The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It

Robert Gandt


The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It

The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It

  • Title: The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It
  • Author: Robert Gandt
  • ISBN: 9780767932417
  • Page: 287
  • Format: Hardcover



The Twilight Warriors, winner of the 2011 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature, is the engrossing, page turning saga of a tightly knit band of naval aviators who are thrust into the final and most brutal battle of the Pacific war Okinawa.April 1945 The end of World War II finally appears to be nearing The Third Reich is collapsing in Europe, and the AmericansThe Twilight Warriors, winner of the 2011 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature, is the engrossing, page turning saga of a tightly knit band of naval aviators who are thrust into the final and most brutal battle of the Pacific war Okinawa.April 1945 The end of World War II finally appears to be nearing The Third Reich is collapsing in Europe, and the Americans are overpowering the once mighty Japanese Empire in the Pacific For a group of young pilots trained in the twilight of the war, the greatest worry is that it will end before they have a chance to face the enemy They call themselves Tail End Charlies They fly at the tail end of formations, stand at the tail end of chow lines, and now they are catching the tail end of the war What they don t know is that they will be key players in the bloodiest and most difficult of naval battles not only of World War II but in all of American history.The Twilight Warriors relives the drama of the world s last great naval campaign From the cockpit of a Corsair fighter we gaze down at the Japanese task force racing to destroy the American amphibious force at Okinawa Through the eyes of the men on the destroyers assigned to picket ship duty, we experience the terror as wave after wave of kamikazes crash into their ships Standing on the deck of the legendary superbattleship Yamato, we watch Japan s last hope for victory die in a tableau of gunfire and explosions.Among the Tail End Charlies are men such as a twenty two year old former art student who grows to manhood on the day of his first mission over Japan and his best friend, a ladies man and intrepid fighter pilot whose life abruptly changes when his Corsair goes down off the enemy shore Another is a young Texan lieutenant who volunteers for the most dangerous flying job in the fleet intercepting kamikazes at night over the blackened Pacific Their leader is a charismatic officer who rises to greatness in the crucible of Okinawa Directing the vast armada of sea, air, and land forces is a cast of brilliant and flawed commanders from the imperturbable admiral and master of carrier warfare to the controversial soldier assigned to command the land forces The fate of the Americans at Okinawa is intertwined with the lives of the young gods the honor bound Japanese airmen who swarm like killer bees toward the U.S ships The kamikazes are dispatched on their deadly one way missions by a classic samurai warrior who vows that he will follow them to a warrior s grave.The ferocity of the Okinawa fighting stuns the world Before it ends, the long battle will cost American lives, ships, and aircraft than any naval engagement in U.S history More than simply the account of a historic battle, The Twilight Warriors brings to life the human side of an epic conflict It is the story of young Americans at war in the air and on the sea and of their enigmatic, fanatically courageous enemy.


Recent Comments "The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It"

The last great battle of the Pacific war loomed. They didn’t know it at the time but most realized the war was coming to an end. This is a story of the Okinawa campaign. This is primarily the story of the Navy pilots of the USS Intrepid. Some were veterans of other battles and campaigns. Some were brand new pilots, who called themselves ‘Tail-end Charlies’, anxious to get into the war before it ended. Some were senior officers who had never been to combat. It is also the story of the Army [...]

I have read many books on WWII. Without a doubt, this is the best I have ever had the privilege of reading on the U.S. Navy's war in the Pacific. If you want to learn more about the battle for Okinawa, the costliest for the U.S. in the Pacific theater, this is definitely the book to read. The author, a former aviator, writes with true authority. The pacing of the book would make one think he/she is reading a novel. But it's the real stuff. I felt like I came to know the pilots of the air group, [...]

Since my uncle, Al, first told me he was a young Marine Officer during WWII and had been deployed to Okinawa during the war, I had realized I was a history buff and had loved reading about the Second World War, but knew very little of the Pacific side of the war. In this, I think I wasn't all that different than those reading the news back then, that tended to focus their attention on the European theater rather than the Asian side. And that was wrong. Especially as a Navy mane Pacific side stre [...]

Probably the best book that I have read on the Pacific theater of World War II. Okinawa is the last battle of the war before the final invasion of Japan. The objective of the Japanese leaders was to prove that they would fight to the death not just for an outpost like Okinawa, but especially for their homeland. Their hope was that the Allies would see what the cost in lives would be if they invaded Japan and instead sue for peace. Okinawa would prove to be the costliest naval engagement in US hi [...]

