Wahoo Bibliography

Following is a list of books that provide information on the Wahoo and submarines in general.

Should you purchase any of these books by following the links below, the amazon.com associate proceeds will go to the MacKinnon Organization and likk.net (which donates technical resources to the mackinnon organization), provider of these web pages on the Wahoo.

Rating scale:
Bad - Not worth the ink and paper used.
Fair - Some redeeming qualities but perhaps only for specific readers.
Good - Generally a good book but most suitable for submarine enthusiasts.
Very Good - A very valuable or otherwise good book. Non submarine enthusiasts may enjoy it as well.
Excellent - An invaluable resource that non submarine junkies would also enjoy.

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[Alden1989] Alden, John, U.S. Submarine Attacks During World War II, Naval Institute Press, 1989 I'm amazed that someone actually was able to reconclie all the data available and produce this listing of all American attacks during the war. It gets a top rating just due to the work that must have been involved.  
[Blair1975] Blair, Clay, Silent Victory, the U. S. Submarine War Against Japan, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1995 A comprehensive tome. With respect to the Wahoo, it relies too much on second hand sources. Nonetheless, it is loaded with information and data and is a valuable resource.  If you are a submarine junkie and find this somtimes out of print work, grab it.  
[Boyd1995] Blair, Clay, The Japanese Submarine Force and World War II, Naval Institute Press, 1995 If you want to know how the Japanese produced the best torpedos in the war but not as much luck with submarines, this is your book It is a joint effort between American and Japanese researches Carl Boyd and Akihiko Yoshida. Although a bit dry, it is a good reference.  
[Cressman2000] Cressman, RobertThe Offical Chronology of the U.S Navy in World War II, Navy Institute Press, 2001 A must for Navy buffs. The Chronology is an exaustive reference that contains a day by day review of all Naval activities during the Second World War.  
[DeRose, James F.], Unrestricted Warfare, John Wiley & Sons, 2000 One of the latest tomes to be added to the library, it could have been entitled "Unleashed Warriors" in how it documents the shackles of obsolete war doctrine finally being broken by Morton and O'Kane. It contains original research detailing the controversial 3rd Patrol of the Wahoo. Well researched and written, Unrestricted Warfare presents new research and personal accounts. It's more balanced than O'Kane's writings but lacks the first person closeness.  
[Davis1994] Davis, GarySubmarine Wahoo, Crestwood House1994 Brief 46 page book that is appropriate as in introduction to the Wahoo that is intended for adolescent readers. Well illustrated but I would have liked to see a bit more content.  
[Dunmore2002] Dummore, Spencer., LOSTSUBS from the Hunley to the Kursk, Da Capo Press, 2002 LOSTSUBS covers submarine history from 1776 to the sinking of the Kursk. Loaded with photos and summaries, it of course features our two favorite lost submarines, the Wahoo and the Tang.  
[Fluckey1997] Fluckey, Eugene B., Thunder Below, University of Illinois Press, 1994 If you read but one WWII submarine memoir, be it this one. Far from a dispassionate account of the exploits of a successful submarine skipper, with Thunder Below, you are there. I've read many a book about submarines;  and though this book does not feature the Wahoo, Fluckey's lively and coherent style makes it much easier to understand life aboard a WWII sub. Most other books, O'Kane's for example, I'd recommend for students of history or submarine warfare.  Not this one. Anyone who likes a good tale, be it fiction or non-fiction, could like this one. And it's not just his account he presents either; it's also richly filled with accounts from the Japanese, other American subs, and an illegal diary kept by one of his crewman. So a balanced, all around perspective is given that is lacking in other memoirs. Fluckey's presentation of an American wolf pack attack that decimated a Japanese convoy unknowingly filled with Allied POW's (and some of their subsequent rescue) is one of the most moving stories I've ever read.  
[Kimmett1996] Kimmett, Larry & Regis, Margaret, U.S. Submarines in World War II, Navigator Publishing, Seattle, 1996 Excellent overview of WWII submarines with very good sections on the Wahoo. Not as comprehensive as [Blair1975] or [Roscoe1949] but is very well written and the subjects selected are excellent.  
