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Description - Escape from the Deep by Alex Kershaw

This is the adrenaline-soaked story of nine men who fought the Japanese from America's deadliest submarine, survived its sinking and endured months of brutal torture in captivity.By October 1944, the US Navy submarine Tang was legendary - she had sunk more enemy ships, rescued more downed airmen and pulled off more daring surface attacks than any other Allied submarine in the Pacific. And then, on her fifth patrol, tragedy struck - the Tang was hit by one of her own faulty torpedoes. The survivors of the explosion struggled to stay alive in their submerged "iron coffin" one hundred and eighty feet beneath the surface. While the Japanese dropped deadly depth charges, just nine of the original eighty-man crew survived a harrowing ascent through the escape hatch.But a far greater ordeal was coming. After being picked up by a Japanese patrol vessel, they were sent to a secret Japanese interrogation camp known as the "Torture Farm". They were close to death when finally liberated in August 1945, but they had revealed nothing to the Japanese - not even the greatest secret of World War II.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780306815195
ISBN-10: 0306815192
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 153mm x 25mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Da Capo Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 9-Apr-2007
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - Escape from the Deep by Alex Kershaw

US Kirkus Review » Kershaw (The Few, 2006, etc.) fashions a gripping, novelistic account of the U.S. submarine Tang's tragic final patrol.By August 1944, the Tang, a state-of-the-art torpedo-laden vessel under the guidance of Commander Richard O'Kane, had proven itself a formidable hunter of Japanese shipping. The tide was turning against the Japanese in the Pacific, as effective American technology allowed submarines to sink far below the surface to evade depth charges. In just four patrols, the cocky, ambitious, New Hampshire-born O'Kane had engineered the sinking of 17 ships. He was eager to embark on his fifth patrol, to the perilous enemy-lined Formosa Strait. By early October, the Tang had weathered an ominous typhoon, as well as a fall by the commander that left him with a broken foot. Once in the strait, the submarine successfully sank a convoy of Japanese cargo ships, emptying most of its torpedoes. Incredibly, the last torpedo, Number 24, boomeranged and headed straight back to strike the Tang. Half of the 87-member crew were killed instantly. When the fatally wounded submarine hit bottom, a handful of men miraculously escaped to the surface through the torpedo tubes. (They were equipped with Momsen Lungs, which took carbon dioxide from the air they exhaled, enriched it with oxygen and recycled it.) After floating for hours in the water, nine survivors, including O'Kane, were picked up by Japanese lifeboats. Surprisingly, the vengeful Japanese did not kill them outright, though they endured a harrowing period of captivity, subjected to interrogation, torture and starvation. On August 28, 1945, 19 days after the U.S. atomic bomb destroyed Nagasaki, the men were rescued by a U.S. destroyer. Stitched together from first-person accounts, Kershaw's action-packed, character-driven narrative of this extraordinary crew's exploits concludes with a poignant wrap-up of the survivors' later years. Reads like the best suspense fiction. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Alex Kershaw

Alex Kershaw is the author of the widely acclaimed books The Bedford Boy, The Longest Winter, The Few and two biographies: Jack London and, more recently, Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa. He has been a journalist and screenwriter in the UK and now lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Books By Alex Kershaw

Avenue of Spies by Alex Kershaw
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Jungle Fighters by Alex Kershaw
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Liberator by Alex Kershaw
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To Save a People by Alex Kershaw
Paperback, June 2011