Much like Skygods I was not a huge fan of the writing style, but all in all a good book. I had thought that more of this was about air to air combat, but perhaps I should have paid a little more attention to the summary. If you are interested in the Pacific Theater or Okinawa specifically you will not be disappointed.

This is about some of the last days of WW2 in the Pacific. I started this book for research but it reads like a novel (and I mean that as high praise) and it was hard to put down. Excellent book!

It took me a bit of time to get into the rhythm of this book. I had trouble understanding the framing/formatting of the book, specifically, who/what the book was about. It's not exactly about what happened on Okinawa, it's not exactly about the Japanese or American military leaders involved, it's not exactly about the ships at or heading towards Okinawa, and it's not exactly about the pilots who flew missions around Okinawa. It's a little bit of everything, thrown in together, and I had some tro [...]

Amazing Account of the Battle for OkinawaThere are few Americans still alive who can recount the Battle for Okinawa. This was the last battle of WWII, and tens of thousands of American lives were lost, as well as over 100,00 Japanese and another 100,000 Okinawan civilians. The author gives a very detailed account of the naval battle and the success of American naval aviation in aerial combat and bombing. He also described in great detail the effectiveness of the Japanese kamikaze attacks and the [...]

Very good description of the late part of the war in the pacific, especially the battle for Okinawa and the many Kamikaze attacks and defense measures used to try and combat them. It started out more like a narrative about a new pilot getting trained and sent off late in the war, but then shifted to talk about all sorts of other battles, kamikaze attacks against ships that involved no US pilots specifically; the viewpoint changes as the book moves along. But it does have a lot of interesting eve [...]

A history of the kamikazes efforts to force an armistice between America and Japan. The loss of sailors and ships was carefully kept secret instead of admitting to not having a strategy to control the waves of planes with dedicated sacrificers to try and win the battle on land and sea. An interesting note on the Corsair's inability to deal with high altitude combat while the emphasis was on more speed to keep up with the Zero's quick maneuverability. A well-written book on both land and sea acti [...]

Excellent historyReadable and engaging, it conjures up the campaign with clever use of personal narratives and good writing. There may be better accounts of the land war, but the onslaught of the kamikaze hordes is horrifyingly done.

Great book about the war in the PacificThis is an excellent read and historically factual. In later years I served on one of the ship's mentioned -- the destroyer USS Halsey Powell.

A must readThis, for a historic a book, is a gripping narrative that presents the views of both sides of the war with Japan.

A solid nuts-and-bolts history of the last phase of the conventional war against Japan, with an emphasis on the Corsair pilots who flew off the USS Intrepid.

This book was really cool and I really enjoyed reading it.

This book is about the battle for Okinawa. The author uses as a framing device the fighter pilots of VF-10 and VBF-10 on the USS Intrepid CV-11 to talk about this last battle. As well as talk about the fight the Allied Nation fleet had with the Kamikazes during the Battle for Okinawa. The title of the book relates to both these fighter pilots, some of whom are just now reaching operational units after being in training command for a couple of year and are the last warriors, twilight warriors, to [...]

This is one of the most highly readable and engrossing accounts of the battle of Okinawa I've ever found. The writing style is captivating and anything but dry or overly scholarly and academic. But nor is it sensationalized to some inappropriate level.It looks at the battle of Okinawa, and the basic theme or premise seems to be that much of the air battle was fought by guys who were known as tail-end Charlies. These were young men inducted near the war's end who were replacements for veterans lo [...]

3.5 stars.Much like The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour, this is a blow-by-blow account of a naval battle. Much like Tin Can Sailors, this book does not stray much from accounting the battle itself into human interest pieces. It is thorough and - again like Tin Can - looks at the motivations of both sides, although focusing mostly on the Americans.This is a book of tactics and strategy, and not a romance novel. It is an accou [...]

