The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

  • by James D. Hornfischer
  • Narrated by Grover Gardner
  • 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Told from the point of view of the men who waged this steel-shattering battle, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors captures Navy pilots attacking enemy battleships with makeshift weapons and sacrificial valor, a veteran commander improvising tactics never taught in Annapolis, and young crews from across America rising to an impossible challenge. It takes us into the heart and mind of an iron-willed, self-made executive officer leading his men throughout a sea of carnage and two hellish days and nights clinging to survival amid oil, blood, sharks, and madness. And it dramatizes how the overmatched U.S. force, enduring the loss of five gallant ships and nearly a thousand brave men, turned a certain crashing defeat into a momentous victory that would lead to the final surrender of America's ruthless imperial foe. Filled with riveting detail and based on the author's extensive interviews and correspondence with veterans, unpublished eyewitness accounts, declassified documents, and rare Japanese sources, this is war at sea as it has seldom been presented before. It is an unforgettable narrative that captures the essence of heroism, the power of loyalty, and the way in which the unadorned truth is more stirring than legend itself.
Also, this audio program contains excerpts of exclusive interviews with Navy veterans conducted by the author.


What the Critics Say

"Readable from beginning to end, this popular history magnificently brings to life men and times that may seem almost as remote as Trafalgar to many in the early twenty-first century....One of the finest World War II volumes to appear in years." ( Booklist)
"One of the finest WWII naval action narratives in recent years....reads like a very good action novel." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Hornfischer is a powerful stylist whose explanations are clear as well as memorable....a dire survival-at-sea saga." ( Denver Post)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent book slightly let down by the reader.

This is an excellent story of WWII naval combat at the very sharpest end as well as relating one of the USNs finest and most courageous actions. There is huge tension and drama of a real David vs Goliath battle in which US DDs, DDEs & CVEs were surprised by an overwhelming Japanese surface force and yet through immense bravery and determination won the day. If you're interested in WWII and/or naval history this is a superb story.

The only fly in the ointment is the narrator, he sounds more like a robot than a person on several occasions although you do get used to his style it does grate somewhat. Listen to a clip before buying just in case.
Read full review

- Andrew

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-02-2004
  • Publisher: Random House Audio