The Twilight Warriors

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2011-11-08
  • Publisher: Broadway Books
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The Twilight Warriors is the engrossing, page-turning saga of a tightly knit band of naval aviators who are thrust into the final-and most brutal-battle of the Pacific war: Okinawa. April 1945. The end of World War II finally appears to be nearing. The Third Reich is collapsing in Europe, and the Americans are overpowering the once-mighty Japanese Empire in the Pacific. For a group of young pilots trained in the twilight of the war, the greatest worry is that it will end before they have a chance to face the enemy. They call themselves Tail End Charlies. They fly at the tail end of formations, stand at the tail end of chow lines, and now they are catching the tail end of the war. What they don#x19;t know is that they will be key players in the bloodiest and most difficult of naval battles-not only of World War II but in all of American history. The Twilight Warriors relives the drama of the world#x19;s last great naval campaign. From the cockpit of a Corsair fighter we gaze down at the Japanese task force racing to destroy the American amphibious force at Okinawa. Through the eyes of the men on the destroyers assigned to picket ship duty, we experience the terror as wave after wave of kamikazes crash into their ships. Standing on the deck of the legendary superbattleship Yamato, we watch Japan#x19;s last hope for victory die in a tableau of gunfire and explosions. Among the Tail End Charlies are men such as a twenty-two-year-old former art student who grows to manhood on the day of his first mission over Japan and his best friend, a ladies#x19; man and intrepid fighter pilot whose life abruptly changes when his Corsair goes down off the enemy shore. Another is a young Texan lieutenant who volunteers for the most dangerous flying job in the fleet-intercepting kamikazes at night over the blackened Pacific. Their leader is a charismatic officer who rises to greatness in the crucible of Okinawa. Directing the vast armada of sea, air, and land forces is a cast of brilliant and flawed commanders-from the imperturbable admiral and master of carrier warfare to the controversial soldier assigned to command the land forces. The fate of the Americans at Okinawa is intertwined with the lives of the #x1C;young gods#x1D;- the honor-bound Japanese airmen who swarm like killer bees toward the U.S. ships. The kamikazes are dispatched on their deadly one-way missions by a classic samurai warrior who vows that he will follow them to a warrior#x19;s grave. The ferocity of the Okinawa fighting stuns the world. Before it ends, the long battle will cost more American lives, ships, and aircraft than any naval engagement in U.S. history. More than simply the account of a historic battle, The Twilight Warriors brings to life the human side of an epic conflict. It is the story of young Americans at war in the air and on the sea-and of their enigmatic, fanatically courageous enemy. From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Time Linep. xi
Prologuep. 1
The Way of the Warrior
The Next Islandp. 7
Tail End Charliesp. 13
You Are Already Godsp. 24
Tiny Timp. 35
Your Favorite Enemyp. 43
First Bloodingp. 53
The Mood in Boys' Townp. 61
Shoot the Son of a Bitchp. 69
We Will Save the Shipp. 76
Thunder Godsp. 83
Three Seconds to Diep. 94
And Where Is the Navy?p. 101
Gimlet Eyes and the Alligatorp. 110
Storming the Great LooChoo
Love Dayp. 119
Bourbon and Puddle Waterp. 126
Ten-Gop. 133
Divine Windp. 142
Breakoutp. 153
Race for Gloryp. 161
First Wavep. 170
Ducks in a Galleryp. 182
There She Blowsp. 190
Dumbo and Mighty Mousep. 201
Floating Chrysanthemums
A Ridge Called Kakazup. 217
Ohkap. 225
Gunslingersp. 233
Black Fridayp. 244
Keep Moving and Keep Shootingp. 255
As Long as a Gun Will Firep. 263
Glory Dayp. 270
Target Intrepidp. 278
Call Me Erniep. 287
Counteroffensivep. 294
Bottom of the Barrelp. 302
Gone with the Springp. 310
Change of Commandp. 317
Ritual of Deathp. 330
Setting Sunp. 339
Acknowledgmentsp. 349
The Honored Dead of Carrier Air Group 10p. 351
Notesp. 352
Referencesp. 365
U.S. Order of Battlep. 370
Japanese Order of Battlep. 371
Glossaryp. 372
Creditsp. 375
Indexp. 376
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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