• Operation Vengeance

  • The Astonishing Aerial Ambush That Changed World War II
  • By: Dan Hampton
  • Narrated by: John Pruden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (97 ratings)

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Operation Vengeance

By: Dan Hampton
Narrated by: John Pruden
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of Viper Pilot delivers an electrifying narrative account of the top-secret US mission to kill Isoroku Yamamoto, the Japanese commander who masterminded Pearl Harbor.

"Operation Vengeance is colorful, intimate, eye-popping history, delivered at a breakneck pace. I loved it." (Lynn Vincent)

In 1943, the United States military began to plan one of the most dramatic secret missions of World War II. Its code name was Operation Vengeance. Naval Intelligence had intercepted the itinerary of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the commander in chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, whose stealth attack on Pearl Harbor precipitated America’s entry into the war. Harvard-educated, Yamamoto was a close confidant of Emperor Hirohito and a brilliant tactician who epitomized Japanese military might. On April 18, the US discovered, he would travel to Rabaul in the South Pacific to visit Japanese troops, then fly to the Japanese airfield at Balalale, 400 miles to the southeast.

Set into motion, the Americans’ plan was one of the most tactically difficult operations of the war. To avoid detection, US pilots had to embark on a circuitous, 1,000-mile odyssey that would test not only their skills but the physical integrity of their planes. The timing was also crucial: the slightest miscalculation, even by a few minutes - or a delay on the famously punctual Yamamoto’s end - meant the entire plan would collapse, endangering American lives. But if these remarkable pilots succeeded, they could help turn the tide of the war - and greatly boost Allied morale. 

Informed by deep archival research and his experience as a decorated combat pilot, Operation Vengeance focuses on the mission’s pilots and recreates the moment-by-moment drama they experienced in the air. Hampton recreates this epic event in thrilling detail and provides groundbreaking evidence about what really happened that day.

©2020 Dan Hampton (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Operation Vengeance

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I want 1/2 my money back

This book is not what it says it is, at least so far.

I have listened now to roughly half of the book, and I have yet to hear anything about the 1943 operation. I have heard about Japanese history from 1925 onward; about Pearl Harbor; about Midway; about other parts of the Pacific war that is obviously superficial given the 4 hr length for all of these topics.

If I wanted a short history of the Pacific war, I would’ve gone elsewhere.

Similarly, if I want to learn about the 1943 operation to down Yamamoto plane, I similarly will go elsewhere.

Big disappointment. I will seek a refund

9 people found this helpful

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Meh

Most of the book is on events leading up to and then extreme over detail of the mission. Mostly to take up space I think


Skip the epilogue. The author is just wanking it

2 people found this helpful

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Great Book!!!

This book is without a doubt the best narration of the Yamamoto shot down!
I have read two other books on this same subject and they don’t come close to the quality and story telling quality of this book.
A must read for any WW2 history buff.

2 people found this helpful

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Another good entry from a prolific writer

I have enjoyed all of Dan Hampton's books and appreciate the historical background he gives each story. The stories are always complete, the analysis detailed and the point of view is always from that of the experienced pilot and warrior that Dan is. John Pruden is the perfect narrator for all of his titles and brings his own authenticity to the performances from his own aviation background. I recommend all of Dan Hampton's book for anyone who has an interest is aerial combat or the courage required for aviation in general. There's a bit of an edge to Dan's writing, maybe a little like Col. David Hackworth's. Both men were great warriors with little patience for the bs that sometimes comes with the chain of command. They both value courage and sacrifice, and those traits are well on display in the story of the pilots who took on a suicide mission and not only survived, but succeeded and changed the course of the war.

I look forward to Dan's next project.

2 people found this helpful

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Dan Hampton’s BEST book to date!

I have read or listened to all of Dan Hamptons books. In my opinion this is Dan’s best work to date. My dad flew B-24’s for the Eighth AAC, was shot down over Germany and served as a POW. So, I read or listen to a lot of WWII histories and usually feel like “I’ve heard about that before,” but I learned a lot of new information from this book.

