Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailor

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailor

This book portrays the real heroes of War.   Hollywood has portrayed heroes as invincible men, running into machine gun fire, killing 50 other men, and all the while barely being touched himself.   This book portrayed heroes as the men who charged the Japanese battleships at flank speed on a ship they knew was unmatched 5 to 1 in size, speed, and might.   The book centered around one of the largest Naval battles in history, which took place in the Philippine Sea off Samar island on October 25, 1944.   The Battle of Leyte Gulf was also one of the greatest military mismatches in naval history.  

The Japanese were desperate as they were losing the war to the rapidly moving forces coordinated by General MacArthur.   General MacArthur was the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific Area.   MacArthur had directed Adm. William Halsey to protect his Northern Flank in order to prevent a sneak attack from the Japanese ships and submarines.   The Japanese were desperate and came up with a masterful plan.   They would gather what ships remained in the devastated fleet and split it.   One group, which was a small group but very strong, would head North and try to distract Adm. Halsey’s fleet.   The other group would head to Leyte Gulf once Adm. Halsey’s fleet were out of the way.   The Japanese had intercepted some messages from Halsey’s fleet that he had formed a Task Force to patrol the North and look for Japanese ships to sink.   Halsey knew the Japanese fleet was desperate, but didn’t realize he essentially created an opportunity for the Japanese to exploit. Halsey took the bait to the North and sent his task force after a few ships just over the horizon that were spotted by reconnaissance planes.   He left behind carrier escorts and destroyer escort to guard the beach head.   The Tin Cans he left behind were doomed from the start.  

The Japanese attacked.   Once Halsey’s Task Force broke off and started to chase down the bait, the Japanese...