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File:Destroyermen-Book-1-Into-the-Storm-Taylor-Anderson-unabridged-Tantor-audiobooks 3104.jpg
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Destroyermen is an Alternate History series by Taylor Anderson. It centers around the crew of USS Walker, a World War II destroyer who are catapulted to an alternate world after a disastrous Allied defeat at Java. The new world is right out of prehistory: dinosaurs roam the lands, and the oceans are home to swarms of man-eating fish and giant reptiles. They've also gone from one war to another, for here two very different species have just started up a fight for survival again after several thousand years. On the one side are the Lemurians, (or 'Cats, as the Americans call them) lemur-like sea-goers who have lived a rather peaceful existence until now. On the other side are the Grik, savage raptor-like reptiles hell-bent on hunting the 'Cats to extinction.

Walker and her crew side with the Lemurians and join the struggle against the Grik. They're outnumbered and outgunned -- but that part hasn't stopped them yet.

Tropes used in Destroyermen include:
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Grik. And how.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Maelstrom features the Grik attacking Baalkpan in by far the most epic battle in the entire series.
  • Aloha Hawaii: Yep, Rising Tides features the USS Walker and crew heading to Hawaii. Only it's a little different . . . .
  • Alternate History: Leaving aside the whole Alternate Universe thing, they really weren't ever in our world. As explained in the afterword to the first book, the Amagi depicted was badly damaged by an earthquake while under construction and scrapped in 1922. (There was an Amagi that served in WWII, but it was a carrier.) The real USS Walker was scuttled seventeen days after Pearl Harbor, while the Mahan was scrapped in 1931.
    • A Japanese officer meets German sailors from World War I who've joined forces with more Lemurians ... except that from what one of the Germans says, it wasn't the same World War I we knew -- and he indicates other people have arrived from similarly divergent timelines.
  • America Saves the Day: Yup, it happens . . . in every single book....
    • Sort of. The Americans are no stranger to being Big Damn Heroes, but the 'Cats aren't exactly helpless, either. Most of the "saving" is done indirectly, too: the Americans cannot do the lion's share themselves, so they work with the 'Cats as much as lead the effort. It's also made very clear Matt and his crew wouldn't stand a chance if the 'Cats weren't helping them out, too.
  • Anyone Can Die: So far, we've seen a lot of characters get buried at sea. Dowden proved that Anderson isn't messing around. Same with Nakja-Mur. And Ellis.
    • Following U.S. Navy practice for destroyers, they usually name the new ships they build after heroes who've died. They're not going to run out of names anytime soon.
  • Badass: Several but Dennis Silva takes the cake. Chack, Rolak, Tabby, and Keje are but a few of the few Cat badasses.
  • Camp Cook: Ship's cook, actually, but Lanier still fits the trope in every other way. It's noted repeatedly that his "station" during combat operations is hiding in the toilet... until he calmly, without flair turns into a badass in Firestorm by emerging from belowdecks and hosing down a pterodactyl with a tommygun at face-to-face range.
  • The Captain: Captain Reddy.
  • Captain Ersatz: Silva, with his short-cropped hair, scraggly beard, bulging muscles, and violent streak could easily be a whole character Shout-Out to Bluto.
  • Colonel Badass: Tamatsu Shinya.
  • Cool Ship: USS Walker. Also, the Amagi, but in a villainous way.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: What Reddy threatens against Aryaal should they ever desecrate or tamper with the graves of his men in front of their city. To make it clear he's serious, he assures them that if they ever deface the graves, he will return and level the city to the ground.
  • Death World: the alternate Earth, but this is zig-zagged somewhat: it's sure as hell dangerous, with dinosaurs alive and well and of course the Grik, but it's no so horrible as to prevent organized societies.
  • Eats Babies: The second book opens with Grik Regent Tsalka sitting with a Grik infant on his lap, idly stroking the child. So is this a Pet the Dog moment for the Grik, earlier billed as Always Chaotic Evil? No, because before the scene is over, Tsalka casually pops the infant into his mouth and chews. For extra Squick, it's mentioned that the baby's struggles tickle the roof of Tsalka's mouth.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The crew of the Amagi are out to kill the Americans, and are working with the Grik. They still hate the lizards, though; even the Axe Crazy captain admits this.
  • Five-Man Band: The command crew of the Walker comes off like this.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The fifth book, Rising Tides, opens with a quote from a book Courtney Bradford will evidently publish in 1956. His survival for the next twelve years is therefore guaranteed.
  • Four-Star Badass: General Alden, Rolak, General Eshhk.
  • Genocide Dilemma: Averted. It's made clear that the only real way to win is to exterminate the Grik. Though this is zig-zagged in later books; particularly when a contingent of Grik warriors surrender to the Allies.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When he discovers an attempt to sink Walker with an improvised bomb in a rowboat, CPO Donaghey climbs into the boat and rows it away, ignoring the calls of his shipmates to come back. Instead of a fuse, the saboteurs set the whole boat on fire, so he's burning alive as he does this.
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 All he knew, as the flesh on his face and hands began to sear and his vision became a red, shimmering fog, was that he had to row. Nothing else in the entire world mattered anymore except for getting that crazy, stupid bomb the hell away from his ship.

