Cover Image: Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire

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Member Reviews

Intense horrifying account

This is a fictionalized account of the true story of the WWII attack on the aircraft carrier USS Franklin as it was nearing the Japanese home islands in March 1945 (just five months before the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima) when a single Japanese plane dropped two five hundred pound bombs on the fight deck of the ship causing massive destruction and loss of life.

The ship started out with 3,600 men and this tale tells how a small complement of survivors actually saved the ship and its remaining men and limped back to Pearl Harbor.

I have always been a fan of military tales - fiction and non-fiction and P.T. Deutermann is a favorite military author of mine. He has really outdone himself with this account. The level of detail about the carrier and about the battle is astounding and also terrifying. I can't even imagine what those sailors went through during this endless inferno. War is hell.

I highly recommend this accounting of this WWII battle. Be aware it is graphic and difficult to read at times.

I received this book from St. Martin's Press through Net Galley in the hopes that I would read it and leave an unbiased review.
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This is a War Fiction book that is base on a true story. I have to say I was thinking this would read more like a Non-Fiction book, but this book reads more like a fast pace Suspense. I have to say this book would like been a 5 star book for me if the beginning was not so slow moving and boring, but once this book picked up the pace I feel in love with this book. It was written so well I felt I was on that boat with all these men and just trying to make it through all of this stuff going on. I loved all the drama, and the characters where so great. I did not know I would love a war fiction book so much. Great book and well written. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (St. Martin's Press) or author (P.T. Deutermann) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
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Wow.  Deutermann has written a gripping and suspenseful novel about the USS Franklin which was bombed by the Japanese in March 1945.  Fans of military novels will be pleased with the details.  Those who, like me. are not regular readers of the genre will still find themselves deeply invested because of the characters.  This is about how these men banded together to save as many men as possible even as things were exploding and there was a potential that the ship would sink.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  This is not one I would have ordinarily picked for myself but I'm glad I took a chance.  It's an amazing story of determination and resilience-and a tribute not only to those who survived but also  to those who perished.
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Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley  for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an unbiased review. This book is based on a remarkable true story and the characters were based on real people. It is the story of the aircraft carrier U. S. S. Franklin, nicknamed "Big Ben."  In March 1945 the Franklin was only 50 miles off the coast of Japan and was in the midst of launching a bombing raid on on Kure Harbor. Only a few planes had taken off and the deck was loaded with 31 heavily armed and fueled aircraft. The hanger deck also contained planes, 5 already armed and 16 fueled. A lone Japanese bomber somehow slipped through the fighter screens and by the screening destroyers. It dropped two 550 pound bombs, one hitting forward on the flight deck and the other toward the stern. Both bombs penetrated the flight deck and down to the third armored hanger deck. All of the aircraft caught fire and their bombs and rockets exploded, completely destroying the hanger deck and the two decks above. It caused a massive explosion with flames and smoke rose thousands of feet above the ship. The Franklin was left dead in the water and listing 13 degrees to starboard. Of the crew of 3600, 807 were killed and 487 wounded. Many were forced to abandon ship to escape the fire and explosions. Only 706 officers and crew remained aboard.  The Franklin was the most heavily damaged U.S. aircraft carrier to survive the war. This book is the incredible story of this disaster and of the heroic men who fought to save their ship. I highly recommend it.
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This was my first title by P. T. Deutermann, fast paced and suspenseful through out I was NOT disappointed. 

A fictional novel based on true events, the author skillfully weaves fiction and fact together so well it's hard to tell which is which. This is a very exciting story from the war in the Pacific, the story enlightens the reader on the USS Franklin following a kamikaze attack from a Japanese plane.
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Wow! The perfect mix of a great story with the historical events creates an excellent novel. The research needed to develop this story is passed on to the reader to not only entertain, but to educate and inspire an appreciation for the brave men who gave of themselves.
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P. T. Deutermann's Trial by Fire, is a captivating story about the remarkable destruction suffered by the aircraft carrier USS Franklin in March 1945, a time when U.S. forces were closing in on Japan, hoping to use air power to avoid the need to invade that huge, densely populated island.
This story is largely told surrounding what occurred on the USS Franklin from the time a Japanese warplane hit the ship and severely damaged it, causing a chain reaction of explosions of the ship's operating systems and weaponry, killing many hundreds of sailors and pilots, initially leaving the carrier essential dead in the water.
This is a tale that shares the heroism of many of the ships crew, especially its Executive Officer and remarkably enough, the ship's Chaplain.
The ship's Captain, clearly someone who was promoted beyond his capabilities, not only failed to act to save his ship and crew but someone who had no ability to command even a PT boat. His Executive Officer saved the day because of his bravery, technical engineering expertise, leadership, and empathy.
This is a book that you simply could not put down because you were on the edge of your seat wondering whether the ship and the characters you learned to care about would survive against all odds. An incredible story, told with absolute credibility and knowledge..
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“Trial by Fire” is P. T. Deutermann’s factionalized account of a true life event.  When it comes to the war in the Pacific, it is hard to tell the difference.  Mr Deutermann tells the tale of the aircraft carrier: the U.S.S. Ben Franklin (CV 13)   Damaged by kamikaze attack in the Leyte Gulf in October of 1944,  Big Ben was sent back to Bremerton on the west coast for retrofitting and repairs.
     Sailing in January of 1945 with a green crew, a mustang Captain and repairs and modifications dictated by the Bureau of Ships, the scene was set for disaster.   U.S. intelligence had severely underestimated the strength of Japans remaining air forces and this provided the match to light the fire.
     The majority of the book is spent explaining in gruesome detail the saving of the Franklin after it is severely damaged by Japanese aircraft as it attacked the Japanese islands.  One wonders what effect these revelations had on the decision to use nuclear weapons to win the war.
     Mr Deutermann does a wonderful job on this and all of his “War in the Pacific “ series.  I can wholeheartedly recommend them all.
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An outstanding and thoroughly enjoyable book! The story portrayed in this novel is sure to keep your attention and is one you cannot put down. The book is based on historical facts and the characters are life like and intriguing. If you are a fan of history and heroism, this is a must read.


Thank you to #NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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