The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, May 14, 2013 - History - 426 pages
12 Reviews
THE WAR BELOW is the riveting story of the submarine force that helped win World War II in the Pacific by ravaging Japan’s merchant fleet and destroying the nation’s economy.

Focusing on the unique stories of three of the war’s top submarines—Silversides, Drum, and Tang—James Scott takes readers beneath the waves to experience the determination, heroism, and tragedy that defined the submarine service. From the thrill of a torpedo hit on a loaded freighter to the terror of depth charge attacks that shattered gauges and sprang leaks, The War Below vividly re-creates the camaraderie, exhilaration, and fear of the brave volunteers who took the fight to the enemy’s coastline. Scott recounts incredible feats of courage—from an emergency appendectomy performed with kitchen utensils to the desperate struggle of sailors to escape from a flooded submarine trapped on the bottom—as well as moments of unimaginable tragedy, including an attack on an unmarked enemy freighter carrying 1,800 American prisoners of war.

The casualty rate among submariners topped that of all other military branches. The war claimed almost one out of every five subs—and a submarine crewman was six times more likely to die than a sailor onboard a surface ship. But the submarine service accomplished its mission; Silversides, Drum, and Tang sank a combined sixty-two freighters, tankers, and transports. So ravaged from the loss of precious supplies due to the destruction of the nation’s merchant fleet were the Japanese that by the war’s end hungry civilians ate sawdust while warships lay at anchor due to lack of fuel and pilots resorted to suicidal kamikaze missions. In retaliation, the Japanese often beat, tortured, and starved captured submariners in the atrocious prisoner of war camps.

Based on more than 100 interviews with submarine veterans and thousands of pages of previously unpublished letters and diaries, The War Below will let readers experience the battle for the Pacific as never before.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
6
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan

User Review  - Scott - Goodreads

Great true story, well told. It may have a little filler, with some details seeming transcribed from official war records, but mostly a clean true tale of the war in the pacific, focusing on 3 US subs. Good read, with truth at times more exciting than fiction. Read full review

Review: The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan

User Review  - Conrad Wesselhoeft - Goodreads

Written with grace and power--and filled with vivid detail. Last year, I stood at the memorials to these subs at Pearl Harbor--and what felt long-ago and black-and-white on those historic plaques leaps vividly to life in Scott's book. A great read--well done! Read full review

Contents

Submarines
33
S iIUETSidES
44
S iIUETSidES
124
Tang
136
Tang
152
18
231
Epilogue 313
319
33
339
101
355
136
364
191
370
231
378
269
388
291
395
303
401
Index
407

57
346

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

James Scott is a former investigative reporter with The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, where he was named Journalist of the Year in 2003 by the South Carolina Press Association. A 2007 Nieman Fellow for Journalism at Harvard University, Scott is the author of The Attack on the Liberty, which won the Samuel Eliot Morison Award. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

Bibliographic information