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WWII Novels - "It could have happened like that!"

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by Flingwing67, Dec 13, 2021.

  1. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    This might be opening a Pandora's box, but has anyone read any good WWII novels? To me a good historical novel is one that I put down and say, "That could have happened!" I have two candidates for this.

    1. The Eagle Has Landed, by Jack Higgins. This book grabbed me when I first read it several years (decades?) ago. It is rich with detail. While I enjoyed the movie, it didn't measure up to the book, which I really felt could have happened the way Jack Higgins described.

    2. I do not remember the name of this book, however it is the story of an old 4 stack destroyer in the Asiatic fleet at the outbreak of WWII, and their run to stay out of the way of the IJN. They have to abandon the ship, and try to blow it up in the Philippines while the ship is in dry dock and the IJN overtakes them. Back in the states, much of the same crew is joined together on a brand new Fletcher class DD and cross the Pacific to chase the IJN. In one of the battles in the Philippines, they find themselves engaging their old ship, now flying the Rising Sun. I've heard it's based on a true story of just such a ship, abandoned and supposedly blown up in dry dock but I've never been able to verify the story. I felt the details were accurate and the story could have been true. If anyone remembers that book, I'd love to have the name. I believe it was in paperback, and I believe I read it in RVN, making it '68 or '69!

    Anyone else have a novel that would fit this bill?
     
  2. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    USS Stewart (DD-224) was abandoned in drydock in the Dutch port of Surabaya, salvaged by the Japanese, and put into service as Patrol Boat 102. She was found by US forces at the end of the war, brought home, and sunk as a target.

    The name Stewart was given to DE-238, but aside from that she had no relation to the older Stewart. She still exists as a museum ship in Galveston, Texas.
     
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  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Montserrat. I read this book years ago. Grabbed me and held my interest throughout. I probably should read it again.
     
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  4. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I can't remember the name of the fiction book (and can't seem to find it on the net) - But it was about a German flight crew training on a captured B-17...The plan was secret, but the crew began to realise it was to drop an Atom bomb on America...a really good book.

    And "Last plane out of Berlin" - An Australian business man was allowed to fly over Germany to conduct his business...He collected intel for the British whilst he did...Said to have invented the first bubble window so he could see if any 109s were following his civilian plane.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
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  5. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    IJN PB102.png
    Thanks for the information. I've actually been on that destroyer in Galveston at Sea Wolf Park. I didn't realize that was the ship. Thanks for the information.

    I took a snoop on line and came up with this actual drawing and description, even what the IJN did in converting her to their use.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
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  6. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    Wow, that b-17 story sounds good. Thanks for the information. Both books look like good adds to my reading list.
     
  7. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    Thanks, Lou! I will check it out.
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Gilman&Clive: kg 200 best-kept secret. Aimed killing Winston with captured b-17 bombers.

    Fredrick Forsythe: ODESSA. Just a nice novel of an organisation Help nazis escape Germany.
     
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  9. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Much of The Cruel Sea is based on Montserrat's experiences; he served in corvettes and eventually commanded a frigate. Another book, variously titled Three Corvettes or Montserrat at Sea, is a collection of memoirs and short stories.
     
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  10. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    Yes, definitely this book belongs in the "It could have happened". I read it decades ago and thought I was reading actual history. Thanks for the contribution.
     
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  11. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    I see there is another, titled, The Cruel Sea Retold! Sounds like a double feature! Thank you!
     
  12. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    Or maybe The Cruel Sea Retold!
     
  13. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Mister Roberts. Hard as it is to imagine, it was even better than the fantastic movie.

    The Caine Mutiny. Again, even better than the fantastic movie.

    Brotherhood of War series. WEB Griffin. It stretches up into the 1970s and is outstanding.

    I tried to read From Here To Eternity and got about ⅓ through it before I surrendered. It was awful, not nearly as good as the movie.
     
  14. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    "The Ship" by C. S. Forester, follows a RN cruiser during an engagement in the Med. We visit men in stations from the crow's nest to the shaft alley. I spent three days in a shaft alley getting a spring bearing replaced. Much fun. Slept maybe four hours in that time.
     
  15. Flingwing67

    Flingwing67 New Member

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    Two other really great novels by Herman Wouk, a very good story teller, Winds of War, and War and Remembrance. What really rang my bell was that I had started reading Winds of War about the time I started a new job, and found myself on a trip to Europe. Little did I know that the TV series would be airing shortly after I was there and I watched Jan M. Vincent walking through the same plazas in Italy as I had visited. That was lots of fun.
     
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