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A Tale of Two Subs


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The commander of the USS Sailfish couldn't know that the Japanese aircraft carrier he just torpedoed had picked up several crew members from its sister sub USS Sculpin that had been sunk days earlier. This is the story of the events that led to this amazing twist of fate.

About the Author

JONATHAN J. MCCULLOUGH has served for many years as an editor at Lyons Press, and has edited numerous books on a variety of nonfiction subjects, including World War II


McCullough, an editor at Lyons Press, debuts as an author with this disappointing popular history of WWII submarine warfare. The USS Sculpin and USS Sailfish were built "side by side" at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. Both subs were assigned to the Pacific Fleet, where, in 1943, the Sculpin was sunk by the Japanese destroyer Yamagumo. The Japanese transferred 41 survivors to two aircraft carriers--the Unyo and the Chuyo--bound for Japan. Unaware of the Sculpin's fate and acting on intelligence from the naval code breakers, the Sailfish intercepted and sank the Chuyo;. only one of the Sculpin's men on board survived. He and the Unyo's contingent of Americans spent the remainder of the war in Japanese captivity. Not only is the link between the two American subs tenuous, but the author tries with limited success to assimilate an account of the U.S. Navy's code-breaking operation that resulted in "hot tips to the submarine command." The account of the Sculpin's sinking is harrowing, but it's the singular highlight in a tedious narrative weighed down with extraneous material. (May 13) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"A TALE OF TWO SUBS just goes to show you that the SEALs are not the only brave men in dark waters. I am always humbled by the actions of the men who fought before me, and will forever bow my head in respect to the unsung heroes of World War II. This is a must read for any patriot."
--Marcus Luttrell, New York Times Bestselling Author of LONE SURVIVOR

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