The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Store of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour

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Desperately fought on the morning of October 25, 1944, the Battle of Samar is one of the most celebrated engagements in United States naval lore. Facing overwhelming firepower, with no prospect of reinforcement, thirteen American warships began a fight they couldn't win- and fought it to the death. Weaving declassified documents, and rare Japanese sources, James D. Hornfischer has created an unprecedented account of a naval engagement unlike any other in American history. A resonant portrait of the Navy man's indomitable spirit and a stiring tale of heroism in the face of hopeless odds, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors unforgettably captures the men, the strategies, and the sacrifices that turned certain defeat into a legendary victory.

Written by James D. Hornfischer, 499 pgs., Bantam Books, 2004.