Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About

World War II Database

The Twilight Warriors

ISBN: 978-1400167944
Review Date:

Although they might not have known this, when the "Tail End Charlies" joined the air group of USS Intrepid, the Pacific War was moving toward its conclusion. Appropriately named The Twilight Warriors, author Robert Gandt told the story of these fresh pilots flying combat missions over and around Okinawa, Japan. Seen through the eyes of the airmen of VBF-10, the narration necessarily placed more weight on aerial combat with some inclusion of navy life. The sinking of battleship Yamato by air power, for example, was described in excellent detail, while also interweaved by quoting from established Japanese accounts, such as those from Yoshida Mitsuru's Requiem for Battleship Yamato. Kamikaze special attacks were also given special attention particularly later on in the book; these suicide attacks were also described from the first-hand experience of American airmen and sailors who faced the attacks, and then supported by the inclusion of previous works on the Japanese perspective. While this book did not dive into depth on the campaign nor did it introduce much new material, Gandt's great storytelling made this an entertaining and dramatic narrative of the air war over the region in the final months of the war, a collective memoir of VBF-10 airmen that enriches other works on the history of the campaign for Okinawa.

I had reviewed this book in its audio book format. John Pruden read the book very clearly, albeit a little slow, though it was something I had forgotten about just a few tracks into the audio book. Two things stood out with Pruden's reading in my mind, one good and one bad. First, I very much enjoyed him singing "I Wanted Wings" early on in the book. Very often, when encountering lyrics, narrators would simply read them like any other text; Pruden's singing of the song showed me that he wanted to present the listeners a richer experience, something I very much appreciated. It also indicated to me that he did not simply pick up the book and read it, leaving all the work to his natural talent; instead, he performed the research, finding the tunes that went with the lyrics. The other item, the bad one, which stood out was his Japanese pronunciation, a common complaint from me. While I very much commend him for doing the research to find out the music that went with the lyrics of "I Wanted Wings", I was disappointed that he did not do the same for the pronunciation for even the few Japanese words that were used in the book frequently. Kamikaze would be a prime example, where most of the time he misread as "kah-mee-KAH-zee"; occasionally he would read the final syllable correctly as "zeh", which showed that he had the ability to read it correctly but he failed to detect his own inconsistency on the reading.

Looking across the good and the bad, I had enjoyed The Twilight Warriors, both the content by Gandt as well as the reading by Pruden. Too weak to stand on its own as a history of the campaign for Okinawa, I would nevertheless still recommend it as a complement to other works especially in the area of the air war with an American perspective.

Update, 14 Dec 2011
John Pruden contacted WW2DB in response of the review of his narration of The Twilight Warriors, noting that while he preferred the Japanese pronunciation of "kamikaze", the team chose to read it in the commonly-mispronounced manner. For his full correspondence, please see the comments section below.

Back to Main | Back to Book Reviews Index

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. John Pruden says:
14 Dec 2011 07:47:38 PM

Hi Mr. Chen,

Thanks for the review. It was an excellent book to read and narrate (and sing in!). Although I did do many hours of research as I do on all the books I narrate, we had to make a decision as to which pronunciation of 'kamikaze' we were going to go with.

If I remember correctly, I preferred going with the Japanese pronunciation, but it was decided that we would go with the common American pronunciation - which is always funny to me because any word can be pronounced differently depending on where in America you happen to be from! So, some alternate pronunciations snuck their way in there. No many will disagree which pronunciation is the 'right' one, but that's the way it goes.

I suppose of that's you're only critical comment then we did a pretty darn good job on the book!

I wish you good luck and continued success with your database.

Thanks again for your honest review!

John Pruden

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code



1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

A review copy or review sample of this product was provided by the publisher or vendor to WW2DB; opinions expressed in this review are not influenced by this fact.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on The Twilight Warriors
Related Events:
» Okinawa Campaign

Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!