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The Silent Service in World War II: The Story of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force in the Words of the Men Who Lived It [Kindle Edition]

Michael Green , Edward Monroe-Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the U.S. Navy had a total of 111 submarines. However, this fleet was not nearly as impressive as the number suggests. It was mostly a collection of aging boats from the late teens and early twenties, with only a few of the newer, more modern Gato-class boats. Fortunately, with the war in Europe was already two years old and friction with Japan ever-increasing, help from what would become known as the Silent Service in the Pacific was on the way: there were 73 of the new fleet submarines under construction.

The Silent Service in World War II tells the story of America’s intrepid underwater warriors in the words of the men who lived the war in the Pacific against Japan. The enemy had already begun to deploy advanced boats, but the U.S. was soon able to match them. By 1943 the new Gato-class boats were making a difference, carrying the war not just to the Japanese Imperial Navy, but to the vital merchant fleet that carried the vast array of materiel needed to keep the land of the Rising Sun afloat.

As the war progressed, American success in the Solomons, starting with Guadalcanal, began to constrict the Japanese sea lanes, and operating singly or in wolfpacks they were able to press their attacks on convoys operating beyond the range of our airpower, making daring forays even into the home waters of Japan itself in the quest for ever more elusive targets. Also taking on Japanese warships, as well as rescuing downed airmen (such as the grateful first President Bush), U.S. submarines made an enormous contribution to our war against Japan.

This book takes you through the war as you learn what it was like to serve on submarines in combat, the exhilaration of a successful attack, and the terror of being depth-charged. And aside from enemy action, the sea itself could prove to be an extremely hostile environment as many of these stories attest. From early war patrols in obsolescent, unreliable S-boats to new, modern fleet submarines roving the Pacific, the forty-six stories in this anthology give you a full understanding of what it was like to be a U.S. Navy submariner in combat.

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Product Description


This collection of first-hand accounts gives a really fascinating picture of wartime service in submarines, from the many perils of a service in which 52 subs were lost to the pleasures of serving as part of a small and almost always friendly and welcome crew of highly trained experts.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4760 KB
  • Print Length: 281 pages
  • Publisher: Casemate (7 Dec. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B1GSJK0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #651,792 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Michael Green is a freelance writer, researcher, and photographer. He specializes in military subjects and has authored and coauthored over 90 books. In addition, Michael Green has written numerous articles for a variety of national and international military-related magazines. Mr. Green is a lifetime member of the Marine Corps Tanker's Association and a tour guide at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 4 April 2015
By Barny79
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  45 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sub Book I have been waiting for a long time for !!!! 6 Feb. 2013
By M. Casale - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Silent Service in WWII is a submarine book that has been a long time overdue. There is no shortage of US based sub memoirs and books based on the history of a particular submarine but there are few books that bring together the stories of the typical WWII US sub sailor. The book is broken into 3 sections, early war, mid and late war. Within each section are several stories, most only a few pages long, that tell about an individual sailors particular experience during the war. The stories used were pulled from articles previously published in publications such as Polaris magazine but before learning that I thought the author had personally interviewed at least most of these veterans directly. It does not matter though, the stories were well selected and are interesting. I thought it was a good idea that the majority of the ones the author chose to include are not about sinking ships but instead are more personal stories, some of which are quite poignant or humorous. Some of them include such experiences as a keeping a dog stowed away on board,a lookout surviving a too rapid submergence, surviving the sinking of the USS Grenadier, taking prisoners, rescuing downed fliers and an interesting passage of the submarine services only known kamikaze attack ! The only 2 critisicm's is that the story of one of the survivors of the USS Flier, though well told and interesting has been covered in at least two recently published books. I would have preferred those 30 pages or so to cover some of the more untold tales of the silent service. Also, the book should have been better proof read. Not a big deal but there are several misspellings such as in the photo section the USS Ronquil is called the Ranquil. I think any person who enjoys reading about WWII would like this book and if you are a big USN/submarine book reader like myself I highly recommend adding this volume to your bookshelf !
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 11 Jan. 2013
By Steven M. Mitchell - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book very much. It is a compilation of many articles written by submarine sailors in their own words. Most of the stories are taken from Polaris magazine, the official organ of the Sumarine Veterans of World War Two. The stories (like most sea stories)are entertaining and offer glimpses into the life of sub vets during the war. There is excitement, tragedy, humor, introspection - the whole gamut of human emotion running through the tales. I highly recommend it to those who wish to know what life aboard a World War Two submarine was like.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not a history, rather a collection of short stories 5 May 2013
By David J. James - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Its a collection of anecdotes and short stories, rather than an actual history. If you find this an interesting period its an ok buy, but its not by any standard a real history of the service which is what I was looking for.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Appealing Collection of Silent Service Stories! 6 Jun. 2013
By Michael OConnor - Published on
During World War II, USN submarines played a decisive role in the defeat of Japan, sinking thousands of merchant vessels and warships. In turn, 52 U.S. submarines were lost in action. Hundreds of books have been written on the submarine campaign against Japan, individual subs, etc. THE SILENT SERVICE IN WORLD WAR II is somewhat unique in offering 46 reminiscences written by USN sub vets of their service in the Pacific.

The tales found in this 2012 Casemate Publisher release run the gamut from daring attacks to nearly fatal training accidents, 'man overboard' incidents to enduring depth charge attacks, surviving a sub's loss to pet mascots onboard ship, etc. The stories were written by various officers and EM from different submarines such as Grenadier, Pompano, S-27, Sea Dragon, Bluefish, Flier, Pogy, Perch, S-48 and Redfin.

Most of the accounts were originally published in POLARIS MAGAZINE or SUBMARINE REVIEW JOURNAL; several were interviews conducted by the Submarine Research Center or National Museum of the Pacific War.

While I have read many books on this subject. I found THE SILENT SERVICE IN WORLD WAR II an appealing addition to the literature. It is a fresh, informative and entertaining 'from-the-conning-tower' look at USN subs at war. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting History 19 Jan. 2014
By Walter Kahn - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Many first person stories. Very well done. I think it is a very accurate account of life aboard our World War 2 subs.
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