were trying to take the war to the Empire—Imperial Japan—in B-29 Superfortresses flying at 28,000 feet, but the high-altitude bombing wasn't very accurate. The decision was made to take the planes down to around 8,000 feet, even as low as 5,000 feet. Eliminating the long climb up would save fuel, and allow the aircraft to take heavier bomb loads. The lower altitude would also increase accuracy substantially. The trade-off was the increased danger of anti-aircraft fire. This was deemed worth the risk, and the devastation brought to the industry and population of the capital city was catastrophic. Unfortunately for all involved, the bombing did not bring on the quick surrender some had hoped for. That would take six more months of bombing, culminating in the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.As with Mission to Berlin (Spring 2011), Mission to Tokyo focuses on a specific mission from spring 1945 and provides a history of the strategic air war against Japan in alternating chapters.
Although it was the largest and final battle of the Pacific War, the Battle for Okinawa has long been overshadowed by other dramatic events in 1945. The books that have been written about it emphasize the role of infantrymen, armor, and U.S. Marines. This work takes a fresh perspective and focuses on the vital role played by the U.S. Army’s forward artillery observers—the eyes and ears of American artillery who were among the least recognized heroes of the war. According to Rodney Earl Walton, U.S. artillerymen matched Japanese gunners in intensity and surpassed them in effectiveness because their forward observers were able to provide a much shorter response time to requests for artillery support. Divided into teams consisting of four or five men led by an artillery lieutenant, these observers would spend three days on the front lines directing artillery against enemy positions, return to their artillery battery for three days, and then rotate up to the line of battle again. While trying to maximize the damage inflicted on the enemy, the men had to deal with the ever-present possibility of firing on their own forces. The ability to shift artillery fire throughout the battlefield was a new development in World War II, and its evolution is fully examined in the book.

Walton, the son of one of the forward observers on Okinawa, spent more than twenty years investigating what happened to his father and other artillerymen during the conflict. Interviews with the artillerymen and the infantrymen they supported are central to his story, which is filled with gripping and sometimes humorous accounts of what happened. The work stands as a stirring tribute from the “baby boom generation” to the “greatest generation.”
In the pre-dawn darkness of December 7, 1941, five Imperial Japanese Navy submarines surfaced off the coast of Oahu. Secured to the decks of these vessels were secret weapons to be deployed for the first time in modern warfare: two-man midget submarines, intended to enter Pearl Harbor without being detected and torpedo the US Navy battleships lying at anchor there. None of them would return from their mission.   

“One of the last remaining and persistent mysteries of the Pearl Harbor attack is that of the Japanese Midget Submarines. It is a fascinating story of innovation, courage, secrets, and failed expectations. And it is not only a story of the morning hours of December 7, but of the years before to develop these weapons and the years after, where they were deployed in the great Pacific War and how they fared as weapons of war.”

These words by Daniel J. Basta, from the foreword of this work, capture both the essence and the impact of The Lost Submarines of Pearl Harbor. James P. Delgado and his coauthors have worked on the story of these incredible craft for decades. They combed the records of the US Navy and the recollections of its veterans as well as Japanese, Australian, and British archives in order to uncover the truth. They have logged hours of direct observation and research on the midget subs in their final resting places, in some cases more than 1,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific. And in the end, they have woven a tapestry of scholarship, historical sleuthing, scientific insight, and good storytelling that will enthrall specialists and history enthusiasts alike.
 
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • For readers of Unbroken comes an unforgettable tale of courage from America’s “forgotten war” in Korea, by the author of A Higher Call.

Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar.

While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world’s most dangerous job—landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier—a line of work that Jesse’s young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept.

Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC “Red” Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea.

Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse, and into the foxholes with Red and the Marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the Marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try and save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history’s most audacious one-man rescue mission.

A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend?

Praise for Devotion

“Riveting . . . a meticulously researched and moving account.”—USA Today

“An inspiring tale . . . portrayed by Makos in sharp, fact-filled prose and with strong reporting.”—Los Angeles Times

“[A] must-read.”—New York Post

“Stirring.”—Parade

“A masterful storyteller . . . [Makos brings] Devotion to life with amazing vividness. . . . [It] reads like a dream. The perfectly paced story cruises along in the fast lane—when you’re finished, you’ll want to start all over again.”—Associated Press

“A delight to read . . . Devotion is a story you will not forget.”—The Washington Times

“My great respect for Tom Hudner knows no bounds. He is a true hero; and in reading this book, you will understand why I feel that way.”—President George H. W. Bush

“This is aerial drama at its best—fast, powerful, and moving.”—Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake

“Though it concerns a famously cold battle in the Korean War, make no mistake: Devotion will warm your heart.”—Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice

“At last, the Korean War has its epic, a story that will stay with you long after you close this book.”—Eric Blehm, New York Times bestselling author of Fearless and Legend
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