Silent Warriors: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific by Gene Masters

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MWSA Review

At the beginning of World War II, the only defense to the Japanese in the Pacific was the United States Submarine Service. Silent Warriors by Gene Masters is an action-packed story of submarine warfare featuring a young Naval Academy graduate, Jake Lawlor. 

Born on May 8, 1911, Jacob Julius Lawlor from Des Moines, Iowa was the youngest of five children and the only boy. Painfully shy around females except for his sisters, Jake channeled all his energy to excel in academics and sports. Unable to afford college, Jake wrote to his Congressman seeking an appointment to one of the academies where his education was free. He was overjoyed to be accepted at Annapolis. Thus, the stellar and heroic naval career of Jake Lawlor begins.

Masters creatively spins this lengthy historical fiction tale while integrating an endearing and interesting cast of characters. Artfully chronicling naval battles in the Pacific theater of war, the author weaves Jake’s personal life, his loves, and the lasting friendships made while in service to his country into the fabric of the story. From 1941 through the Japanese surrender aboard the battleship Missouri on September 2, 1945, the reader is intimately involved in eleven submarine war patrols and the precision-oriented personnel aboard the boat.

Lawlor’s wartime opponent, Imperial Japanese Navy Captain Hiriake Ito are on parallel naval career trajectories for their respective countries until their paths cross time and again. In the end, Lawlor becomes the victor and Captain Ito becomes the conquered.  

Silent Warriors is a detailed technical read for naval veterans, historical fiction fans, and romantics will enjoy the enduring love stories within.

Review by Nancy Panko (March 2019)

MWSA's evaluation of this book found a number of technical problems--including some combination of misspellings, grammar, punctuation, or capitalization errors--which indicate that further editing would lead to a much-improved final product.

Author's Synopsis

 The year is 1941. Shortly after the United States declares war on Japan in response to Pearl Harbor, Japan’s Axis allies, Germany and Italy, declare war on America. The United States finds itself in a two-theater war. President Franklin Roosevelt sets as America’s first priority, the defeat of Nazi Germany, electing to wage a more-or-less holding action in the Pacific. In the beginning, the only force opposing the Japanese onslaught in the Pacific is the U.S. Submarine Service. Jake Lawlor begins the war as Executive Officer aboard USS S-49, an aged S-class submarine, with orders to conduct unrestricted warfare against the enemy in the Pacific. When a freak mid-sea grounding causes the loss of S-49, Jake assumes command of USS Orca, a new Gato-class submarine under construction in Groton, CT. As Jake prepares a new boat and a freshly assembled crew for war, the conflict in the Pacific is going badly for the Allies. This is the story of captain Jake Lawlor’s eleven war patrols, including an ongoing conflict with Hiriake Ito, captain of the Imperial Japanese Navy destroyer Atsukaze. The crew of the Orca is made up of grizzled regulars and untried youngsters, all working together for a single purpose: to bring an implacable enemy to its knees. Along the way, friendships are forged, and love affairs and marriages are created – and destroyed

ISBN/ASIN: ASIN: B07G9LFTWT, ASIN: 0692172246, ASIN: 0692173366
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Review Genre: Fiction—Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 587