TAKE HER DEEP! by I.J. Galantin


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A low-key but consistently absorbing memoir from a veteran of a half-dozen submarine missions against Japanese shipping in WW II's Pacific theater. A 1933 graduate of the US Naval Academy who went on to become a four-star admiral, Galantin joined the silent service in 1936. Following a series of prepatory billets, he was named captain of the fleet sub Halibut, whose last five combat patrols (from the summer of 1943 through late 1944) are the focus of his narrative. Like most pigboat skippers, Galantin was frequently frustrated on the attack by malfunctioning torpedoes. On the other hand, he recalls, Japanese anti-submarine measures were nowhere as effective as those employed by US forces against German U-boats in the Atlantic. Even so, after sinking two enemy vessels in the Luzon Strait, Halibut was almost depth-charged into eternity; though too badly damaged to be returned to battle, the tough little craft survived to reach home port and receive a unit citation. Galantin's understated account of sub duty's risks, rewards, tedium, and terrors includes a ditty bagful of sea stories, plus just enough technical detail to convey the rigors of surface as well as underwater engagements. With obvious affection for crew members of his first command, the author also pays tribute to a full complement of shipmates--collectively gallant and, in many cases, individually eccentric. In brief, then, an altogether engrossing log that serves as a reminder that military history is made on a very personal level.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Algonquin