The Two-Ocean War, by Samuel Eliot Morison

After Pearl Harbor America found herself suddenly at war with Japan and Germany; Samuel Eliot Morison, a fifty-five year-old history professor at Harvard, immediately wrote President Roosevelt suggesting that the war must be documented, and volunteering to take care of the naval part himself. The President agreed to this extraordinary proposal, and Morison was commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander and sent to sea. During the war he served on eleven different ships, earned seven battle stars and rose to the rank of Captain. His resultant fifteen-volume History of United States Naval Operations in World War II was published between 1947 and 1962. In 1963 there followed his concise summation, Two-Ocean War.

Morison knew the sights, sounds and smells of naval warfare. He knew naval bombardments, nightfire slugfests, air raids and kamikaze crashes. This helps explain the immutable perfection of his book – history flavored with first-hand experience. Ever since my father first read to me the section on Midway, this book has exercised a unique fasciation on my mind. There are numerous more detailed descriptions of that battle – entire books have been written on the subject. But there is nothing comparable in any history I have read on any subject to the brilliance, the excitement, the concision, the ringing clarity and poised beauty of Morison’s sixteen pages on Midway.

He does great honor to the men of the United States Navy, which is no more than they deserve but rarely as much as they get. He does not bat around the word “hero” until it plops to the ground like a stale tennis ball. Here he quotes an after-action report by the captain of Destroyer Escort Samuel B Roberts: “To witness the conduct of the average enlisted man…with an average of less than one year’s service, would make any man proud to be an average American.”

The action in question is the Battle off Samar, fought on 25 October 1944 as part of the campaign for the Philippines. Early in the morning, a lonely group of seven American destroyers and destroyer escorts and six escort carriers – “baby flattops” about half the size of fleet carriers – was surprised by a Japanese force of four battleships, eight cruisers, and eleven destroyers. The Japanese group included Yamato, the most heavily-armed battleship in the world.

There was nothing for the American destroyers to do but attack – to give the little carriers (designed for supporting amphibious operations, not naval battles) a chance to escape. Commander Ernest E Evans of Destroyer Johnston signaled “Prepare to attack a major portion of Japanese Fleet,” and lead the charge, firing torpedoes and five-inch guns.  Johnston was hit by multiple sixteen-inch shells, her engine room, rear gun turrets and fire control knocked out, but she kept shooting, using manually-controlled gunfire against battleship Kondo. It took three cruisers and more destroyers to sink the Johnston. Destroyer Hoel, hit over 40 times, was also sunk – but Heermann, at one point simultaneously engaging four Japanese battleships – escaped miraculously. The Japanese force was so harried by the American destroyers and by air attacks (after our pilots ran out of bombs and ammunition, they made dry runs through the maelstrom of Japanese anti-aircraft fire) that they turned around and retired.

An American signalman on Fanshaw Bay, seeing the Japanese break off their attack, yelled, “Goddammit, boys, they’re getting away!”

Writing: 10/10

Importance: 10/10

Insight: 10/10

Overall Goodness Rating (OGR): 10/10

The Two-Ocean War, by Samuel Eliot Morison.  Little, Brown & Co, 1963, 611 pages.

