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MILITARY BOOKS

J. T. McDaniel

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J. T. McDaniel, USA, entered the U.S. Army in 1967. He “went into the Army later that year, going through Basic at Fort Knox, and advanced training at the Defense Information School, which at that time was located at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, just outside Indianapolis. (It has since moved to Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.) This was a Department of Defense school, so in addition to Army personnel, the class included Navy, Marine, and Air Force types. From there, it was off to Viet Nam, where I was assigned to HHC, 308th Combat Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade, as Public Information NCO. (An odd designation, really, since I was a Spec 4, which is not a non-commissioned officer, though the pay grade is the same as a corporal.)

The 308th was stationed at Camp Eagle, near Phu Bai, in I Corps, providing aviation support (helicopter) for the 101st Airborne Division. Later that year, the entire unit was absorbed into the 101st, becoming the 159th Assault Support Helicopter Battalion. We kept the Chinooks, and the Hueys were transferred to a new battalion. Since there was no longer a slot for me at battalion level, I was sent to Group.I eventually wound up at Division Rear, located at Bien Hoa Army Base, near Saigon, then took an intra-theatre transfer to Japan, where I completed my military career.”

 

J. T. McDaniel is the author of Bacalao and With Honour in Battle.  He is the editor of U.S.S. Argonaut (SM-1 & SS-475): American Submarine War Patrol Reports; U.S.S. Barb (SS-220): American Submarine War Patrol Reports; U.S.S. Cod (SS-224): American Submarine War Patrol Reports; U.S.S. Wahoo (SS-238): American Submarine War Patrol Reports; and, U.S.S. Tang (SS-306): American Submarine War Patrol Reports.

 

According to the book description of Bacalao, “When Lieutenant Lawrence Miller first sees U.S.S. Bacalao the submarine is little more than a pile of curved steel plates stacked up alongside the builder’s ways. Over 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 attached 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 a year in command of an ancient S-boat in the frigid hell of the Aleutians, Miller returns to Bacalao as her last wartime commander. Written in a simple, straightforward style, and with careful attention to historic and technical detail, Bacalao is destined to become an instant classic of submarine fiction.”

 

According to the book description of With Honour in Battle, “By the end of World War II, German submarine designers had produced some astonishing weapons. Among the interesting were the Walter submarines, which could run submerged at high speed, using a turbine engine that didn’t need external oxygen. One such boat reached a submerged speed of 24 knots in 1943, some 18 knots faster than previous U-Boats, and three knots faster than most convoy escorts. Plans were made to build several models of Walter boat, though none were in service before the war ended.

 

Some years ago a discussion of these boats led to speculation on what might have happened if one had been built and sent into combat. Such a boat would be very hard to detect, and nearly impossible to pin down and destroy. And what sort of man would command her? A senior commander, surely, but by late in the war what shape would he be in? U-Boats were, bar none, the most dangerous military assignments of World War II. Only one in four who sailed in them survived the war. So an experienced commander would be not only lucky, but also, more than likely, verging on what today we call a "burn out case."

 

And the sudden appearance of such a U-Boat, with the resulting disastrous effects on the convoy routes, would naturally call for a response. So we would also have a senior British escort commander, with a unique insight into his enemy after having been briefly a prisoner aboard his boat, now given command of a new killer group and charged with hunting him down.

 

These speculations resulted in "With Honour in Battle." A remarkable U-boat, with an advanced, but also dangerous, power plant; a no-longer-young commander, knowing what he's doing is going to be too late, yet duty bound to carry on the fight, and weighed down by the deaths of nearly everyone he has ever cared about. Not a "techno-thriller," but a traditional naval adventure novel, where the characters, and not the machines, drive the story. And, of course, one with plenty of action to keep things moving.”

