The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors - James D. Hornfischer

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

By James D. Hornfischer

  • Release Date: 2004-02-03
  • Genre: Military
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 201 Ratings)


“This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.”

With these words, Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland addressed the crew of the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts on the morning of October 25, 1944, off the Philippine Island of Samar. On the horizon loomed the mightiest ships of the Japanese navy, a massive fleet that represented the last hope of a staggering empire. All that stood between it and Douglas MacArthur’ s vulnerable invasion force were the Roberts and the other small ships of a tiny American flotilla poised to charge into history.

In the tradition of the #1 New York Times bestseller Flags of Our Fathers, James D. Hornfischer paints an unprecedented portrait of the Battle of Samar, a naval engagement unlike any other in U.S. history—and captures with unforgettable intensity the men, the strategies, and the sacrifices that turned certain defeat into a legendary victory.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James D. Hornfischer's Neptune's Inferno.

Praise for The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

“One of the finest WWII naval action narratives in recent years, this book follows in the footsteps of Flags of Our Fathers. . . . Exalting American sailors and pilots as they richly deserve. . . . Reads like a very good action novel.”Publishers Weekly

“Reads as fresh as tomorrow's headlines. . . . Hornfischer's captivating narrative uses previously classified documents to reconstruct the epic battle and eyewitness accounts to bring the officers and sailors to life.”Texas Monthly

“Hornfischer is a powerful stylist whose explanations are clear as well as memorable. . . . A dire survival-at-sea saga.”Denver Post

“In The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, James Hornfischer drops you right into the middle of this raging battle, with 5-inch guns blazing, torpedoes detonating and Navy fliers dive-bombing. . . . The overall story of the battle is one of American guts, glory and heroic sacrifice.”Omaha World Herald


  • Tin Can sailor

    By PJ&BR
    Excellent read. The bravery was palpable. The strength leadership and commitment can only reach such measure in war.
  • Inspiring

    By mainediver218
    An incredible and inspirational account of bravery, courage, and spirit. Thoroughly researched and captivating in its telling.
  • Motivating Book

    By Usnav8r
    The author did a nice job of seamlessly weaving history with personal accounts from survivors. By building a backstory for some of the key participants, he created an engaging narrative of an amazing story of courage against overwhelming odds. Great book.
  • An excellent read

    By Tcartee
    Great piece of writing. My wife's grandfather was one of the survivors of the Johnston and spent those long days and nights in the water. Made me appreciate our WW soldiers even more!
  • Heroism

    By crabtrem
    This is a great book that highlights one of the most courageous Naval battles of WWII. You will taste the salt, feel the heat of the guns, and live this battle as if you were there.
  • Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

    By Tin Can Sailors
    Exciting read, hard to put down. Great combination of military fact and personal experiences. Detailed, but not boring. An excellent account of incredible courage and commitment above and beyond the call!
  • Last Stand

    By MikeBell2001
    Every breathing American needs to read this book. If you REALLY want to understand what we are capable of as a nation when the chips are down, read this. The heroism, the determination and the sheer guts of the people profiled here will take your breath away. I was moved to tears at a couple of points in the book. Yes, it is a history book. But the author fully understands that history is made by people. He manages to capture their stories from a wonderfully human perspective. I can't recommend this enough. Well worth the price.