Book Review: “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author & historian James D. Hornfischer has just today published the book “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour”. Mr. Hornfischer has published a dozen books. This is the graphic novel version of his book by the same name.

I received an ARC of this book through in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this graphic novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence.

The book tells the story of the U.S. Navy’s engagement with the Japanese Navy, known as the Battle off Samar. The battle occurred in October of 1944 as U.S. forces began landing on Leyte in the Philippine Islands. The Japanese had lured the US Third Fleet away from Leyte and the vulnerable beachhead. When the Japanese moved to attack Leyte with the 23 ships Center Force only Taffy 3 stood in their way.

Task Unit 77.4.3, Taffy 3, was formed from the U.S. Seventh Fleet. It was made up of just 13 ships. Three Destroyers, Four Destroyer Escorts, and Escort Aircraft Carriers. It was a lightweight unit to stand in the way of the Japanese. The Center Force was led by one of the most powerful battleships in the world, the Yamato.

I enjoyed the 1+ hours I spent reading this 208-page graphic novel. The book was very engaging and the graphics were well done. It makes me want to read the full book. I like the selected cover art. I rate this book as a 4 out of 5.

Further Reading

  1. Days of Steel Rain: The Epic Story of a WWII Vengeance Ship in the Year of the Kamikaze
  2. Tidal Wave From Leyte Gulf to Tokyo Bay
  3. Morning Star, Midnight Sun
  4. Storm Over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Army

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (


If you have an interest in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 560 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

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