A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight by Robert J. Mrazek Online

A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight
Title : A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316021395
Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 544

One of the great untold stories of World War II finally comes to light in this thrilling account of Torpedo Squadron Eight and their heroic efforts in helping an outmatched U.S. fleet win critical victories at Midway and Guadalcanal. These 35 American men--many flying outmoded aircraft--changed the course of history, going on to become the war's most decorated naval air sqOne of the great untold stories of World War II finally comes to light in this thrilling account of Torpedo Squadron Eight and their heroic efforts in helping an outmatched U.S. fleet win critical victories at Midway and Guadalcanal. These 35 American men--many flying outmoded aircraft--changed the course of history, going on to become the war's most decorated naval air squadron, while suffering the heaviest losses in U.S. naval aviation history. Mrazek paints moving portraits of the men in the squadron, and exposes a shocking cover-up that cost many lives. Filled with thrilling scenes of battle, betrayal, and sacrifice, A DAWN LIKE THUNDERis destined to become a classic in the literature of World War II.


A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight Reviews

  • Manray9

    Today the appellation “hero” is thrown about frivolously. Not every person who encounters disappointment or personal trials in their life is a hero. The naval aviators of Torpedo Squadron 8, celebrated by Robert J. Mrazek in A Dawn Like Thunder, were heroes. These young men, with much to live for, sold their lives dearly to blunt Japanese aggression against the U.S. in the early months of World War II. Mrazek tells their story vividly and with a raw power that gives them life anew. As Frank [...]

  • Paul

    This is the story of Torpedo Squadron 8 from the USS Hornet that fought at Midway and Guadalcanal.OK, I know you’re thinking, “I saw the movie Midway, and the whole squadron died at Midway except for Ensign George S. Gay, who witnessed the whole battle from the water near the Japanese carriers after he was shot down.” Yes, and no. Half of the squadron was on the Hornet while the other half didn’t arrive in Pearl Harbor until Hornet had been deployed to the battle, and six planes – half [...]

  • Michael

    "A Dawn Like Thunder" is about one of my favorite historical subjects, the Battle of Midway during WWII. These are the facts as history had taught me. On 4 June 1942, just five months and change after Pearl Harbor the Japanese made an attempt to take Midway Island in a gambit to draw out and destroy the American fleet. When the Japanese fleet, including four aircraft carriers, arrived in the vicinity of Midway the United States fleet was waiting in ambush. As Japanese bombers attacked the island [...]

  • John

    The Pacific Theater has always been my favorite theater of the war to read about. I suppose that, like so much in my life, comes from my father who was an Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class during the war. He worked on Hellcats and Avengers mostly. Through him I became enthralled with anything to do with the Pacific Theater, especially naval aviation. When I saw this book at the library I knew that I had to pick it up even though I was currently reading three other books at the time. I have read [...]

  • Urey Patrick

    Poignant and compelling history of Torpedo 8 based largely on personal accounts and individual stories of the men of the squadron juxtaposed against the larger events and actions of the war in the Pacific at the time. Torpedo 8 not only lost all 15 airplanes launched from the Hornet against the Japanese at Midway, it also lost five of six planes launched against the Japanese from Midway airfield itself. One man survived the Hornet strike force, two survived the Midway strike. And yet, their cour [...]

  • Jeff

    This book is actually misnamed. It should be subtitled "The COMPLETE Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight". Most history buffs know about the debacle of VT-8 at the Battle of Midway, but that's usually the extent of it. This excellent book describes Torpedo 8 and its personnel before, during, and after the Battle of Midway. For example, I had no idea that VT-8 went on after Midway (no, the whole squadron was NOT wiped out there - a sizeable contingent remained in Hawaii and missed out on the battle a [...]

  • Arthur Gibson

    Excellent book with tons of historical information found on its pages as well as many of the stories and opinions of the people in the squadron. The imagery and descriptive language brings you into the cockpit of the planes of Torpedo Squadron 8. Amazing stories of near death experiences and the losses suffered during a time of uncertainty in the US. Second time reading it and I have o say, I would certainly read it a third time.

  • Gavin

    Almost like Band of Brothers, this author personalizes the heroes who changed history with sacrifice and luck. Many key facts from interviews and research create an interesting time line in our history.

