MARINES IN THE BATTLE FOR WAKE ISLAND (E-Book)
Soon after Japanese carrier-based planes attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Japanese land-based bombers pounded Wake Island, an American advanced base that was key to the U.S. Navy's strategy in the Pacific. Throughout the next two weeks Japanese planes bombed Wake almost daily, but its determined defenders held out, providing a badly needed lift to American morale. The author examines the defense plans prepared before the war and how grim necessity compelled the modification of those plans. The central part of the work recounts how the Wake garrison survived nearly daily bombings and repulsed the first Japanese attempt to take the atoll. This small band of defenders consisted of marines from an understrength defense battalion and a composite aviation unit equipped with a dwindling number of fighter planes, augmented by sailors and civilian volunteers. An army signal corps radio unit was the island's only contact with the outside world. This is the first American study of Wake's defense to use extensive Japanese materials - many never before tapped or previously unavailable to Western historians - to identify the enemy order of battle and the roles each unit played in the drama. The book also examines the atoll's development as a strategic American base. Readers specifically interested in World War II, the Pacific war, and Navy/Marine Corps history will enjoy this book, as will a more general audience drawn to fast-moving stories of quiet courage in the face of tremendous odds.