Battle Surface Hardcover – 30 May 2011
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About the Author
Stephen L. Moore currently handles advertising and marketing for an electronics firm in the Dallas area. He is the author of eight previous books on World War II and Texas history, including Presumed Lost; The Incredible Ordeal of America's Submarine Veteran POWs of World War II.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
this one because I knew Vice Admiral Ramage. Mr. Moore knows how to write a book, and i did enjoy it, and would
recommend it. However he did make lots of mistakes because he was not a submarine sailor. On the very first page he has
a steward taking coffee from the officers pantry to the bridge by going forward. If he went forward he would have been in
the forward torpedo room. He also says on page 23 that pearl Harbor was polluted with diesel fuel leaking from the sunken
battleships. Battleships were not diesel they were steam ships and burned snfo which is a heavy #5 fuel oil. On page 47 he
says Parche's 4" deck gun was a dual purpose cannon. It was neither. The 4" Mk12 gun had an elevation of -15 deg, and
+20 deg. Dual purpose means it can be used against aircraft and surface targets. This gun is single purpose (surface targets
only) And a cannon is a smooth bore gun. The correct term for Parche's gun would be rifle . On page 52 he says the SJ
radar was not able to tell if the reported contact was on the surface on submerged. Radar can not, and is not used for under-
water contacts that is sonar's job. One page 157 he says "Bob Erwin seated in the wardroom just one compartment forward
of the forward torpedo room" He should have visited one of the many world war II submarine memorials in the US before
writing this book, then he would have known that the wardroom is one compartment aft of the forward torpedo room.
On page 158 He calls Mac Marory a junior officer, He was the XO, and a LCDR not a junior officer. So as you can see
Mr. Moore was not a submarine sailor, but again the book was very well done and very interesting...
when the author gets into details about what happens during an attack, he leaves out important details and when he describes what happens in different parts of the boat, sometimes I think his memory about how a portsmouth built boat is laid out is kind of fuzzy.
When the after battery sanitary tank exploded and flooded the galley with sewer water, I had to ask myself how the salt water got past the battery well into the galley. That would not have been possible. As an electricians mate striker, I spent a lot of time in those battery wells before I got my crow.
The author spent far too much time talking about members of the crew, sometimes making unnecessarily cruel remarks about some individuals. I'm sure there were men who were not popular with the crew, but every man aboard those submarines was a hero and to degrade some of them was not in good taste. This was supposed to be a war story, not a study in human behavior.
If you want to learn about the silent service in WW2, this is not on my recommended reading list.
A Balao-class submarine, Parche was commissioned in November 1943 and first sailed in harm's way in March 1944. On 31 July, during Parche's second patrol, 'Red' Ramage took SS-384, running on the surface, into the midst of a Japanese convoy, savaging the merchantmen in an epic 45-minute brawl. Credited with sinking five ships for 34,000 tons, 'Ramage's Rampage' netted the skipper an MOH and the boat her first PUC. Following another patrol, Ramage turned SS-384 over to his XO, 'Mac' McCrory, who logged three more patrols before war's end. Parche was struck from the Navy list in November 1969, her conning tower being preserved and displayed at Pearl Harbor.
BATTLE SURFACE is Stephen Moore's fourth Silent Service book. Moore does a good job of presenting each member of the crew, creating vivid images of living, breathing human beings warts and all. Likewise, his descriptions of Parche's patrols, and especially the various attacks carried out by Ramage and McCrory, make for compelling reading. On the flip side, there are a number of technical errors throughout the book.
In short, BATTLE SURFACE is an entertaining history of a hard-hitting American sub and the valiant men who crewed her during two years of war. Naval warfare and Silent Service buffs should enjoy this book tremendously. I know I did. Recommended.
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