[Lyon1985] Lyon, Hugh, The Encyclopedia of the World's Warships, Chartwell Books Inc., Secaucus, NJ, 1985 Very good but out of print general high level reference on 20th century warships. It is not limited to WWII or to submarines.  
[Maas1999] Mass, Peter, The Terrible Hours, Harpertorch books, 1999 An exciting read of an almost fogotten chapter of the greatest submarine rescue in history.  
[Okane1977] O'Kane, Richard, H., Clear the Bridge, The War Patrols of the U.S.S Tang, Presidio Press, Novato, CA, 1977 Clear the Bridge presents a very detailed yet exciting and readable view of commanding a WWII submarine.  Written by the Wahoo's second in command for its first five war patrols, after reading it, one almost feels competent to take command. O'Kane's style however, is somewhat stiff and the narrative does not flow as well as [Fluckey1997].  
[Okane1987] O'Kane, Richard, H., Wahoo, The patrols of America's most Famous WWII Submarine, Presidio Press, Novato, CA, 1987 Along with  [Sterling1999], one of two definitive references on the Wahoo and life aboard it.  Written by the Wahoo's second in command, Dick O'Kane, who went on to become a famous captain in his own right aboard the Tang. His conclusions about by sinking of the Wahoo have been partially made obsolete due to evidence that has come to light hence.  O'Kane's writing style is somewhat wooden and the narrative does not always flow well; but he was there and is the definitive authority on the Wahoo and her Captain. His speculation of the Wahoo's demise is somewhat dated due to more information that has come to light from Japanese archives. A better read is Flucky's account of the Barb, "Thunder Below." But if you want to know about the Wahoo or WWII subs, you have to read this.  
[Padfield1998] Padfield, Peter, War beneath the sea: Submarine conflict during World War II,  John Wiley & Sons, 1998 Regarded as a definitive reference and generally very good. With respect to the Wahoo, arguably relies too much on second hand information.  
[Rher2000] Rehr, Darryl (producer), The Silent Service, Video by the History Channel and A&E Features the Wahoo, O'Kane, interviews, and recreations of historical events aboard WWII Submarines. I have to admit that I was biased towards it since my name (and Takada-san's) were featured in the credits for supplying the photos of the Wahoo's final battle. But it is an excellent watch.  
[Roscoe1949] Roscoe, Theodore, Submarine Operations During World War II,  Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1949
You might expect that a 577 page reference work sponsored by the Navy and published in 1949 would make for dry reading. Your expectations would be off. Roscoe was an adventure writer before the war and it shows here while applying his craft to work long held as the definitive reference work on the subject. It is comprehensive in nature covering all aspects of American submarine warfare during WWII.  It's major deficiency is that it was written before much material was declassified and new information has come to light in the subsequent 50 years. Packed full of narratives, data, and illustrations, it is an essential addition to any submarine enthusiast's library.

[Sterling1999] Sterling, Forest J., The Wake of the Wahoo, R. A; Cline Publishing, Placentia, Ca, 1999 Along with [Okane1987], one of two definitive references on the Wahoo and life aboard it by someone who was there. Written by the Wahoo's Yeoman, Forest Sterling. If you ever wanted to see life aboard a sub through the eyes of an enlisted man, this is it. It's a reprint of the 1960 classic with a new forward by the author.  Very readable.  
[Sumrall1999] Sumrall, Robert F., USS Bowfin (SS-287) Warship's Data, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana, 1999 Concise but very informative history of the USS Bowfin.  
[Tuohy2001] Tuohy, William., The Bravest Man, Sutton Publishing Ltd., 2001

This timely book follows the career of Richard O'Kane while offering a lot of background on the events that shaped his career. Tuohy's style is very engaging (dare I say exciting) and is up to date with the latest information about the Wahoo and the Tang.



[Tuohy2001] Tuohy, William., The Bravest Man, Sutton Publishing Ltd., 2001

This timely book follows the career of Richard O'Kane while offering a lot of background on the events that shaped his career. Tuohy's style is very engaging (dare I say exciting) and is up to date with the latest information about the Wahoo and the Tang.


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