Thomas J. Cutler is a retired lieutenant commander and former gunners mate second class who served in patrol craft, cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers. His varied assignments included an in-country Vietnam tour, small craft command, and nine years at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he served as Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Seamanship & Navigation Department and Associate Chairman of the History Department. While at the Academy, he was awarded the William P. Clemenged some two hundred thousand men and 282 American, Japanese, and Australian ships over more than a hundred thousand square miles of sea. That Tom Cutler succeeded at such a difficult task is no surprise. The award-winning author saw combat service aboard many types of ships during his naval career, and as a historian and professor of strategy and policy at the Naval War College, he has studied the battle for many years.
Cutler captures the milieu, analyzes the strategy and tactics employed, and re-creates the experiences of the participants—from seaman to admiral, both Japanese and American. It is a story replete with awe-inspiring heroism, failed intelligence, flawed strategy, brilliant deception, great controversies, and a cast of characters with names like Halsey, Nimitz, Ozawa, and MacArthur. Such an exciting and revealing account of the battle is unlikely to be equaled by future writers.