 

According to the book description of U.S.S. Argonaut (SM-1 & SS-475): American Submarine War Patrol Reports, “During World War II the United States Navy employed two submarines named Argonaut on operations. The first was a giant mine layer, designated SM-1. Built in the 1920s, the first Argonaut made three war patrols, the first, off Midway, having started as a peacetime defensive patrol before commencement of hostilities on 7 December 1941. The full reports of her first two patrols are included. Because she was lost with all hands during her third patrol, no official report exists. A short article is incuded covering what is known of this patrol, along with a full list of those lost.  The second Argonaut (SS-475) was a Tench class fleet type submarine, built by the Portsmouth Navy Yard and commissioned in 1945. She made only one war patrol before the Japanese surrender brought the war to an end. The official report of that patrol is also contained in this volume. The second Argonaut survived into the 1970s, spending her final years in Canadian service as HMCS Rainbow.”

 

According to the book description of U.S.S. Cod (SS-224): American Submarine War Patrol Reports, “Now tied up on the Cleveland, Ohio waterfront, U.S.S. Cod is the lowest numbered surviving World War II American fleet submarine. During the war, Cod made a total of seven war patrols, operating from Australia, Hawaii and Guam. This book contains the complete text of the war patrol reports submitted by her three wartime commanding officers, Commander James C. Dempsey, Commander James A. Adkins, and Lieutenant Commander Edwin M. Westbrook, Jr. Also included is an Introduction and notes by popular submarine novelist and historian J.T. McDaniel.”


With Honour in Battle
J. T. McDaniel  More Info

Bacalao
J. T. McDaniel  More Info

U.S.S. Argonaut (SM-1 & SS-475): American Submarine War Patrol Reports
Riverdale Books  More Info

U.S.S. Barb (SS-220): American Submarine War Patrol Reports
Riverdale Books  More Info

U.S.S. Cod (SS-224): American Submarine War Patrol Reports (Riverdale Books Naval History)
Riverdale Books  More Info

U.S.S. Wahoo (SS-238): American Submarine War Patrol Reports
Riverdale Books  More Info

U.S.S. Tang (SS-306): American Submarine War Patrol Reports
Riverdale Books  More Info

According to the book description of U.S.S. Tang (SS-306): American Submarine War Patrol Reports, “During five war patrols under the command of Richard H. O'Kane, the Balao class fleet submarine U.S.S. Tang was credited with sinking a total of 31 Japanese ships, for a wartime total of 227,800 tons. The victim of a circular running torpedo during her fifth war patrol, only eight members of her crew, including O'Kane, survived to spend the rest of the war in Japanese captivity. This volume contains the complete text of Tang's five official war patrol reports. Also included is an Introduction, notes, and additional reference material.”

 

According to the book description of U.S.S. Wahoo (SS-238): American Submarine War Patrol Reports, “The American fleet type submarine may well have been the single most effective naval weapon of World War II. While the submarine forces never made up more than 2% of the Navy, submarines sank more than half of all Japanese tonnage sunk during the war in the Pacific. One of the most successful boats, Wahoo was credited with sinking 20 enemy ships for a total of 60,038 tons. This volume contains the complete text of the official reports submitted by her two commanding officers, Marvin G. Kennedy and Dudley W. Morton. Also includes an Introduction, notes, and other additional material, including an article on the problems with the Mark 14 torpedo, which were to prove so frustrating for Wahoo during her sixth war patrol.”

 

According to the book description of U.S.S. Barb (SS-220): American Submarine War Patrol Reports, “Among the most successful of all American fleet type submarines, U.S.S. Barb made a total of twelve war patrols. During the course of the war, Barb was credited with sinking a total of 26 enemy ships, including the escort aircraft carrier Unyo. During her final five war patrols, under the command of Eugene B. Fluckey, Barb set a record for innovation and aggressiveness unmatched in the submarine service. In a series of rocket attacks during Patrol 12, Barb became the first American submarine to launch rockets in combat. During the same patrol, volunteer saboteurs slipped ashore and blew up a coastal train, in the process becoming the only Americans to "invade" Japan during the war. An incursion into Namkwan Harbor, on the China coast, during the eleventh war patrol, earned the Medal of Honor for Fluckey. This volume contains the complete text of the 12 war patrol reports filed by Barb's wartime commanding officers. Also included is a Foreword by former Barb officer Everett P. Weaver, an Introduction and extensive notes.”

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