Outstanding book about the last big battle of the WW II, the invasion of Okinawa. This was one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the war, taking a tremendous toll in men, both soldiers on the land and sailors on the fleet protecting the landing beaches. One of the strong points was the many shifts from the US perspective to the Japanese, and back. The author found a good deal of first hand and historical information about many of the Japanese soldiers and sailors and even more about people [...]

page turner 100 in. the author writes novels and this flows like one.ok I finished and was very impressed. This book was constant action and a lot of tragedy . Makes a historical point that the way the japanese fought at okinawa precipitated the decision to drop the bomb one hiroshima. In this way it is an important work. It does not gloss in depicting american pilots strafing japanese as they parachuted and in the ocean. Nonetheless the guts to fly a carrier based aircraft is astounding. Meanwh [...]

Excellent work on the last year of the Pacific War. Gandt focuses his book on the "Tail End Charlies" of VBF-10: The Corsairs of the USS Intrepid. He gives some decent coverage of the Japanese side as well, focused on Ugaki and the Kamikazes. I also like his writing of the end of the Yamato. The best parts are built on VBF-10, however and their camaraderie and the shock of combat. If you know much about the Pacific, many names will stand out. Including Will Rawlie and John Hyland. Rawlie was a V [...]

An excellent narrative WW2 naval history focusing on the battle for Okinawa. The author includes tales from participants which included aviators from Lincoln NE and Boys Town along with accounts from participating Flag and General officers. I have always thought that until recently the naval history s of the horrible fighting at Okinawa were concealed (covered up) because of the horrific casualties of all branches of the participating armed forces along with the huge amount of Navy ships sunk du [...]

Such a great read! Although the story line jumps around a lot, probably because the author wanted to set up other scanarios, the quality of writing and movie-like action the author offers up is just great. History is tough to read especially if it's the same topic repeatedly. This book covers air, sea and land wars in the Pacific. It accounts the air and sea battles with a lot more detail than the island ones, but the effect is there. I really enjoyed the detail of each scenario. The imagery lea [...]

The Twilight Warriors is about the Battle of Okinawa from the Navy perspective. The author goes into great detail about the pilots and ships involved in that part of the Pacific war. I learned that kamikaze's were a much bigger problem than I had previously thought. Gandt did his research methodically. Drawing from letters, notes, diaries and other historical information, he goes into detail on an individual basis, describing the actions, deaths, and survival of many of the pilots. I enjoyed thi [...]

What this book is great at doing is describing the horror of the kamikaze attacks. I had no idea how how much the Japanese depended on this desperate measure and the toll it took on American sailors. Having said that I thought the promised story line of a group of tight knit aviators didn't really come across. This read more like snap shot of what was going on in the final months of the Pacific Theater on air, sea and land. I think I would have gone to four stars if not for the choppiness of thi [...]

A narrative history that is able to be pro-American without being propaganda, because it tries to also be honest about the Japanese, by the actions of their leaders making it clear just how mad things had become by 1945. The men of the USS Intrepid, and their actions reminded more than a little of Battle Star Galactica. Maybe it resonant's so powerfully culturally, because carrier warfare became by the end of the Second World War, iconically American. This is an entertaining page-turner of a boo [...]

Gandt relates the Battle of Okinawa by following several pilots, commanders and Japanese soldiers and I found it a quick immersion in the long confrontation. I had not known that the kamikaze pilots caused so much devastation and loss for little gain. I had not known that the Battle has the largest U. S. Navy casualties in warfare. I had not known before now of the air warfare that occurred. The luck, the danger, the loss, randomness of war is horrific. But the experience became a strategic step [...]

The life of a carrier pilot in a dayIt was more than a day for the men in the book, it was a lifetime. The author has done an good job of reliving the war from the view of a small group of Navy carrier pilots. This book makes you feel close to the squadron and the men who lived there. Form the twilight warriors who never returned to those that did but are forever a part of Naval history

An interesting look at the Okinawa campaign from numerous perspectives. It earns 3.5 stars because i I felt that it tried to cover too many sides of the campaign using too few pages. This makes the book unfold in short, choppy events instead of a following narrative that is more focused. A recommended read for those looking for a quick overview of the Okinawa campaign from the air, sea, and land.

We're coming up on the end of the 70th anniversary remembrances of various WWII events and milestones. The Twilight Warriors is a good book about the last great contest of the war, the Battle of Okinawa, from 01APR-22JUN 1945. It covers fight from the air, land, and sea perspectives. Recommended reading to give some insight into the various reflections and memorials that will be popping up in news feeds soon.


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    Posted by:Robert Gandt
    Published :2018-09-06T19:17:39+00:00