W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction
Savo Island, Midway, and the Battle of Samar, three of the defining naval battles of WWII in the Pacific, will draw history buffs to this riveting novel. It’s largely the story of Annapolis friends Marsh Vincent, who barely survives the Savo debacle, and Mick McCarty, whose dive bombing at Midway sinks a Japanese aircraft carrier that helped devastate Pearl Harbor, and Glory Hawthorne, a woman both love who has become a navy nurse. Having seen the savagery of naval war, Marsh fears he may not have the courage to face it again. Mick, an Annapolis football hero, has problems with alcohol and authority. He fears that he may be grounded. Ultimately, both are off Samar when a small group of tiny escort carriers and destroyers finds itself facing an overwhelming force of cruisers—and the Yamato, the largest battleship ever built. The Japanese are there to wipe out the American landing in the Philippines. Deutermann, known primarily as a writer of suspense novels, was a destroyer captain, and his evocation of naval life and naval war seem virtually note perfect. Battle scenes are filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of horrific chaos. The love triangle might seem a bit familiar, but he makes it work, and he’s completely faithful to the remarkable history that is his subject.