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Hardcover Thunder Below!: The USS *Barb* Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II Book

ISBN: 0252019253

ISBN13: 9780252019258

Thunder Below!: The USS *Barb* Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The thunderous roar of exploding depth charges was a familiar and comforting sound to the crew members of the USS Barb, who frequently found themselves somewhere between enemy fire and Davy Jones's locker. Under the leadership of her fearless skipper, Captain Gene Fluckey, the Barb sank the greatest tonnage of any American sub in World War II. At the same time, the Barb did far more than merely sink ships-she changed forever the way submarines stalk...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Extraordinary Historical Account

This book is the firsthand account of the World War II submarine, USS Barb, written by the skipper recollecting his 15 months of command. It is a fascinating account detailing the audacious exploits of his ship and crew. You are not going to find any plot twists and intrigue popular among fictional seagoing stories, but the book is filled with the details of real life characters and their bold and exemplary accomplishments. As I read this book I had to remind myself that this was a true story and these people were real. Fluckey's narrative is interlaced with other perspectives of the same incidents including the Japanese describing their reception of the business end of the USS Barb. The description of the crew members that paddled to shore to place a scuttling charge under the tracks to blow up a train was one of the most compelling sequences I have read. It was filled with light humor and suspense. This would have made extraordinary fiction if it had not actually occurred. The Japanese account of the incident included a report that some people thought they saw a man in a trench coat smoking a cigarette under a dock. When I read this I thought that they had been reading too many spy novels. Eugene B. Fluckey writes for his readers, filling the pages with fine points from all angles making the sequence of events appear to unfold as I am sure they actually did. He includes his personal feelings towards the crew, his boat and how his experiences shaped his life. There are many firsthand accounts of historical events, but few are captured so eloquently and thoughtfully as they are in this book.

Take a case of beer out of the shower........

This is the best first person account of submarine operations in the Pacific I have read to date. Adm. Fluckey does a great job of taking the reader through each of the patrols and how the Barb truly does revolutionize submarine tactics as well as strategies. If you own just one book on the Silent Service operating in the Pacific, then but this book.

If you read one WWII submarine memoir, be it this one

If you read but one WWII submarine memoir, be it this one. Far from a dispassionate account of the exploits of a successful submarine skipper, with Thunder Below, you are there. I've read many a book about submarines; but Fluckey's lively and coherent style makes it much easier to understand life aboard a WWII sub. Most other books, O'Kane's for example, I'd recommend for students of history or submarine warfare. Not this one. Anyone who likes a good tale, be it fiction or non-fiction, could like this one. And it's not just his account he presents either; it's also richly filled with accounts from the Japanese, other American subs, and an illegal diary kept by one of his crewman. So a balanced, all around perspective is given that is lacking in other memoirs. Fluckey's presentation of an American wolf pack attack that decimated a Japanese convoy unknowingly filled with Allied POW's (and some of their subsequent rescue) is one of the most moving stories I've ever read.

A true American Hero

There are very few books written that give the reader a glimps of the heart of a true hero. I am also a submariner and there hasn't been a day since I've read "A Thunder Below" that I haven't looked back on Admiral Fluckey's exploits for inspiration. He tells it how it was with great passion, without alignating those who have never set foot on a submarine. Each patrol is vividly detailed to give the reader the feeling that he is standing on the Conn watching the action.

Excellent book on submarine warfare.

Everybody rates this book EXCELLENT except for one reviewer on this web site who must be one of those sub skippers who kept his boat under at 60 ft day and night. I've read about 20 WWII submarine books and Gene Fluckey's book about the Barb is one of the best. It's the equal to Dick O'Kane's book on the U.S.S. Tang. Both were outstanding submariners and both later went on to become Admirals. BOTH skippers won the Congressional Medal of Honor, something awarded to only 7 WWII sub skippers out of more than 200, and 4 of the 7 were posthumous. Gene Fluckey was one of those who received the medal for daring and successful action, not for going down with his ship. They don't give the medal out lightly, especially in the United States Navy.
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