  • Dana Stabenow

    Dull. Sad because there's a hell of a story here, but the writing is like there is a wall of glass between the reader and the characters. We can see their lips move but we can't really get close enough to care for them.

  • Richard Buro

    The short version first. . .During my undergraduate studies at Baylor University, I spent as much time as possible in the History Department and the Political Science Department. Any time left over, I spent the Moody Library, then the principal library on the Waco campus. In my studies there, I learned that there were certain qualities to look for when you read a “history” book. Those qualities were the following:(1) Primary sources – interviews, oral histories, and recordings made about t [...]

  • Randall Russell

    I feel like the title of this book is rather misleading. I assumed (incorrectly) that it was about Torpedo Squadron Eight's participation in the Battle of Midway. It does cover that, but only for about the first 1/3 of the book. The remaining 2/3s actually focuses on the Battle of Guadalcanal. The book was pretty well written, and somewhat interesting, but I was really put off by the fact that the focus was rather different than I thought. I guess next time I should read the cover blurb a little [...]

  • Michael

    Of the many military history books I have read about pilots and their planes, this, in my opinion, is one of the absolute best. Get to know the personalities, the strengths and the weaknesses of these men who Won World War II.

  • John E

    New info on the Battle of Midway and compelling writing. What more could you want?

  • Olivia

    Mrazek has a manner which allows accurate historical detail to come across in a readable narrative. For those who thought they knew about certain aspects of essential events of WWII, yet are unable to offer detail because their familiarity is hearsay or from a different 'Theatre' THIS book will bring alive the Pacific, Pearl Harbour and the US operations in a realistic and humane way.Thoroughly enjoyed this and other works by this author without feeling in any way at all that truth had been unde [...]

  • A. Bowdoin Van Riper

    Like the Light Brigade at Balaclava and the 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn, Torpedo Squadron 8 achieved immortality through a shattering defeat. On June 4, 1942, fifteen of the squadron’s planes took off from the aircraft carrier Hornet, and six more from Midway Island, to attack an oncoming Japanese fleet. Twenty of the twenty-one planes were shot down, and more than thirty-five men killed, without inflicting damage on the enemy. A Dawn Like Thunder tells the story of the doomed attack at [...]

  • Betsy

    If you know anything about the Battle of Midway, it is probably about the sacrifice of the HORNET'S VT-8 in the attacks on the Japanese fleet. This book ably covers that tragedy, but it also discusses what the remaining planes of Torpedo 8 did in the aftermath. Those commanded by Lt. Commander Waldron (except for George Gay) were lost, however, the remaining planes of Squadron 8 were not present on June 4 since the seventeen pilots and their crews had missed the sailing of the HORNET.Under the c [...]

  • Troy

    It's easy to forget, in this age of easily integrated digitally-fused data and sattelite surveillance, that not so long ago our grandfathers and great-grandfathers flew slow, piston-driven airplanes hundreds of miles out into the open blue ocean to visually locate and attack an enemy fleet of forty or more warships among islands harboring native cannibals and headhunters by lobbing lead, dumb iron bombs and unguided torpedoes at them. (It's also easy to forget that despite technological advances [...]

  • Matt

    When most people think of The Battle of Midway then invariably go to the sacrifice of VT-8 and the "sole survivor" George Gay. That is only partially true because the histories always cover the flight of six Avengers that made an earlier attack, one of those Avengers survive with two crewmembers out of three. That Avenger flight was the second half of VT-8 that missed sailing on the U.S.S. Hornet and half of the left behind group was sent to Midway. Mrazek's book tells the story of VT-8 from May [...]

  • Wayne

    It was by chance hat I selected this book to read. I am most certainly glad that I did. It was a very descriptive and vivid documentary of the battles at Midway and Guadalcanal. It is an accurate and detailed account of these events as experience by Torpedo Squadron Eight. Your get to know these men by their names and background. You admire their bravery morn their loss. Although official Navy records of military awards are not maintained on a squadron by squadron basis this squadron of brave me [...]