475 thoughts on “The Two-Ocean War, by Samuel Eliot Morison

  1. Pingback: Best viagra price
  2. Pingback: how to get cialis
  3. Pingback: cialis 10mg
  4. Pingback: price of cialis
  5. Pingback: US viagra sales
  6. Pingback: Overnight viagra
  7. Pingback: albuterol for sale
  8. Pingback: how to get cialis
  9. Pingback: levitra vs viagra
  10. Pingback: cheap cialis
  11. Pingback: buy careprost
  12. Pingback: cialis canada
  13. Pingback: chloroquin
  14. Pingback: viagra 100mg
  15. Pingback: viagra 50mg
  16. Pingback: viagra for sale
  17. Pingback: canadian pharmacy
  18. Pingback: Buy cialis
  19. Pingback: levitra dosage
  20. Pingback: vardenafil pill
  21. Pingback: levitra 10mg
  22. Pingback: buy cialis
  23. Pingback: online gambling
  24. Pingback: online casinos
  25. Pingback: viagra next day
  26. Pingback: tadalafil 10mg
  27. Pingback: cash advance
  28. Pingback: loan online
  29. Pingback: play casino online
  30. Pingback: buy cialis
  31. Pingback: renate
  32. Pingback: online casino
  33. Pingback: cialis to buy
  34. Pingback: cheap 100mg viagra
  35. Pingback: cialis 5 mg
  36. Pingback: cialis 20
  37. Pingback: cialis 20
  38. Pingback: slot games
  39. Pingback: viagra cost
  40. Pingback: viagra for sale
  41. Pingback: tadalafil reviews
  42. Pingback: cialis prices
  43. Pingback: buy cialis daily
  44. Pingback: generic cialis
  45. Pingback: Cialis 60 mg cost
  46. Pingback: Cialis 80mg nz
  47. Pingback: viagra substitute
  48. Pingback: Cialis 40 mg nz
  49. Pingback: viagra cheap
  50. Pingback: Cialis 40 mg nz
  51. Pingback: Cialis 20 mg uk
  52. Pingback: lasix 40 mg prices
  53. Pingback: viagra buy
  54. Pingback: antivert 25mg otc
  55. Pingback: cialis daily
  56. Pingback: avodart 0,5mg otc
  57. Pingback: ceclor prices
  58. Pingback: buy ceftin
  59. Pingback: buy claritin 10 mg
  60. Pingback: online slots
  61. Pingback: chumba casino
  62. Pingback: casino slot games
  63. Pingback: doubleu casino
  64. Pingback: slot machine games
  65. Pingback: safe car insurance
  66. Pingback: cialis
  67. Pingback: cialis 20mg pills
  68. Pingback: Buy viagra now
  69. Pingback: payday loans texas
  70. Pingback: tadalafil cialis
  71. Pingback: quick loans mn
  72. Pingback: generic cialis buy
  73. Pingback: cbd pills for sale
  74. Pingback: buy sildenafil uk
  75. Pingback: Anonymous
  76. Pingback: buy levitra usa
  77. Pingback: hempworks cbd oil
  78. Pingback: buy papers online
  79. Pingback: buy custom essay
  80. Pingback: online essay help
  81. Pingback: buy essays papers
  82. Pingback: homework for pre k
  83. Pingback: cleocin coupon
  84. Pingback: buy clomid
  85. Pingback: Cost viagra
  86. Pingback: mail order cialis
  87. Pingback: cialis 10mg dosage
  88. Pingback: viagra use
  89. Pingback: coreg 25mg tablet
  90. Pingback: cialis online
  91. Pingback: coumadin canada
  92. Pingback: how to buy cozaar
  93. Pingback: Buy brand viagra
  94. Pingback: cost of cymbalta
  95. Pingback: doctoral thesis
  96. Pingback: depakote pharmacy
  97. Pingback: etodolac coupon
  98. Pingback: geodon pills
  99. Pingback: hyzaar purchase
  100. Pingback: imdur online
  101. Pingback: cialis for sale
  102. Pingback: read the article
  103. Pingback: sites
  104. Pingback: imuran 50mg canada
  105. Pingback: indocin generic
  106. Pingback: lamisil generic
  107. Pingback: lopid usa
  108. Pingback: lopressor tablets
  109. Pingback: cheap viagra 100mg
  110. Pingback: mestinon generic
  111. Pingback: Lincocin
  112. Pingback: drugs from canada
  113. Pingback: mobic medication
  114. Pingback: nortriptyline otc
  115. Pingback: cheapest phenergan
  116. Pingback: cheapest prevacid
  117. Pingback: prilosec 40mg nz
  118. Pingback: proscar 5mg nz
  119. Pingback: protonix 20mg uk
  120. Pingback: provigil tablet
  121. Pingback: reglan canada
  122. Pingback: remeron 30mg uk
  123. Pingback: robaxin coupon
  124. Pingback: cost of rogaine
  125. Pingback: singulair for sale
  126. Pingback: thorazine price
  127. Pingback: toprol medication
  128. Pingback: tricor pharmacy
  129. Pingback: verapamil otc
  130. Pingback: wellbutrin price
  131. Pingback: zanaflex tablets
  132. Pingback: cialis 10mg cost
  133. Pingback: this content
  134. Pingback: official website
  135. Pingback: zocor 5 mg canada
  136. Pingback: zyloprim purchase
  137. Pingback: zyprexa 20 mg uk
  138. Pingback: tadalafil 80mg uk
  139. Pingback: order furosemide
  140. Pingback: buy escitalopram
  141. Pingback: anastrozole price
  142. Pingback: dutasteride usa
  143. Pingback: sex pills cialis
  144. Pingback: ciprofloxacin uk
  145. Pingback: buy cialis doctor
  146. Pingback: cialis sale 20mg
  147. Pingback: warfarin 5 mg nz
  148. Pingback: Seroflo
  149. Pingback: trazodone cheap
  150. Pingback: doxycycline prices
  151. Pingback: 141genericExare
  152. Pingback: cialis 20mg usa
  153. Pingback: 141generic2Exare
  154. Pingback: unzwgtcy
  155. Pingback: estradiol canada
  156. Pingback: cost of etodolac
  157. Pingback: bznndnzl
  158. Pingback: viagra pills
  159. Pingback: isosorbide price
  160. Pingback: loperamide prices
  161. Pingback: generico de cialis
  162. Pingback: purchasing cialis
  163. Pingback: viagra 50 mg
  164. Pingback: buy cialis now
  165. Pingback: ventolin cream
  166. Pingback: gemfibrozil prices
  167. Pingback: cost of clomid
  168. Pingback: priligy in 5htc
  169. Pingback: 25 mcg synthroid
  170. Pingback: buy essay cheap
  171. Pingback: education thesis
  172. Pingback: buy cheap papers
  173. Pingback: puchsae cialis

Comment