Shepperd of the Argonne G William Weatherly

ISBN: 9781494287054

Published: November 26th 2013

Paperback

372 pages


Description

Shepperd of the Argonne  by  G William Weatherly

Shepperd of the Argonne by G William Weatherly
November 26th 2013 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 372 pages | ISBN: 9781494287054 | 7.17 Mb

A man, a ship, a crew, and the world at war-the ideal setting to examine the life of a captain suffering from PTSD in an age that considered it cowardice. An impressive but flawed Horatio Hornblower emerges in the opening phases of World War II.MoreA man, a ship, a crew, and the world at war-the ideal setting to examine the life of a captain suffering from PTSD in an age that considered it cowardice. An impressive but flawed Horatio Hornblower emerges in the opening phases of World War II.

Captain Sheppard McCloud, a captain among captains, valiantly fought the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. Nearly losing a leg and now haunted by the deaths of many of his previous crew, Sheppard must rise above his trauma to meet the navys expectations of their hero. Still recovering from his physical wounds, Sheppard is handpicked to command the United States latest capital ship. The strategic situation in the Atlantic is critical with a German task force set to sortie from France bent on raiding the vital English convoys.

The only force capable of meeting them is a scratch American effort that includes the Argonne and only Sheppard is considered capable enough to command her and overcome the odds. Burdened by his injuries and the immediate need to understand his new ship and assignment, Sheppard must use his leadership skills to forge a team from his officers and men. Interesting personalities and backgrounds create challenges and dilemmas Sheppard must overcome. When the American task force sails, they are ambushed by a German submarine.

Sunk in the fight by Sheppards scout planes, the U-boats commanding officer is captured. Using subterfuge, Sheppard and his Marines gain critical intelligence for the war in the Atlantic and the impending German sortie. Unknown to the Americans, British forces also sail from Gibraltar. Horrifically a blue on blue situation develops as Argonne and her sister ship Belleau Wood engage an enemy intelligence predicted for this time and place. Total disaster looms when an admirals son courageously intervenes at the risk of what little is left of his professional reputation.

During the engagement, Argonnes heavy guns are found to be misaligned and Sheppards primary weapon is ineffective and uncorrectable as the impending showdown with the Germans comes ever closer. An American air attack is repulsed by German fighters. The success or failure of the American mission now depends on a gun action between American and German capital ships. Of the two Americans, one (the Argonne) is of limited effectiveness and the other is incompetently commanded.

In a desperate attempt to save the day, Sheppard initiates a creative plan using his aircraft to cripple the Germans, resulting in the horrific death of thousands of sailors including the German admirals son. Sheppard knows his plan could leave him open to charges as a war criminal, but the attack must be executed to save England as well as the American and British task forces. The novel ends with Sheppards tactical success, but troubled further by the methods he was forced to employ. Throughout, the environment of World War II naval action has been carefully researched and faithfully presented.

The interaction between Sheppard and his crew is the heart of the novel as the primary character struggles to hide his PTSD from seaman and admiral alike. A unique character identified only as she provides mystery and an occasional narrative voice. Though the allies were successful in preventing the Germans from raiding convoys, in the process Sheppard has made a personal enemy-the German admiral-who swears vengeance on his sons killer. Follow on novels have been drafted and professionally appraised with glowing comments. Though the action and environment will be easily recognized by veterans as accurate, an alternative history provides drama with outcomes unknown to WWII aficionados.



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