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Download Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945 Audiobook, by Evan Thomas Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (589 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Evan Thomas Narrator: George Wilson Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2017 ISBN: 9781428115255
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Evan Thomas takes us inside the naval war of 1941-1945 in the South Pacific in a way that blends the best of military and cultural history and riveting narrative drama. He follows four men throughout: Admiral William ("Bull") Halsey, the macho, gallant, racist American fleet commander; Admiral Takeo Kurita, the Japanese battleship commander charged with making what was, in essence, a suicidal fleet attack against the American invasion of the Philippines; Admiral Matome Ugaki, a self-styled samurai who was the commander of all kamikazes and himself the last kamikaze of the war; and Commander Ernest Evans, a Cherokee Indian and Annapolis graduate who led his destroyer on the last great charge in the last great naval battle in history. Sea of Thunder climaxes with the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the biggest naval battle ever fought, over four bloody and harrowing days in October 1944. We see Halsey make an epic blunder just as he reaches for true glory; we see the Japanese navy literally sailing in circles, torn between the desire to die heroically and the exhausted, unacceptable realization that death is futile; we sail with Commander Evans and the men of the USS Johnston into the jaws of the Japanese fleet and exult and suffer with them as they torpedo a cruiser, bluff and confuse the enemy -- and then, their ship sunk, endure fifty horrific hours in shark-infested water. Thomas, a journalist and historian, traveled to Japan, where he interviewed veterans of the Imperial Japanese Navy who survived the Battle of Leyte Gulf and friends and family of the two Japanese admirals. From new documents and interviews, he was able to piece together and answer mysteries about the Battle of Leyte Gulf that have puzzled historians for decades. He writes with a knowing feel for the clash of cultures. Sea of Thunder is a taut, fast-paced, suspenseful narrative of the last great naval war, an important contribution to the history of the Second World War. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Gerald | 2/18/2014

    " I bought a hardcover copy of "Sea of Thunder" in my home city of Quezon in the Philippines for just the equivalent of 4 dollars, and it is an excellent read. I am a Filipino, so it was amazing to read of this great battle that happened in Philippine waters. It was thrilling to read of the Japanese invaders annihilated, as my country was liberated from this terrible oppression. The Japanese navy was virtually wiped out in these naval battles. The liberation of the Philippines was thanks to American and Filipino efforts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craig Brantley | 2/11/2014

    " New infomation on the Japanese side of the naval battles of WW2. Good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Davidson | 2/7/2014

    " Another of the "crossover" history books that seek to integrate narrative form with historical research, Thomas lays out in simplified terms the scope of the Pacific naval theater in World War II. As is typical for this brand of book, there are no footnotes and depth is sacrificed deliberately to maintain narrative flow. An interesting read, but ultimately adds little to the current field of naval history in World War II. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rdmcguire | 1/13/2014

    " Interesting way the author got into the heads of the major players of this great sea battle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harvey | 12/14/2013

    " A very readable history of the Sea War in the Pacific. One of the Commanders featured is Elizabeth;s own Admiral William "Bull' Halsey, "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorne | 11/29/2013

    " Really interesting if you enjoy biographies, or military history. Profiles and follows the 4 main naval commanders of the Pacific theater in WWII. Evenhanded in showing the cultural prejudices of all involved. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kurt Thonnings | 11/23/2013

    " Wonderful book! Full of insight into this battle and the main characters. I learned quite a bit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rowan | 9/13/2013

    " Really well written historical book...reading this I learned a lot about modern naval warfare "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom Norton | 9/11/2013

    " Interesting, well-written and researched. The recollections by those who were present at the battles was the most interesting part of the book - you wished there were more, although that wasn't the kind of book it was intended to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam | 6/16/2013

    " 4 commanders and the last great naval campaign - review of 4 different naval leaders leading into the battle of Laytee gulf. Interesting portrayal of cultural differences between us and Japan, lots of bad decisions in hindsight, and the difficulty in communicating during war operations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 6/13/2013

    " A quick read, but one that probes deeply into the character and motivations of the fleet commanders leading up to, through and beyond the Battle of Leyte Gulf. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Thillmann | 1/15/2013

    " Wow, what an excellent analysis of the naval action in the Pacific in WWII. Not only a good historical read but also one that kept me turning pages until late in the evening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 10/15/2012

    " This book, "Sea of Thunder" gave a well written account of the The Battle of Leyte Gulf and the four admirals: - two American, Admiral William Halsey and Commander Earnest Evans and two Japanese Admirals; Kurita and Ugaki. Highly recommend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bartow | 10/5/2012

    " I like this book because it gives a view of the personalities and their mindset. Recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 3/2/2012

    " I have read several books on this battle, and none of them gave any thought to the commanders of this monumental moment in history. A fantastic read to get insight into these key players in the LAST great naval battle in history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Taylor | 2/25/2012

    " A well-written and well-researched look at the Battle of Leyete Gulf. Not authoratative, but a superb introduction to the battle which can lead to further reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 P.e.lolo | 1/27/2012

    " This book was good because Mr.Thomas was able through letters and interveiws get a point of veiw from the other side. How the navy felt helpness but still fought.A very good book about WW11.I also liked the part aboutcommander Evans, not many people knows what he did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 4/28/2011

    " This book, "Sea of Thunder" gave a well written account of the The Battle of Leyte Gulf and the four admirals: - two American, Admiral William Halsey and Commander Earnest Evans and two Japanese Admirals; Kurita and Ugaki. Highly recommend.

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 8/8/2010

    " I have read several books on this battle, and none of them gave any thought to the commanders of this monumental moment in history. A fantastic read to get insight into these key players in the LAST great naval battle in history.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 7/1/2010

    " A quick read, but one that probes deeply into the character and motivations of the fleet commanders leading up to, through and beyond the Battle of Leyte Gulf. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harvey | 6/25/2009

    " A very readable history of the Sea War in the Pacific. One of the Commanders featured is Elizabeth;s own Admiral William "Bull' Halsey, "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam | 6/23/2009

    " 4 commanders and the last great naval campaign - review of 4 different naval leaders leading into the battle of Laytee gulf. Interesting portrayal of cultural differences between us and Japan, lots of bad decisions in hindsight, and the difficulty in communicating during war operations. "

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About the Author
Author Evan Thomas

Evan Thomas is the author of several bestselling works of history and biography, including The War Lovers and Sea of Thunder. He was a writer and editor at Time and Newsweek for more than 30 years, and he is frequently a commentator on television and radio. He teaches at Princeton University and lives in Washington, DC. 

About the Narrator

George Wilson (1927–2014) received a bachelor’s degree in English in 1949 from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He was an author and former Washington Post reporter who covered the military from the perspective of soldiers crawling in the mud and from the offices of decision-makers in Washington, and who played a notable role in the Pentagon Papers case.