  • David Becker

    The more I read about World War II, the more I appreciate reading books about smaller parts of the war. Not all stories, for instance, have the scope of something like D-Day, but smaller parts of the War had their importance, too.This book covers a torpedo squadron that suffered horrific losses throughout the war, and yet still could have been considered successful. It contains a very different view of Guadalcanal that would be what you'd think if you were a pilot, and not a ground soldierough t [...]

  • Drew Danko

    Not being a history buff of any kind, I am woe fully ignorant of the events that shaped our military challenges in WW 2. Reading this book helped me overcome that deficit as far as the Pacific theater is concerned. I was familiar with the names such as Midway and Guadacanal, but had no idea of their significance. Now that has changed. From this incredibly well researched book, you learn about the improbable odds we were facing from the Japanese fleet, the various tactics used by both sides to wi [...]

  • Sue

    This book is set in the first year of the War for the US, immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and covers the experiences and in some cases mystery surrounding the lives and experiences of the men of TorPedo Squadron Eight. They were nearly wiped out to a man in the first major battle in the Pacific, at Midway, and the tattered remnants went on to help make the difference in the battle of Guadalcanal at a time when the U.S. Navy was still licking its wounds and reeling from the loss [...]

  • Julian Tan

    A truly fascinating and enriching account of the role played by the bomber pilots in the Battle of Midway and subsequent campaigns in Guadalcanal; which ultimately influenced the outcome of the war in the Far East. It is sobering to think that the survival odds in that particular raid on Midway was something like 1 in 15, and yet the pilots and crew would continually throw themselves into battle with the utmost of courage and disregard for their own persons.The tale of Midway is a classic - a co [...]

  • Dustin

    If ever a squadron of pilots had a story to tell about WWII, it was these guys. Torpedo Squadron 8 was present at two of the biggest, and decisive, battles in the Pacific. Those of us that are familiar with the Pacific theater are well aware that the Dauntless dive bombers almost single handedly won the battle of Midway, and were responsible for sinking four Japanese carriers. But it was Torpedo Squadron 8 that flew the first attacks, and they suffered heavily for it. They pressed on, though, an [...]

  • Mark Peebler

    Excellent read. One of those that I just couldn't put down, or at least didn't want to. Priding myself on knowing much about World War II, especially in the Pacific, I learned much from this book. For Instance, I never knew about the flight of TBF Avengers at Midway that struck the Japanese first with 18 men, 2 of which returned alive. The valiant infantry struggle by the remaining members of the squadron was also new to me. This story is told by a wordsmith who makes you feel like you are there [...]

  • Matt

    This is one of those history books that tries to recount events as narrative, complete with dialogue, without quite going all the way to an historical fiction format. I don't happen to particularly care for that style of non-fiction writing, as it seems less direct, but if this doesn't bother you you would enjoy this book much more than I did.It's an interesting story and frustrating to see how commanders really sent men needlessly to their deaths at times. In the Battle of Midway, these torpedo [...]

  • Elgin

    I love WW II history. I would not recommend this book to anyone who has not already read a good deal of war history. However, having read books on the Pacific War, Pearl Harbor, Midway, Gaudacanal, etc, this book was perfect for me. It gives an in depth look at the role of a squadron of torpedo and dive bombers at Midway and Guadacanal. As well as discussing the role of the planes and pilots, there is a good deal about the personalities of the pilots and the frustations and fears they felt.This [...]

  • Bruce

    This was an informative and fun read. It is an amazing story about a torpedo squadron that fought in the Battle of Midway and at Guadalcanal. The writer does an excellent job developing the background for each of the members of the squadron, and makes the history read like an adventure novel. It is amazing what our parents and grandparents accomplished when history demanded the ultimate of them. I hope we never forget and will always appreciate what "the greatest generation" did. I highly recomm [...]

  • Steve

    I consider myself a student of WWII history in the pacific theater, and this book had new information and insight that I have never read before. It was a great study into the brief lives of some extraordinarily ordinary men! I have heard of many of these key figures before, but I never "really" knew much about them. A great glimpse into the personal lives of some men that gave their all for our country. I highly recommend this book.

  • David

    Great book. I have read many books about specific battles, but never one tracking a particular unit. This book tracks the squadron through the war, even detailing the lives left behind as the squad headed out to war, and going beyond the well known disaster the squad encountered at the Battle of Midway. Very interesting.