The Archerfish, a diesel powered Balao-class submarine crafted in the 1940s, won a unique, heroic place in military history and the memories of her crew members. Here is her story: from her assembly in New England and her dedication by Eleanor Roosevelt's personal secretary, to her service in World War II, where she broke the back of the Japanese Navy, and her critical role in the Cold War.
Here, too, is the story of her crew, who waited years to serve on the Archerfish. In their own words, these men tell how, against all odds, they sent a Japanese aircraft carrier to the ocean floor. Heroic actions, exotic ports, B-girls, perilous shore leaves, and the fascinating details of life aboard a sub, it's all here. An extraordinary real-life odyssey, Gallant Lady is a vivid, unforgettable portrait of a submariner's life.
©2004 Ken Henry and Don Keith; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
"The next best thing to serving on the Archerfish is reading this book. It's a great Navy story about a great ship and crew." (Stephen Coonts)
"Not a casual listen"
I?ve only given this book three stars which is below the average given by others.
There are several reasons for this. The narration is average. While Alan Sklar has an easy listening voice he rarely puts much expression or oomph into his reading. The story itself has several parts to it. The first four hours is about the building of the boat and the Second World War. It is easily the best part of the book. The stalking of the Shinano is gripping. But there are another ten hours to this book?. The middle section is made up of a large number of small incidental accounts spanning about fifteen years. While many are amusing the narrative does not flow well as there is no story line. It is hard to keep your attention and is dull in places. The last four hours of the book covers the two year world cruise that Archerfish undertook carrying out survey work. This section is a big improvement but once over the story looses its flow again. I could not recommend this to the casual reader as it very much for those interested in Naval History. If you are going to buy this book I would recommend that you fast forward over the Preface. It is not a Preface it is a pr?cis which gives away most the interesting facts leaving few surprises in the text. Ultimately I was glad when the book finished.
"Full of personality"
As someone interested in Naval history and particularly in submarine warfare, I was pleased to come across this book detailing the career of the USS Archerfish - a U.S navy submarine built during the second world war. Initially, I had expected this book to primarily focus on the Archerfish's war exploits as this was the main reason I purchased this title.
However, around a third of the way through Gallant Lady the stories of her efforts during the war were told and at that point I was somewhat disappointed. I had looked forward to really getting into more of the experiences and adventures of the Archerfish during the Pacific campaign waged by the U.S submarine force during world war II and felt slightly let down by the relatively little time spent telling this part of the story.
Thankfully, as you listen through the remainder of this book you will find - as did I - that the real value of this book is the telling of the much more interesting and colourful adventures of the officers and crew of this unique submarine. The war years were really just an introduction to the amusing, amazing and often heart warming tales of a tight nit brotherhood of men who took their work and their partying seriously! As you listen on, you will be taken on a long and winding journey through various exotic ports of call and all the stories that even a Hollywood director could not match for outrageousness and cunning. You really come to understand the sense of family that comes with serving aboard a submarine and how hard work, dedication and ingenuity all play a part in this epic tale of the lives of the many who served on Archerfish.
Above all, Gallant Lady is a human story and the book deftly introduces the reader to the many and varied rich personalities who's tales are told so well here. By the end of this book you have a genuine sense of feeling that you know these men in some small way and the experience is enriching.
A worthwhole listen.
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