This nonfiction World Warfare II tragedy is likely one of the most fascinating and nicely documented tales I’ve ever learn. It ranks with the fiction novel, Giants within the Earth, and non-fiction World Warfare II novels like Unbroken and Tears within the Darkness. The writing is clean and pure with proficient literary depth. The analysis is phenomenal with copious first-hand interviews, quite a few letters, and quite a lot of sources. The Wake troops and civilians may be in comparison with the People and Filipinos at Bataan, the Spartans at Thermopylae, and the Texans on the Alamo.
The Wake Atoll, made up of Peale, Wilkes, and Wake islands, was an American outpost within the center Pacific earlier than World Warfare II. Pan American Airways had a touchdown strip, barracks, and lodge and, together with American and Chamorro (Guamanian) development staff, there have been roughly 1,100 civilian staff on the atoll. The atoll was protected by a handful of troopers and sailors, and nearly 500 Marines, led by Main James Devereaux. The whole Wake Atoll, each army and civilian, was beneath the command of naval Lieutenant Winfield Cunningham.
These courageous armed forces and civilians held off assaults by far superior, damaging Imperial Forces for 2 weeks. The Wake defenders had been a supply of satisfaction again on mainland America, particularly after the demoralizing information of the Pearl Harbor devastation.
The calculating and brave Wake defenders had been liable for inspiring victories over the Imperial Japanese Forces, together with the destruction of seven enemy warships, one cruiser, 4 destroyers, a submarine, one gunboat, 9 plane, and in extra of a thousand enemy troops. The People misplaced 124 males; nonetheless, on Christmas Eve, 1941, they had been lastly overrun by the Japanese floor troops. Some have blamed Main Devereaux or Lieutenant Cunningham, however each these brave leaders led by instance and carried out astutely in opposition to overwhelming odds and with no reinforcements.
A few of the surrendered troops had been killed outright, 98 civilians had been executed, and people males who survived skilled hunger, beatings, torture, slavery, quite a few illnesses, and deaths throughout the the rest of the conflict. Just like the Bataan defenders, the Wake defenders had been deserted to their very own gadgets… a very unhappy level in United States historical past and the Roosevelt administration.
The Wake story is of course fascinating and provoking, however Wukovits takes it to a brand new dimension. There have been different books written about this Wake Island battle however, for my part, that is probably the most correct, unbiased, and fascinating studying. I extremely advocate this e-book to all readers.