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Dive Truk Lagoon: The Japanese WWII Pacific Shipwrecks Hardcover – 6 Oct 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Whittles Publishing (6 Oct. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849951314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849951319
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 2.4 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 408,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rod's diving career started a very long time ago in the early 1980's - before even Wham were popular. Within a few years he had developed a particular interest in shipwrecks which was to take him all over the world from Scapa Flow to Truk Lagoon to the South China Seas.
The paucity of information for divers about the scuttled German WW I High Seas Fleet wrecks lying at the bottom of Scapa Flow led to the publication of his first book, Dive Scapa Flow in 1990. This book has been updated and expanded over the years as the wrecks decay and fall apart and is now in its 4th edition.
Rod has written for most dive magazines and has been involved in several TV productions such as Timewatch:The Death of the Battleship and Equinox: Lethal Seas.
He is a keen sailor and crewman and lives in Stonehaven, a small historic fishing town just to the south of Aberdeen where is a crewman on the local MRI Stonehaven Lifeboat.

Product Description

Review

'...a delight for me and thankfully it didn't disappoint. ...this historical section would make a fantastic book on its own, and as an introduction to the wrecks of Truk it is a magnificent piece of work. ... The text descriptions really bring the wreck to life and give you the perfect briefing to plan your dives and ensure that you see all the key features and hidden gems. Rod has a way of taking you with him through the wrecks, reliving the dive and making you feel like you are following him... If you have not seen Rod's wreck drawings and read his discriptions, you will be highly impressed and will likely want to plan your trip to Truk immediately after putting it down. ... If you want the perfect birthday or Christmas present for yourself or a diver, this is it! I used to say that Hailstorm over Truk Lagoon by Klaus Lindemann was THE book on Truk, but Dive Truk Lagoon has replaced it in my mind and my library. Another cracking book by Rod and one which will become the divers' bible for Truk diving in the future.' Gordon Mackie, Scottish Diver '...the secrets of Truk Lagoon are the subject of a stunning new book... ...this incredible series ofimages in which heavy artillery, tanks, planes and even a samurai sword are clearly recognisable on the sea bed. ...is both a diving and historical guide, which is some achievement'. Sunday Mail '...revealed the secrets of the greatest and most spectacular underwater wartime graveyard in the world.' Press and Journal 'It is a remarkable book in a number of ways... The level of detail is impressive. This well researched book will be of particular interest to all divers as well as to those who are avid readers of naval history - with submariners not forgotten - and is recommended as a good Christmas present to the enthusiast.' In Depth '...readers of his previous books will know they are in for a treat. ...a well-crafted history of the area and the American attack. This is an interesting read, with strong attention to detail and use of imagery, ideal for history buffs and divers alike...' Nautilus Telegraph 'Rod Macdonald's tome is arguably the definitive guide. Dive Truk Lagoon is essential reading for anyone planning a trip to this remote part of the world. ... It's a rich and hugely detailed work that is interesting enough for this reader when he was sat on a British sofa. For anybody planning to travel halfway round the world and see what lies beneath Truk lagoon for themselves, it's pretty much a must-read'. British Diver 'This book is remarkable... ...an excellent historical background to the build-up of war in the Pacific, WWII and its aftermath. This is a remarkable account serves as a reminder of the devastating potential of wartime combat. It also represents a stunning record of 'living history' in one of the most beautiful parts of the Pacific'. Bulletin, Liverpool Nautical Research Society

About the Author

Rod is one of the world's pre-eminent shipwreck explorers and an international best-selling author of a number of classic shipwreck diving books. His books about his diving adventures around the world include Into the Abyss, diving to adventure in the liquid world; The Darkness Below and Great British Shipwrecks. Force Z Shipwrecks of the South China Sea, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, is already proving itself an international best-seller. Rod lives in Stonehaven, north-east Scotland where he is the Operations Manager of the local RNLI Lifeboat Station.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 28 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
After finishing this review, I noticed another posted on Amazon.co.uk which I duly read. Ordinarily I would ignore anything said by other reviewers - be they broadly in agreement with my own sentiments or not. On this occasion, however, the author (Rod Macdonald) had appended his own comments to that review in which he admitted to being in agreement with the criticisms made about the book's artwork. Consequently, I made suitable amendments to the following.

In the early hours of 17 February 1944 Operation Hailstone was launched. The immediate objective was to establish air superiority in and around Truk Lagoon by destroying Japanese airfields and aircraft. From 0440 hrs, fighters and fighter-bombers from 5 US Carriers continued to attack. Whereas surprise was complete, the Japanese Cruiser Katori, two Destroyers and the Akagi Maru escaped - although the latter was lost soon after. By 1800 hrs US Admiral Spruance had achieved total air superiority and, although he found the Japanese naval fleets absent, he was then able to concentrate on destroying whatever vessels were in the lagoon. Altogether 45 ships were sunk, a further 27 damaged, some 275 aircraft destroyed, 90% of the Japanese fuel supplies set on fire and both the submarine and seaplane pens put out of action. The Japanese death toll was never published but was said to be the worst-ever for a two day engagement. By comparison, the US lost 25 aircraft, 29 aircrew and 11 sailors. Another four Japanese ships were also sunk in later engagements and IJN submarine I-174 was sunk by depth charges. In brief, that is how one of the greatest fleets of sunken ships found anywhere in the world was created. The wrecks of Truk Lagoon (now called Chuuk) have continued to attract divers ever since the advent of scuba diving.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DiveDoc on 18 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to this book before travelling back to Chuuk State and Truk Lagoon, but it arrived long after I returned. That was only the first disappointment.