This book tells the story of intercepting and shooting down Admiral Yamamoto. There is an ample amount of “yanking, banking and shooting”, but there is also ample amounts of history to establish the context of the event. These sections are not “dry or boring” but move the story forward and make such a rich texture to better understand the intercept. Hampton describes the early life of Yamamoto, how he was raised, schooled in the Japanese military culture and his rise to admiral. He also does an outstanding job of describing the fighting on Guadalcanal by the marines and “The Cactus Air Force”. No wonder those men are called the greatest generation! They were given a pretty raw deal, but made the best of it, struggled and overcame through bravery and creativity to beat a superior force. Hampton introduces so many outstanding historical figures each deserving a book of their own.

I highly recommended this book. It was very rewarding and I was very sad to come to its end.

1 person found this helpful

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Riveting

Simply Riveting! A fascinating read(listen). Well written and well read. I highly recommend this work, in audio or print. I have no association with the author, reader, publisher or distributors of this work and make this review independent of any interest, financial or otherwise, in this work .

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

Excellent telling of the Yamamoto shootdown mission with tons of background information. Dan does a great job of presenting the evidence that Rex Barber actually was the one that shot Yamamoto down, but then states it really doesn't matter who. What's important is it was successful and saved countless American lives. Loved this book and highly recommend it for all military aviators s well as those interested in WWII.

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A Crucial Step Toward Victory in WWII

What first seemed like nothing but an act for of vengeance against the author of sneak attack on Pearl Harbor is revealed to be a vital step to conquering Japanese forces in the Pacific. While the complaint by some that this story meanders endlessly through preliminaries, especially the struggle to take and hold Guadalcanal has some validity, that background does provide a more thorough explanation of what followed. Eventually the story of the interception of Yamamoto’s flight and his killing is told in detail, and proper credit for those who accomplished it is proven.

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Captivating Story

The duo of Dan Hampton and John Pruden
is without a doubt my favorite listen. I am never disappointed with the stories they give us. Dan is as good an author as he was a Fighter pilot. The silky smooth voice of John Pruden is as easy to listen to as a mountain stream.
This historical account like all of Dan's other works is top notch. Keep them coming boys. I'm a listener for life.

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300% too long

The actual story could be told in about 3 hours. The book has a lot of WWII filler— i.e., the author spends way more time on the battle for Guadalcanal than the mission to kill Yamamoto and the controversy over credit for the downing of Yamamoto’s plane. Not a bad listen but not a lot of focus on what made me listen to the book in the first place.

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  • Kay L.
  • 06-12-22

Fills in the gap about Yamamato’s end

This book covers the war in the Pacific prior to the Yamamoto ambush without going into the fine details. It didn’t need to - there are ample accounts about the Pacific campaign and individual campains that do that well.

The value of this book is its thorough coverage of one aspect missing in other accounts, namely the all-important taking down of Admiral Yamamoto’s plane and escorts. It goes into detail on the decision-making, planning and preparations prior to the ambush; the battle itself; and the aftermath. It contains both big picture and details. The personal accounts from the American and Japanese sides draw the reader in visually. Narration was competent without annoying mispronunciation of place names.

All in all, I thoroughly recommend Operation Vengeance for filling an important gap in our understanding of the Pacific war.

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  • Robert Brus
  • 01-04-22

Puts you right in the cockpit!

You've probably heard the story for the battle of the Pacific before but I guarantee you, NOT like this. The author does an amazing job of showing you just how close the allies came to losing. If it were not for the bravery, determination and grit of the men on the front line we would all be speaking a different language. This is a fantastic book that should be mandatory reading for anyone that lives in a free western democracy. They really were the greatest generation.

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  • Stuart
  • 02-16-21

wont be disappointed

loved it. immersive story telling and fascinating history. starts a little slow but once it got going couldnt stop