As Herman Wouk explained so ably ...
Byron Henry — Victor's younger son starts the war as an officer on the fictional USS Devilfish. When the captain, Branch Hoban, breaks down under the strain of an attack, the executive officer, Carter "Lady" Aster takes over and leads the attack. [Yeah, this happened all the time. Almost weekly, in fact.]
Aster becomes commander of the ship, with Byron his executive officer. While on leave in Hawaii, Byron is aware that Janice, his brother's widow, is acting strangely. He does not know that she is having an affair with Aster.[Aster gave her a yeast infection and she was too embarrassed to explain the itch ?]
Byron wants to see Natalie; when possible, he wangles duty in the European theater. [Sure, sub guys were frequently rotated to Europe to act as couriers. They weren't really needed in the Pacific, so what the hell. And after Eleanor Roosevelt described submarine crews as "disgusting animals" they had such a great rep as suave and deboner folks that really, if you were in subs you were almost certain to get a posting as a diplomatic attache.]
He serves as a courier to the U.S. mission to Vichy France and tries to get Natalie to leave with him. [Oh yeah, of course the wife of a submarine officer would decline to leave an occupied country ! "Think of the baby ! A concentration camp (we conveniently happen to be Jewish) would be so much healthier for him !|]
She refuses on the grounds that while they could cross Poland in a war in 1939, they didn't have Louis. [Am I missing something here ? Did they move Poland to in-between France and Portugal ? Or was she really worried about the kangaroos ?]
Byron and Natalie agree that Natalie and Louis and Aaron should wait to get a passport from the US consulate in Marseilles while Byron travels direct to Lisbon and book a room. [ No internet in those days ]
Byron arrives in Portugal just as Operation Torch begins, and the plan has to be scrapped.
Byron returns to the Pacific theater and rejoins Aster on the fictional USS Moray. Aster is severely wounded while on deck during an air attack and to save the ship, orders Byron to submerge without him. (This event is based on the death of Commander Howard W. Gilmore of the USS Growler (SS-215) on February 7, 1943. Gilmore was awarded the Medal of Honor). [Then he called in an arty attack on his own position ... jeeze. There are eight million stories in the naked city, why do these twerps have to beat two or three of them to death ?]
Byron is later awarded command of the USS Barracuda.[The Barracuda was built in 1924 and as of 1942 was sent to New England and had half her engines removed, after which she was used for training. So the Hero now drives a tow truck ... ]
As a Naval Reservist, Byron feels mixed about his role in the war. He is competent, but doesn't enjoy fighting. However, in one engagement, he is forced to surface and fight a battle against a Japanese destroyer. [Is this guy crazy ? A WW II sub, on the surface, against a tin can ? Two deck guns against a DD ? They're all dead.]
When told he will win the Navy Cross, he replies, "Killing Japs gave Carter Aster a thrill. It leaves me cold." [Of course not, because he has a white hat and belongs to the US Navy, not those other barbarian navies. Gag.]
Shortly before the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Byron visits his father aboard his flagship. [They stopped everything and parked the sub abeam of the battleship so the Henrys could have a family reunion. This is also s.o.p. for naval operations in the middle of a war.]
The meeting is strained, because Byron blames Pamela for the breakup of his father's marriage. Later, his sister, Madeline, straightens him out about the causes of the breakup; he and his father become reconciled. [Yeah, Madeleine heard about the misunderstanding through her esp, so she went down to Operations and had them send Byron a coded message SS MORAY LAT 13 LONG 122 STOP BYRON COMMA NOT DADS FAULT STOP MOM WOULDNT SUCK DICK STOP RECOMMEND RECONCILE STOP so he turned the sub around, headed back through the battle group so he and Dad could have a big hug. It's all about the faaaamily. They were kissing and stuff when the Jap Zeros arrived and all the dinnerware got smashed on the deck.]
In April 1945, Natalie is found in Weimar, Germany. Byron presses the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, for an assignment in Europe so he might be reunited with his wife. [Which of course happened all the time because a junior officer in subs is like best butt-buddies with the CiC. Plus his boat's been in New England for the past three years so he's really in with the in-crowd down at Pacific HQ. And Family Values are paramont at this time. Teddy Kennedy would be proud. "Stop the world ! We have to reunite the faaaaamily !! ]
He is assigned to investigate the technical details of captured German U-boats and leaves for Europe to join his wife, now recovering in a hospital, and to find his son, Louis. After a long search throughout Europe, Byron reunites with Louis, who was in an orphanage, only to find Louis is so traumatized he will not talk. However, when he reunites Louis with Natalie, Louis begins to sing with her. This occurs on August 6, 1945, the date of the first use of the atom bomb in warfare. [Isn't that just adorable ? Pass the vinegar quick, please, I'm having a saccharine overdose ... ]
The ridiculosity of this plot speaks for itself .... this is the guy they are worshipping for accuracy ? I hope he at least got the dates right.