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The battle for the Pacific p3

READERSVOICE.COM gives samples from high quality out of print books. The Battle for the Pacific by Donald Macintyre, was published in 1966.

The author, Captain Macintyre, was a destroyer-commander during WW2. He turned historian and he gives a lot of authoritative details of battles like Guadalcanal and the Coral Sea. It’s good writing and the details add to the tension in its descriptions of terrible naval battles.

The author writes of the destruction of the US ship Vincennes in a chapter called Midway-Guadalcanal: Savo Island:

The captain faced the “sudden dazzling light of searchlights glaring into his eyes”.

The author continues: Never doubting that they must be from the Southern Group, [Captain] Reifkohl over the voice radio demanded they be shut off.

Lieutenant-Commander Adams, the Vincennes’ Gunnery Officer, was less certain and ordered the turrets onto the bearing. In reply came a salvo from the Kako plunging into the sea 500 yards to the starboard. The Vincennes’ five-inch battery fired a salvo of star shells and then the eight-inch battery thundered out twice. 

It may have been one of these latter that hit and damaged the Kinugasa. If so, it was the last effective blow struck by the American cruiser; for simultaneously with the second salvo she staggered under the shock of shells hitting amidships. Her aircraft blazed up offering a perfect aiming mark. The Japanese searchlights, no longer necessary, were shut off. Shell after shell crashed home as the ship swerved this way and that, trying to escape the destructive hammer blows. Then torpedoes exploded against her port side, to complete the devastation. Steam pressure dropped and her speed fell away till, burning fiercely, she finally stopped.

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