The attack on Pearl Harbor is a topic of perennial interest to the American public, and a long line of popular books and movies have focused on the attack or events leading up to it. This work takes an entirely new perspective. Aimed at the general reader with an interest in World War II and the U.S. Navy, the book looks at the massive salvage effort that followed the attack, beginning with the damage control efforts aboard the sinking and damaged ships in the harbour on 7 December 1941 and ending in March 1944 when salvage efforts on the USS Utah were finally abandoned. The author tells the story in a narrative style, moving from activity to activity as the days and months wore on, in what proved to be an incredibly difficult and complex endeavour. But rather than writing a dry operational report, Dan Madsen describes the Navy's dramatic race to clear the harbour and repair as many ships as possible so they could return to the fleet ready for war. Numerous photographs, many never before published in books for the general public, give readers a real appreciation for the momentous task involved, from the raising of the USS Oglala in 1942 and the USS Oklahoma in 1943 to the eventual dismantling of the above-water portions of the USS Arizona. Madsen explains how a salvage organization was first set up, how priorities were scheduled, what specific plans were made and how they worked or, in many cases, did not work. His book is based almost entirely on primary sources, including the records of the fleet salvage unit and the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.
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