He made it almost forty yards.

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    • The entire crew of the Revenge, save those too injured to actually do anything aboard ship, gives one.
  • Honor Before Reason: While Shinya has it attached to him up above, he's not a great example, being willing to not only surrender to Captain Reddy but offer his parole even in the first book. A better example is the unnamed Japanese crewman who saves Shinya's life, and refuses to surrender even in the middle of an ocean while clinging to the underside of an overturned boat, having just watched the rest of his crew being eaten by what can best be described as tuna-piranha hybrids. He gets eaten by a plesiosaur, but only cries out in pain, not terror.
  • In Spite of a Nail: There's a discrepancy as to exactly when the East India Company ships came to the alternate world, but it was at least two hundred years before the 1940s -- meaning more than twenty years before, in our world, there was a settlement in California named "San Francisco." Still, the New British build a city at the same good harbor ... and name it "St. Francis." The region we'd call San Jose is also known as the St. Joseph Plain.
  • Interspecies Romance: What may or may not be happening with Silva and Risa... and several other Destroyermen and female Cats'.
    • Is halfway to My Species Doth Protest Too Much when everyone on both sides keep assuring themselves that Risa and Silva are most definitely just friends, honest.
  • Imperial Japan: They're prominent in the opening of Into The Storm.
  • Insistent Terminology: Any time the Dominion is brought up, either a character or the text will make a point of saying how it's a "dark perversion" of actual Catholicism.
  • It Has Been an Honor: He doesn't get the chance to say it face to face, but Jim Ellis, shortly before dying of his wounds, asks another man to pass this on to Captain Reddy.
  • Kill Him Already: Most recently with Reddy and the Head of the HNBC, where Reddy shoots him after he puts his gun down.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: Among the sea creatures in this world is the "mountain fish" (apparently actually a whale), so big it can wreck a steamship -- by biting it. At one point, it's stated that the locals' massive city-ships known as "Homes" are almost as big as mountain fish -- and a Home is the size of an Essex-class aircraft carrier. And that's the average sized mountain fish... they do come in bigger sizes. The Imperials actually call them Leviathans.
    • From the way they're described as moving (basking, gradually picking up speed, able to move very fast for short periods of time), mountain fish may be the descendants of "Predator X".
  • Negative Space Wedgie: The Squall.
  • Never Found the Body: Tony Scott, supposedly devoured by a "superlizard," turns out to have been rescued by Grik-looking natives. He gets scolded because a ship has already been named after him.
  • Noble Demon: Commander Sato of Amagi. He despises the Grik, and believes negotiating with the Americans is a viable option...but this is more due to Amagi's captain being a complete lunatic than anything else. And then another Japanese ship arrives, and he learns some elements of the IJN back home have gone entirely too bad for him to stomach.
  • Ocean Punk: Pretty much the entire setting. It's a sailor's wet dream. You have vessels from both world wars, 19th-century vessels of the New British Empire, as well as a few for the Alliance, and 17th-century warships used by the Grik - armed with catapults. Two of the weirder examples are Spanish galleons with paddle wheels strapped to the sides of their ships and giant wooden aircraft carriers powered by steam that are also home to Cats.
  • Politically-Correct History: Averted hard. The entire crew of the USS Walker is shown to be at least mildly racist, from an incidental Values Dissonance standpoint if not actively. Many of them are very open-minded for the forties, but terms like "Jappo" and "Nip" fly freely.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The USS Walker's crew is portrayed as this. Captain Reddy notes at the beginning of Into the Storm that the entirety of the Asiatic fleet had this reputation.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Brutally invoked in Crusade with Blas-Ma-Ar at Aryaal.
  • Redshirt Army: The Grik. They even have a red-painted navy. Same goes with the Dominion, with the red sails.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Grik... who are described as fuzzy raptors.
    • Though by Firestorm some other, Griklike races have been found that prove to be valuable allies. They're still somewhat distrusted for their appearance, but they're still good friends to have.
    • In the first book, before they knew how the Grik act, Captain Reddy warned that they shouldn't judge Grik on their appearance. He said it'd be like distrusting Americans on sight "because we look like Germans."
  • Rousing Speech: Despite his protestations to the contrary, Reddy is actually very good at these, as well as pretty much any other kind of rousing/threatening/comforting speech you could ask for.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Orphan Queen of B'mbaado. Not only a fierce and capable warrior in her own right, but when she says something like "I will be the last of my people to leave" or "I will not stop until I've brought everyone home", she means it.
  • Schizo-Tech: Hoo boy. You've got WW2-era tech with the destroyers and a Japanese battle-cruiser, eighteenth-century tech with the Grik's ships, and roughly Bronze Age tech with the Lemurians...who the Americans train to fight in a Roman shield wall. Supported by bronze cannons. And this is just the first two books...
  • Shout-Out: Possibly; on one New British island the governor, a somewhat more enlightened fellow than several other high-ranking Imperials, is named Radcliff ... and his wife, with whom he has a more nearly equal partnership than the typical New British marriage, is named Emelia.
  • Sociopathic Hero Silva - my god, Silva. If no other passage seals it, one paragraph in Into the Storm defines the entire character of Dennis Silva, and is possibly the most clear cut example ever of the entire trope of a Heroic Sociopath.
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 He'd killed a lot in his life, before the War even started. Bar fights and back alleys in China, mostly - although there'd been that pool shark down in Mobile too. Most had it coming, by his definition, though he might have been hasty a time or two. The Japs had it coming, and he guessed he'd killed some of them with his number one gun. But that was a team sport. He'd never killed anybody because he was "good" and they were "bad". They'd just been "badder" than he was. And sometimes Dennis Silva could be a bad man. But now he felt good because the creatures he killed were indisputably bad. [...] He felt like the big mean dragon in the story that everyone was scared of, who swooped down and ate the evil king. Sometimes it felt good to be "good".

