Escape from Java
The Extraordinary World War II Story of the USS Marblehead
Imprint: Pen and Sword Military
320 Pages, 6.1 x 9.1 in, 25 black and white illustrations & 5 black and white maps
- March 2022
- In Stock
The old light cruiser Marblehead was living out her final years of naval service as a member of the United States Asiatic Fleet in 1941. The small group of mostly antiquated ships based in the Philippines sailed the waters of East Asia to show the American flag in places like China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. The sudden eruption of World War II in the Pacific put the warship on the front lines of the conflict as Imperial Japan unleased a series of devastating attacks across the region.
On the morning of February 4, 1942, the warship was surprised by Japanese planes northeast of Java. Two large bombs slammed into Marblehead causing fires, casualties, and knocking out her steering gear. A third bomb exploded close by underwater. The near miss ripped a large gash into her hull allowing a torrent of water to rush inside the ship.
Escape from Java takes the reader all throughout the ship as the story unfolds – next to gunners toiling to keep their guns firing, with medical staff tending to the wounded, and alongside damage control sailors working in flooded compartments. The damage was critical, so much so the Japanese radioed they had sunk the ship. In fact, through courage, sacrifice, and super-human effort, Marblehead would successfully make a harrowing 13,000 mile journey back to the US.
"...paints an engrossing tale of an obsolescent ship’s survival amid great odds set against the brutal early fighting of the Pacific War. This book will appeal to a wide audience not only as high wartime adventure but simply as a story of gritty perseverance when the odds are heavily against." ~Naval Historical Foundation
"...recommended for anyone interested in the early days of World War II in the southwest Pacific, the challenges of coalition warfare, or both." ~Air & Space Power History
"...Domagalski chose his subject matter well. He is to be commended for bringing the Marblehead back to life." ~Naval History
"Wardrooms and chiefs’ messes would enjoy reading and discussing this book, as it holds both historical and contemporary significance. Sailors need exposure to their heroic Navy forebears who overcame great adversities in the early days of the Pacific War. Given the importance of the Seventh Fleet in today’s context, this book also provides an excellent overview of the nations of Southeast Asia and Oceania, with insight into their geopolitical histories, resources, and cultures." ~Naval War College Review
"All in all, Escape from Java is a must summer read." ~ARGunners.com