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Wake Island

 

Description:

From the beginning. Two young men in the Marine Corps have been sent to Wake Island to defend it. They are among another few who are there without hesitation. When the island falls to the Japanese, they are taken prisoner. Elsewhere a construction crew building on an island nearby has a supervisor who was take prisoner as well. They end up with a lot of other prisoners in a Korean port and board a slave train headed north to work crystal and salt mines on the Korean and Mongolian boarder.

The train is hijacked by the prisoners and they escape to form a renegade bunch which turn the Japanese occupiers into twists and turns trying to re-capture them. There are American Marines, Australians, and several Chinese captors who are very inventive. They are there for over two years and finally taken out to return to duty. Lively action, personal heroism, and life and death struggles.

This is not to reinvent World War II, but to tell a piece of history that might have actually happened. One can never tell, however, since many secrets hide in the deepest parts of the military archives.

 

Review:

When I was in college with Olin, we talked a lot about history of the United States. We both majored in English though. He was taken with the history of the 19th Century and then suddenly he became fascinated with the mid-20th Century. This book reveals how much he studied and researched his subject before writing the book. Someone once said, “Reading this book is better than sex. Well, not exactly, but I've spent some time reading this one and passed bed-time and missed my chance at sex once or twice, so maybe it is better.”

—Gene Thornton, retired police officer