The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour
By James D. Hornfischer; Adapted by Doug Murray; Drawn by Steven Sanders; Colored by Matt Soffe; Lettered by Rob Steen
Adapted from the naval history classic and New York Times bestseller, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors pieces together the action of the Battle off Samar, bringing to life a riveting story of heroism against daunting odds, duty, and sacrifice in a way never seen before.
In October 1944, Allied forces began landing on the Philippine island of Leyte. Quickly assessing the threat of the Allied invasion, the Japanese navy sought to counterattack. But with the island protected by the full strength of Admiral William F. Halsey’s Third Fleet, a direct attack was nearly impossible. Undeterred, the Japanese Admiralty deployed their forces, engaging the Third Fleet and retreating in a manner that drew the fleet into a hot pursuit. However, Admiral Halsey had been deceived, and the Japanese plan had taken his fleet out of position to defend the American beachhead. With the northern route to Leyte open and unguarded, the Japanese Center Force—a fleet led by the battleship Yamato, the largest and most powerful battleship ever constructed—seemingly had a clear path to the landing beaches on Leyte. Only one thing stood between the Japanese forces and the vulnerable objective.
Taffy 3, a small task unit from the Seventh Fleet was made up of destroyers, destroyer escorts, and escort aircraft carriers; thirteen ships with little firepower and even less armor. On the morning of October 25, 1944, Taffy 3 suddenly became the only obstacle between the Allied landings and the Japanese Center Force. Hopelessly outmanned and outgunned, Taffy 3 plunged into battle. The ensuing action, known as the Battle off Samar, became one of the greatest last stands in naval history.
—Trent Hone, author of Learning War: The Evolution of Fighting Doctrine in the U.S. Navy, 1898-1945 and co-author of Battle Line: The United States Navy, 1919-1939 wrote:
“The Last Stand of the Tin Can Soldiers is an epic and thrilling account of naval warfare.”
—Craig L. Symonds, author of World War II at Sea wrote:
“A beautiful adaptation of Hornfischer’s stirring account, this graphic novel captures the ‘conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity’–to quote Commander Ernest Evans's Medal of Honor citation–of the officers and crews of the small ships who stood against the Japanese battle line off Samar.”
—Paul Stillwell, author of Battleship Commander: The Life of Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee Jr. wrote:
“James D. Hornfischer is one of America's great narrative historians, and his The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors on the battle off Samar (October 25, 1944) details one of the great sagas of the Second World War. Now that story has been rendered in graphic format with drawings by Steven Sanders to engage an even wider audience. It is a reminder of the great debt owed by modern Americans to the sacrifices of those who served in the Second World War.”
—Arcadia Pod wrote:
“In 2004, James Hornfischer’s book on the gallantry of U.S. warships’ crews in the Battle of Leyte Gulf burst onto the scene as a supernova. It was the equivalent of a baseball player hitting a grand-slam home run in his first time at bat. His vivid word pictures conjured up a variety of scenes in the minds of readers. Now a team of skilled professionals has brought those words to life in another medium, thus providing visual images of the actions that Hornfischer described so well.”
“This book is very enjoyable and it will educate [you] on a display of peak heroism. Another grand slam by Dead Reckoning, always the best war comics out there bar-none!”
“This is a wonderful account and awesomely illustrated book on the battle of Samar. It shows the heroism, and honor of the sailors that fought that battle against the odds and won. If you like Naval history and great illustrations you will love this retelling and never forget the call sign Taffy 3. It actually makes the learning of history much more fun than I ever remembered.”