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It was a miracle three years in the making, a testimony to American fortitude and ingenuity - and perhaps the key to why the United States won a war that after Pearl Harbor seemed hopeless.
Impeccably researched, Avenging Pearl Harbor is colorfully written, personal, chilling, visceral.
Historian Keith Warren Lloyd brings his gift for injecting life and personalities and heretofore untold stories of the men and women involved - members of what became known as The Greatest Generation - whose heroism and sacrifice brought about the miraculous new life of a sleeping military force that was reeling and on its knees.
It is a story has never before been told in such detail and with such vibrancy.
On the night of October 24, 1944, a force of two battleships, one heavy cruiser, and four destroyers from the Imperial Japanese Navy steamed into Surigao Strait in the Philippines. Their objective: to attack the invasion fleet of General Douglas MacArthur’s army in Leyte Gulf. Alerted by scouting PT boats, the US 7th Fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf prepared a deadly trap. Waiting for the enemy force were six American battleships and supporting cruisers and destroyers. Oldendorf performed the classic naval maneuver of “crossing the T”, which allowed the American ships to fire broadsides at the oncoming Japanese vessels, while the enemy could only fire with their forward turrets. When the smoke cleared, the Japanese fleet had been all but annihilated.
Among the victorious American battleships were the Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, California, and Tennessee, five of the eight dreadnoughts that had been bombed at Pearl Harbor.
The five ships had been raised, repaired, modified, and re-manned. After three long years, they finally had their revenge.
Avenging Pearl Harbor takes listeners from the attack on Pearl Harbor, telling the story of the severe damage dealt to each ship and the incredible acts of courage performed by the sailors of each crew that morning. It continues with how each ship was raised and repaired - Herculean in scope - and the mustering of new commanders, officers, and crewmen.
The final drama unfolds as each ship returns triumphantly to the battle fleet and finds the ultimate triumph at the battle of Surigao Strait.