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Bacalao [Paperback]

J.T. McDaniel
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £10.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 July 2004
When Lieutenant Lawrence Miller first sees U.S.S. Bacalao in the builder's yard in late 1940, the submarine is little more than a pile of curved steel plates. During the next few months Miller watches the boat take shape, and the crew gather from throughout the fleet. By late 1941 Bacalao is in commission and assigned to the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Then, on a Sunday morning, everything changes as the Japanese sneak attack plunges the United States into World War II. The new submarine and her untried crew are immediately thrown into action against the Japanese. And Miller is there through it all, from the disastrous first patrol, when the boat is nearly lost and a pair of surprising heroes emerge, to the deployment to Australia, where a chance encounter ashore will change his life forever. Then, after spending a year in command of an antiquated S-boat in the frozen hell of the Aleutians, Miller returns to Bacalao as her last wartime commander. Written in a simple, straightforward style, Bacalao is destined to become an instant classic of submarine fiction.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Riverdale Electronic Books (30 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971220751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971220751
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 771,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
VICE ADMIRAL LAWRENCE MILLER, USN (RET), pulled his car into the parking space, being careful to get the vehicle exactly centered. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Bacaloa 5 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Would anyone really name a submarine 'Dried Cod'? Monotonous and non-involving. I will not be reading any more books by this author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fictional WWII Submarine Techno-thriller! 5 Jun 2006
By W. H. McDonald Jr. - Published on
There have been many excellent books written about WWII submarine warfare over the decades. One would think that this genre was over done and that nothing new or better could done with this theme--and you would be wrong! J. T. McDaniel has a great tale to tell through a fictional sub and its crew in his novel called "Bacalao." This one will eventually join the ranks of old naval classic submarine stories like "Run Silent, Run Deep" and a very short list of others that are considered classic war stories.

McDaniel has captured the emotions of the sub crews and what seems to me, as a technically accurate portrayal of what these subs were really like. He paints with his words visual images that are mixed into real historic back drops of time and place to create a feeling that this all could have happened. I believed in the story line and the people and the sub itself.

The writing is brilliant and the reader will have little trouble following the plot. The book takes you from the construction of the submarine in Connecticut, through Pearl Harbor and onto patrol in the Pacific. The author allows the story to unfold from the view point of Laurence Miller who rose from junior officer to the commanding officer of the Bacalao. This works very well for telling this story.

The book is a good read and will keep you interested from the first couple of pages to the ending. It is given the MWSA TOP RATING - FIVE STARS!

2005 Distinguished Honor Award from the MWSA!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best in Years 4 Sep 2004
By Eldon Curtis - Published on
Bacalao may just be the best World War II submarine novel published in the last 30 years. It is certainly the most technically accurate. From diving procedures, to torpedo firing, to the way orders are given and executed, everything is done right.

The technical stuff will certainly please the submariners. But what about the other readers, who may not know a TDC from a growler phone and just want interesting characters and realistic situations? You get those, too. The main character, Lawrence Miller, is introduced as a retired admiral arriving at a reunion, but by the third page he's back in 1940 as a young lieutenant watching his new boat being built in Connecticut.

A lot of characters are introduced in the first chapter. There is Morgan, a year older than Miller, and a born engineer. And Kenneth Ohara, an electrician's mate who will become a key character. Carl Hammersmith, U.S.S. Bacalao's prospective commanding officer, appears briefly, but is killed in a car wreck before the boat is launched. His replacement, "Andy" Morley, will command the boat through the end of her first war patrol. Also introduced in this chapter is Fred Ames, the executive officer and Morley's old Academy roommate. Before the story is over Ames, Morgan, and Miller will all find themselves in command of Bacalao.

With Bacalao completed and in commission, she is sent to Pearl Harbor, where she is tied up at the Sub Base during the Japanese attack. The boat is immediately sent on her first war patrol, after being rearmed with new, top secret magnetic fuses for her torpedoes. An attack on a Japanese troop convoy, ruined by defective torpedoes, is followed by heavy depth charging. During the course of that battle Morley wins a Navy Cross, and Ames a Navy Distinguished Service Medal. Ohara, risking his life in a flooded motor room, literally saves the boat and everyone aboard, also getting a DSM.

A lot more action follows. In the midst of all this, Miller meets his future wife, an Australian Navy officer called Sarah. When Morgan unexpectedly gets command of Bacalao, Miller becomes his XO, later leaving for his own command, an ancient S-boat in Alaskan waters. When he returns, a year later, to take over Bacalao, he is able to marry his Sarah during an overhaul in San Francisco before returning to the war.

Bacalao has just about everything you could want in a sub story. The characters are believable, with even the minor players fully fleshed out. The technical details are right on, and there's plenty of action to keep the story moving. I read a lot of sub books, mostly non-fiction, but I read my share of novels, too. This is one that sets the standard others will have to meet.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Speed Ahead 9 Nov 2004
By Jeffery Edwards - Published on
In a word, this book is brilliant. Join the crew of USS Bacalao for adventure on the high seas. J. T. McDaniel takes us from the builder's yard in Connecticut to white hot combat in the Pacific Theater. McDaniel's writing has the human understanding of Edward L. Beach, and the technical precision of Tom Clancy. Don't miss this one. If you're a fan of naval combat novels, this is as good as it gets.

Jeff Edwards, Author of "Torpedo: A Surface Warfare Thriller"
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story Of An American Submarine... 23 Mar 2005
By Gepa - Published on
This is the story of an American submarine, the USS Bacalao, taking part in the WW2 Pacific war theater. We follow the birth of the boat and - but, we don't want to give away the spectacular ending. If you're a submarine fan, you'll enjoy it to your heart's content.

J. T. McDaniel has proven himself with his second submarine novel, after "With Honor In Battle". There are not that much novels about American submarines fighting in the Pacific, and anyway not describing in full detail how a boat is conceived and how life aboard develops, from the maiden trip to its exploits against the Japanese empire. McDaniel is not a former submarine sailor; he spent his tour of duty with the 101th Airborne, which is totally the wrong experience to tell about submarines. But he does it like he has been a commander all the way, and perhaps he has been in a former life.

You will experience love, war and death as it happened and along the way you'll enjoy places like Hawaii, Australia and the northern hemisphere. You'll be part of the Pearl Harbor attack as well, so climb on the Bacalao and read that ever exciting book. And if you're lost with the technical stuff, at the end you'll find a nice glossary!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action in the Pacific 17 Sep 2006
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bacalao is the name of a fictional Gato class submarine. McDaniel brings us inside the sub. He gives look at what it must have been like to fight the war against the Imperial Japanese Navy, and the frustrations encountered.

This is a very credible read about a war that is fading into history for many these days.
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