Cover Image: The Eagle's Claw

The Eagle's Claw

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Member Reviews

Thank you Netgalley and Ballantine Books for the eARC.
This is the follow-up to 'Wake The Giant' and what a great read it is!  It's about the Battle of Midway, the WWII Pacific Campaign between Japan and the U.S.
We learn about the strategy and mindset of both sides; it's so gripping and at times intensely poignant.  The men's fear and their will to do their duty is well described and harrowing, my heart ached for these young men.
Jeff Shaara is a great writer, one of the best and this book, like his others, hooks you from beginning to end.  I found it eye-opening and at times felt quite emotional.  
Highly recommended, 5+++ stars!
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The Eagle's Claw by Jeff Shaara- In this follow up of "To Wake The Giant", Shaara goes back to the World War Two Pacific campaign, this time involving the Battle of Midway. As with all his history, we see the story unfolding through the eyes of the participants from both sides of the conflict. The characters show all their strengths and weaknesses, their fear and sacrifice, during the tense encounters on land, in the air and at sea. For the Japanese, it is a terrible shock that the Americans have not acted as they were expected to, and for the Americans, their small victory, which would eventually be a turning point, comes at great cost. The book moves right along without much preamble, introducing all the important and lesser figures in the grand scheme, and though it hops around in a semi nonlinear fashion, manages to follow each thread of story closely. A great, entertaining book.
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352 pages

5 stars

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is the planner and in overall charge of the mission for the Japanese to attack Midway Island, drive the Americans off and take it over themselves. They know that this will give them a landing strip and a small base from which to attack Australia. It also gives them a base closer to Japan and easier to supply. Surrounding Yamamoto are his subordinates. Some are very loyal. 

Under Yamamoto's command is Admiral Nagumo. He is an older man who has a tendency to dither before making decisions. He makes a major blunder following the first sortie. 

Commander Gendo is in charge of the training of his pilots. He is very good at his job.

And a host of other Japanese admirals, commanders, pilots and sailors. 

On the American side are fighter pilot Lieutenant Percy “Perk” Baker and Lieutenant Thach,      his squad leader. We also have Admiral Nimitz, Gunnery Doug Sergeant Ackroyd of the Army who is stationed on Midway, and Captain Joseph Rochefort who is a crypto-analyst who is a genius at reading the coded dispatches of the Japanese. He is also irreverent and not good at personal relations. Jimmie Doolittle and his crew bomb cities in Japan. John Ford also makes a cameo appearance on Midway. 

This is an exciting and emotional book. We see the Battle of Midway from several perspectives. The ordinary soldier, the crypto-analyst, the officers and their subordinates. From my understanding of the battle, it is true to the facts. The men are beset by doubts and pretty terrified at times, but they do their duty. I liked the inner dialogue that each character carried on within himself. It gives the reader a very good understanding of not only the man, but their emotional state as well. 

The book is well written and plotted. Mr. Shaara does his usual stunning job in describing both the conditions and mind set of the men involved in the battle. 

The one thing I did not realize was that Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was killed during the war. 

I want to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine/Ballantine for forwarding to me a copy of  this remarkable book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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Jeff Shaara has been writing books dealing with actual historic events for many years.  His style evolved in conjunction with that of his father Michael Shaara who unfortunately has passed away.  The author selects the events he wants to highlight, does a good deal of research on the background, and then writes a book that is factual but including interpretations of actions and conversations by people that were actually there or made up to represent those that were involved. In the current book Shaara writes about the naval battle around Midway Island between the United States and Japan taking place in mid 1942. Reading the well written story allows the reader to imagine that he or she is reading a novel but knowing that an account of an actual event is being presented in a very palatable manner and a history lesson has been given.
     After the raid on Pearl Harbour in December 1941 by the Japanese navy both sides are considering what their next move should be.  The U.S. is devastated by the losses incurred and is seeking to somehow deliver a counterblow to Japan to show that they have not been completely defeated while Japan wants to continue with another devastating strike indicating they are the winners.  Japanese admiral Yamamoto had planned the raid on Pearl Harbor and is looking to lock in another blow as quickly as possible.  The U.S. is aware that they will have to retaliate or become mired in a losing frame of mind. The heroes of the next phase are a group of code breakers that painstakingly learn of the Japanese plans for their next military move and correctly predict a strike against Midway Island rather than against one against Islands along the Alaskan coast. The warning by the code breaking unit allows the U.S. to set up their naval forces to protect Midway and in so doing manage to sink or cripple four of Japan's critical air craft carriers and in effect move effectively onto the offense.
     An air attack against the city of Tokyo is planned by the U.S. and carried out by James Dolittle in a raid geared to show Japan that their territory is not off limits and can be attacked by the Americans. Admiral Chester Nimitz commander of Pacific operations for the U.S. is utilized by the author as a means of following the American thinking and planning for events that occurred.
     I have read all of the books written by both Jeff Shaara and his father and found them to be fascinating views of the events portrayed and an excellent way to learn about an historical event in an easy to read about manner.  My advice to the reader is if you haven't tried one of their books pick one up and get hooked on a history lesson that is anything but dry.
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Another great novel from Jeff Sahara. The characters are well developed and life like. The story stays true to the historical facts. This novel is a great follow-up to his last novel - “The Giant Awakens.” A must read book for history and Sahara fans!

Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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