“Sheppard of the Argonne” is a fast read, and once the action starts, it becomes a book that keeps your attention through to its dramatic conclusion.
Although not fully physically or emotionally recovered from painful leg injuries sustained in combat near Pearl Harbor, Captain Sheppard McCloud was honored to receive command on one of the Navy’s most modern battle cruisers in 1942. Plagued with self-doubt and guilt following the loss of many of his men and the extensive damage to his previous ship, he struggles to put his mission and instincts first.
On Sheppard’s first cruise as skipper of the Argonne, he is part of America’s first naval task force ordered to take the war to the German fleet in the eastern Atlantic.
In this well written historical novel by an author who is a retired Navy captain, the reader sees the action unfolding not only from Sheppard’s perspective but also from the viewpoint of commanders in other vessels and aircraft. The battle scenes are vivid, the descriptions authentic, horrific, and detailed without being overburden with jargon and minutia
“Sheppard of the Argonne” is a story of a complex battle involving carriers, cruisers, submarines and aircraft. Although skillfully presented from the perspectives of American, German and British characters, it is primarily Sheppard’s story as he works to keep his ship afloat and fighting in a battle that teeters on the edge of disaster.
There are no stereotypes portrayed here, rather men pushed to their limits in courage, decision-making, and training. I find the book a compelling read and as useful in providing sound leadership advice as it is entertaining. “Sheppard of he Argonne” is highly recommended.
Reviewed by Joe Epley(2015)