This nonfiction World Struggle II tragedy is among the most interesting and properly documented tales I’ve ever read. It ranks with the fiction novel, Giants in the Earth, and non-fiction World Conflict II novels like Unbroken and Tears within the Darkness. The writing is smooth and pure with gifted literary depth. The research is phenomenal with copious first-hand interviews, numerous letters, and a wide range of sources. The Wake troops and civilians may be in comparison with the Americans and Filipinos at Bataan, the Spartans at Thermopylae, and the Texans at the Alamo.
The Wake Atoll, made up of Peale, Wilkes, and Wake islands, was an American outpost in the center Pacific earlier than World Conflict II. Pan American Airways had a touchdown strip, barracks, and hotel and, together with American and Chamorro (Guamanian) development workers, there have been roughly 1,100 civilian employees on the atoll. The atoll was protected by a handful of soldiers and sailors, and virtually 500 Marines, led by Major James Devereaux. The complete Wake Atoll, each army and civilian, was below the command of naval Lieutenant Winfield Cunningham.
Those courageous armed forces and civilians held off assaults by far superior, harmful Imperial Forces for 2 weeks. The Wake defenders were a source of satisfaction again on mainland America, especially after the demoralizing information of the Pearl Harbor devastation.
The calculating and courageous 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 Americans misplaced 124 males; however, on Christmas Eve, 1941, they have been finally overrun by the Japanese ground troops. Some have blamed Major Devereaux or Lieutenant Cunningham, however each these courageous leaders led by instance and carried out astutely against overwhelming odds and with no reinforcements.
A few of the surrendered troops were killed outright, 98 civilians had been executed, and those males who survived skilled hunger, beatings, torture, slavery, numerous ailments, and deaths in the course of the remainder of the warfare. Like the Bataan defenders, the Wake defenders have been abandoned to their own units… a really unhappy point in United States history and the Roosevelt administration.