P. T. Deutermann's previous novels of the US Navy in World War II - Pacific Glory, Ghosts of Bungo Suido, and Sentinels of Fire - have been acclaimed by reviewers and readers for their powerful drama and authentic detail.
In The Commodore, the Navy in 1942-1943 is fighting a losing battle against Japan for control of the Solomon Islands. Vice Admiral William "Bull" Halsey is tasked to change the course of the war. Halsey, a maverick, goes on the offensive and appoints a host of new destroyer commanders, including a wild-card named Harmon Wolf. An American Indian from a Minnesota reservation, Wolf has never fit in with the traditional Navy officer corps. But under Halsey, Wolf's aggressive tactics and gambling nature bring immediate results, and he is swiftly promoted to Commodore of an entire destroyer squadron.
What happens next will change Wolf's life, career, and the fate of his ships forever. An epic story of courage, disaster, survival, and triumph that culminates in the pivotal battle of Vela Gulf, The Commodore is a masterful novel of an unlikely military hero.
Deutermann's experience as a U.S. Navy captain informs this engrossing novel set in the Pacific theater during WWII. Capt. Harmon "Sluff" Wolf commands the USS John B. King, "a brand-new, 2,100-ton Fletcher-class destroyer." The son of a Chippewa father and an Irish mother whose family emigrated to the U.S. from Canada, he received the nickname Sluff (for "short little ugly fat fucker") at the Naval Academy. Given the prejudice of the day, his rise in the formal white-gloved ranks of the Navy is all the more impressive. While patrolling the waters off Guadalcanal in the J.B. King, he develops new ways of fighting the enemy that save his ship and sink Japanese warships, but his superiors are slow to appreciate, much less adopt, his tactics. Sluff is stubborn and sticks to his guns, and in a series of night engagements he proves his worth and earns a promotion to commodore. Deutermann (Pacific Glory) handles the human-interest aspects well, but it's his battle sequences on the high seas that stand out. Fans of military action thrillers will race through the pages and finish the book wanting more.