Submarine action in the South Pacific, from Guadalcanal to the Philippine Sea to Japan itself--convincing, harrowing, but pretty much indistinguishable from dozens of similar American WW II Pacific sub novels (including Homewood's Final Harbor, 1980). Once again the big early-war problem is the malfunctioning electromagnetic torpedo warhead--which requires captains to disregard orders if they want to sink ships. So Captain Mike Brannon and his crew sail under great strain on the USS Eelfish, and Brannon must misrepresent his attacks when reporting to his superior officer after each mission. Furthermore, Brannon feels partly responsible for the sinking of his companion sub Mako (see Final Harbor), which imploded while settling into six-mile depths. (The Eelfish did, however, sink the two Jap destroyers that sank the Mako.) And now the Eelfish has been supplied with improper, oversize torpedoes but must make do: a torpedo gets jammed in a tube during heavy action: the Eelfish comes across a surfaced U-boat whose crew is so intently watching an eerie sea full of swimming snakes that Brannon manages to sink them: the sub joins an American wolf pack and helps demolish a Jap task force. And on the way to the greatest naval battle of all time between capital warships, the Eelfish sinks a tanker but is itself depth-charged by three destroyers in shallow water. Nothing new. . . but sub buffs won't complain.