Usefully smaller and shorter than Dan Bailey's tome on the shipwrecks, more discursive than Klaus Lindemann's dive guide to the aftermath of Operation Hailstone and containing the paintings that are a feature of Rod MacDonald's guides, Dive Truk Lagoon should be very useful to anyone who wants to explore the wrecks.

It's knowledge of Chuuk that spoils the book: the paintings do not reflect the condition of the shipwrecks: the midships structures of three very famous wrecks, The Fujikawa Maru, Rio de Janeiro Maru and San Francisco Maru, collapsed years ago, with important consequences for divers. The photography is poor: there are amazing images of these wrecks, some on easily accessible websites, including Wetpixel, the underwater photographer's go-to online resource, that make the photographs in this book look very old indeed. The reproduction of the photographs makes them even more disappointing. The text is dry and doesn't reflect the excitement of diving here, which is, after all, the attraction of travelling half-way around the world to a rough-and-ready and rather poor, but rather expensive island. There's very little said about the skills, experience and equipment needed to dive in Chuuk, nor about the risks, which are not great but nonetheless very real, of repetitive deep diving in a remote Pacific atoll.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I really have agonised over this one! 27 Nov. 2014
By Ned Middleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
After finishing this review, I noticed another posted on Amazon.co.uk which I duly read. Ordinarily I would ignore anything said by other reviewers - be they broadly in agreement with my own sentiments or not. On this occasion, however, the author (Rod Macdonald) had appended his own comments to that review in which he admitted to being in agreement with the criticisms made about the book’s artwork. Consequently, I made suitable amendments to the following.

In the early hours of 17 February 1944 Operation Hailstone was launched. The immediate objective was to establish air superiority in and around Truk Lagoon by destroying Japanese airfields and aircraft. From 0440 hrs, fighters and fighter-bombers from 5 US Carriers continued to attack. Whereas surprise was complete, the Japanese Cruiser Katori, two Destroyers and the Akagi Maru escaped - although the latter was lost soon after. By 1800 hrs US Admiral Spruance had achieved total air superiority and, although he found the Japanese naval fleets absent, he was then able to concentrate on destroying whatever vessels were in the lagoon. Altogether 45 ships were sunk, a further 27 damaged, some 275 aircraft destroyed, 90% of the Japanese fuel supplies set on fire and both the submarine and seaplane pens put out of action. The Japanese death toll was never published but was said to be the worst-ever for a two day engagement. By comparison, the US lost 25 aircraft, 29 aircrew and 11 sailors. Another four Japanese ships were also sunk in later engagements and IJN submarine I-174 was sunk by depth charges. In brief, that is how one of the greatest fleets of sunken ships found anywhere in the world was created. The wrecks of Truk Lagoon (now called Chuuk) have continued to attract divers ever since the advent of scuba diving.

As regular readers of my reviews will know, all good books about ships and shipwrecks are wholly dependent on the author’s ability to undertake and assimilate competent research. It is a time-consuming responsibility which few others are able to appreciate. There are no quick-fixes or short-cuts and one simply cannot get away with paraphrasing other works. Through a number of his books, Rod Macdonald has always impressed me as a writer who realty does understand this concept and, in this instance, has provided a more-than-adequate assessment of the events of 1944. Although I found nothing new, his approach is interesting, informative and reasonably complete. I did not like the way in which the book is divided into 4 sections - each of which commenced with its own Chapter 1. This was reinforced by the headings which are simply inconsistent - as follows; Book One; War, Book Two; The Shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon, Japanese Aircraft Wrecks of Truk Lagoon and US Task Force 58 Strike Aircraft.

One of the most outstanding features of Macdonald’s books has always been the artwork he employs. These paintings of wrecks are of a very high standard. As one who has also commissioned the finest possible artwork to support his own books, I know exactly what is involved in producing such impressions. In some instances, however, we learn from those aforementioned comments that the images produced show some of the wrecks - as they were before having collapsed.

All diving books become out-dated sooner than their authors would care to admit and none more so than those which are dedicated to the fast-deteriorating remains of shipwrecks. Over time, I have studied a number of works on that intriguing piece of marine real-estate called Truk Lagoon (still the preferred name!) aimed at the scuba diver (including those by Dan Bailey, Klaus Lindemann (2 books - although he did insist on using Operation Hailstorm and not Hailstone!), Roy Smallpage and William H. Stewart) plus numerous historic accounts of the relevant wartime events.

All things considered, therefore, I do believe this to be a fair and accurate assessment of the events which led to the provision of so many shipwrecks in a single location and of the various descriptions of each wreck. For those who are new to the subject, this book is a good place to learn of those events and of the individual ships now resting on the seabed. If the reader is able to overlook the fact that some (only some!) of the portraits of those wrecks are not as up-to-date (in terms of deterioration) as one is entitled to expect, it really is a very good book.

NM
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 19 Feb. 2015
By Peter John Northrop - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice easy read, very accurate description of the wreck.

Worth the read.
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