In this highly engaging book, James D. Hornfischer tells the riveting tale of the desperate stand of a small group of American destroyers, destroyer escorts, and small aircraft carriers, the task force known as Taffy 3. During the Battle off Samar on October 25, 1944, the small ships of Taffy 3 faced overwhelming odds, lost several ships, yet inflicted some 10,000 casualties on the Japanese, at the loss of 850 of their own. As Hornfischer writes: “The Battle off Samar was a battle of firsts: the first time a U.S. aircraft carrier was destroyed by surface gunfire; the first time a ship was sunk by a suicide plane; the first time the mightiest battleship afloat fired on enemy warships. And it was a battle of lasts: the last massed ship-versus-ship action in naval history; the last time a battleship fired its main batteries at an enemy; the last time small destroyers charged an opposing battle line.”
Bringing together interviews with veterans, eyewitness accounts, declassified official documents, and Japanese sources, Hornfischer has created a masterful account of a naval battle unlike any before or since in American naval history. This New York Times bestseller received the Samuel Elliot Morison Award for naval literature.
Paperback, 499 pages
Photographs, Maps, Illustrations