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In the last year of the great war at sea in the Pacific, there is one place where American submarines are forbidden to go: the straits of Bungo Suido, which is the largest of the three channels into Japan’s secretive Inland Sea. The reason: five American submarines have been lost without a trace in and around these straits so far during the war. The straits are heavily mined and patrolled by radar-equipped aircraft, destroyers, and smaller civilian patrol craft, all of which is in place to protect one of Japan’s most important naval arsenals, at Kure, fifteen miles from a city called Hiroshima.

At the end of 1944, American reconnaissance aircraft operating out of China discover the biggest aircraft carrier ever built getting ready to go operational from it base at Kure. For three years the Japanese have been building this monster inside an enormous industrial building erected over a 1000 foot long drydock. The top brass at Pearl Harbor does not want this giant getting loose in the Pacific at a time when the Allied naval forces are stretched to the limit with the invasion of the Philippines. They decide to dispatch a lone submarine, USS Dragonfish, with orders to penetrate Bungo Suido and to attack the new carrier at its base at Kure, an attack the Japanese navy would never expect, and for very good reasons. Ghosts of Bungo Suido is the story of what happens.

Anticipated publication date: July 2013

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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:: Gosts of Bungo Suido

Reviews

:: Publishers Weekly Starred Review: Ghosts of Bungo Suido
Military novelist Deutermann, known for action-packed WWII naval fiction (Pacific Glory), has created by far the best entry in his Sea Stories series. Commander Gar Hammond, skipper of the U.S. submarine Dragonfish, enjoys an enviable reputation in the Pacific theater circa 1944 as a maverick officer, unorthodox and audacious in his approach to harassing Japanese shipping and irreverent toward myopic armchair admirals. He and his crew are assigned a secret suicide mission: to penetrate the deadly Bungo Suido strait into Japanís Inland Sea and sink a new aircraft carrier. They also have a passenger aboard: a middle-aged Japanese prisoner with a mysterious task to perform at Hiroshima. Garís brilliant, bold attack plan almost succeeds, only to go awry and place him at the enemyís mercy. Deutermannís gritty descriptions of the technical and tactical complexities of submarine warfare, the heavy demands of command leadership, and Japanís inhuman treatment of Allied POWs are historically accurate and superbly presented. Best and most suspenseful, however, is a tense postwar epilogue in which Gar must deliver an account of his conduct under fire. This is marvelous military fiction; fast-paced, exciting, and utterly convincing. Agent: Nick Ellison, Nick Ellison Agency (July)

:: Kirkus Starred Review: Ghosts of Bungo Suido
A World War II naval thriller in the tradition of Edward L. Beach's Run Silent, Run Deep, pitting an American submarine against daunting odds.

In 1944, the U.S. is pushing the Japanese empire back to its home turf, one bloody island at a time. In this struggle, Cmdr. Gar Hammond has two special missions. The first is to captain his submarine through Bungo Suido, the narrow strait connecting the Pacific Ocean with the Japanese Inland Sea, and torpedo Japanís massive new aircraft carrier. Five other subs have tried it and are now ďon eternal patrolĒ at the bottom of the ocean. Yet his even more crucial mission is to bring a man named Hashimoto safely back to his home soil. Hammond initially objects to a 'Jap' on his sub, and his superiors refuse to tell him why. Even readers who might guess the reason will be swept up in the action-filled plot as Hammondís Dragonfish tries to survive the Bungo Suido minefields. Like any good hero, Hammond has his flaws. While obeying orders, he sometimes goes beyond them. And when he absolutely must keep his mouth shut, he talks. Will these traits get him killed? Does his behavior at one point amount to treason? The story is full of surprising twists and spectacular explosions, with many of the best scenes taking place outside his Dragonfish. The pace occasionally slows to allow the reader to stop for a breath in Hawaii. There, far from the fighting, admirals plan strategies while a woman adds a layer of humanity to Hammondís life. But just when it seems that Hammond is out of the picture, he comes back again to witness some of the worst horrors mankind can inflict.

A first-rate yarn of war and the sea that will keep the reader on edge right to the end.

 

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