World War II Navy #10
Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars
T. Deutermann is a contemporary master of World War II military fiction: writing about the lives, deaths, dreams, fears, and combat experiences of sailors and soldiers, generals and grunts, captains and snipers, pilots and submariners, who served in the Pacific theatre war against Japan.
The island of Iwo Jima was the epic land and sea battle that produced one of the iconic images of WWII: the Marines raising the American flag on Mount Surabachi, an active volcano that was the site of intense hand-to-hand combat. In this gripping novel, Deutermann follows a young gunnery liaison officer, Lee Bishop, who during the ferocious battle for the island is pulled from his station aboard the USS Nevada to serve on-shore as a spotter, calling in coordinates for the ship to target with missiles.
But Bishop is completely unready for what he will witness and experience: a literal hell, during which 26,000 Americans are killed in a fight to the very last man, which culminates in the blistering, sulphurous tunnels of Surabachi itself, where an entire platoon of Marines is held captive. Iwo, 26 Charlie is a dramatic, utterly authentic novel by an award-winning writer.
One of the most iconic images of the battle of Iwo Jima and World War II is the raising of our flag on Mount Suribachi. This is one of our country’s proudest moments during the war in the Pacific. This achievement took a lot longer than the citizens of our country knew. Most battles the U.S. Marines fight are in concert with the U.S. Navy. This is one of those stories.
There is a rivalry between these two branches of the U.S. military and also a bond of brotherhood. Lieutenant Lee Bishop goes onto the island with the intention to assist in firepower from the naval bombardment to “soften up” the island prior to the marine’s landing effort. The Japanese had prepared the island for the war with a myriad of caves and fortifications to thwart any attempt to occupy the island.
Lieutenant Bishop goes in to assist in fire control and direction to destroy the Japanese fortifications. His call name is IWO, 26 Charlie. The Japanese are extremely adept at killing any spotter who comes onto the island. The life expectancy of a spotter is estimated at 24 hours. The Japanese come out at night and kill anyone who is not fully awake or vigilant.
The USS Nevada has a myriad of weapons systems including 14-inch guns. Their fire control includes a rudimentary analog computer. Grids are utilized to give accurate coordinates for the placement of the ordinance. Most shells fired at the island were the 5-inch and 8-inch explosive types. The effect on the Japanese emplacements was generally minimal due to the excellent design and construction of the emplacements.
Anyone interested in the history of the Second World War will find this novel both interesting and amazing. I could not put the book down and I am sure most history buffs will have the same problem, which is a very one to have when reading! 5 stars – CE Williams
Last year I read The Last Palatine and found it absolutely riveting. I’ll be looking for anything released by this author going forward. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, WWII Historical Fiction, War Fiction
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Print Length: 288 pages
Publication Date: November 28, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
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The Author: Peter Deutermann was born in Boston in 1941. His father was in the Navy, so he subsequently lived all over the United States and also in Argentina. He graduated from the naval academy in 1963 and served in the navy for 26 years, rising to the rank of Captain. While in the navy, he published one textbook on naval operations and several professional articles in navy-oriented journals. He held three commands: a Swiftboat in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, a guided missile destroyer in the Atlantic Fleet, and a destroyer squadron based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. His last tour of duty was as the division director for chemical, biological, and radiological weapons arms control negotiations on the staff of the Joint Chiefs in Washington, DC.
He retired from active duty in 1989 and began his fiction-writing career. He has published twenty novels since 1992, all with St. Martins Press, including the just-released World War II navy novel, entitled The Commodore, and the Washington thriller, The Red Swan. He has completed his 21st novel, entitled The Iceman, a World War II navy submarine story, scheduled for publication in August, 2018. See all the books on his website at http://www.ptdeutermann.com
In addition to a BS in naval engineering, Mr. Deutermann holds an MA in public administration from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. He is also a Member of the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. He is married and has two children. Mr. Deutermann and his wife of 50 years live in Rockingham County, in the Piedmont of North Carolina, on their family pony farm.
©2023 CE Williams – V Williams