M Hofferber Books

A Matter of Accountability
The True Story of the Pueblo Affair
by Trevor Armbrister 
On January 23, 1968, North Korean gunboats surrounded the USS Pueblo in the Sea of Japan, setting off an international incident that threatened to destabilize the entire region. The slow, lightly armed spy ship came under a withering cannon barrage that killed one and wounded ten, including the captain. At the end of the day, the Pueblo surrendered all her sensitive spying instruments and classified documents without firing a shot, in what may have been one of the greatest intelligence disasters of the last half of the twentieth century. 

In A Matter of Accountability, author Trevor Armbrister has re-created the amazing events that culminated in the first surrender of a U.S. Navy ship since the War of 1812, from the ship itself -- a nearly-defenseless former coastal freighter that frequently had to be hand-steered -- to the unheeded warnings from North Korea about U.S. spy ships, to the lack of air support when the ship came under fire. Eleven months later, the North Koreans released the tortured crew after they had signed confessions. Some were nearly blind from starvation. The United States immediately revoked a grudging apology, and started an investigation into what had happened.

An initial court of inquiry recommended that the captain be tried in a court martial, but the Secretary of the Navy declined, perhaps fearing what author Trevor Armbrister details in A Matter of Accountability. With over three hundred interviews, starting with the skipper, Commander Lloyd M. (Pete) Bucher, to then-Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, Armbrister painstakingly reveals every aspect of the appalling behind-the-scenes blunders that made the Pueblo a doomed ship from the very beginning. A Matter of Accountability is a must-read for anyone who has enjoyed Tom Clancy's high-stakes naval thrillers.

A Matter of Accountability
The True Story of the Pueblo Affair
by Trevor Armbrister 
The Lyons Press, 2004.
Order a copy.

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