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    • If that's not enough for you, Silva describes himself as having only four moods (happy, hungry, horny, and mad), considers war to be the best fun he's ever had, and by the time of Firestorm has been described (by Sandra no less) as being valuable to the fleet specifically because when put in a bad situation he will take the utmost pragmatic and effective course with no regard for morals or ethics.
  • Stranded with Edison: The crew of two US naval destroyers just happens to have some engineers who have worked in oil fields so that they can drill new oil wells for fuel. Other experts are in abundance (pilots that can design planes), to the point that know-how isn't usually a problem, just materials and facilities. Only once or twice does someone mention they don't actually know how to make something they need, but it's sort of shrugged off with "We'll figure something out."
  • War Is Hell: So far the total of deaths is approaching 200,000.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Played with all over the place. In the first book's climax, Reddy finds Lemurian skulls hung up as decorations in a Grik ship, he's outraged and remarks to himself that Lemurians are people and should not be treated like trophy animals. But it's only when he sees a human skull among them that he descends into Tranquil Fury and makes the decision to Kill'Em All. He later realizes the hypocrisy of this reaction in the second book. However, he has no issues with exterminating the Grik.
  • Zerg Rush: The Grik's "strategy" revolves around this. Taken Up to Eleven with "The Grand Swarm", which is essentially a Zerg Rush using warships.
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