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Publisher's Summary

On December 8, 1941, just five hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese planes attacked a remote US outpost in the westernmost reaches of the Pacific. It was the beginning of an incredible 16-day fight for Wake Island, a tiny but strategically valuable dot in the ocean. Unprepared for the stunning assault, the small battalion was dangerously outnumbered and outgunned. But they compensated with a surplus of bravery and perseverance, waging an extraordinary battle against all odds. 

When it was over, a few hundred American Marines, sailors, and soldiers, along with a small army of heroic civilian laborers, had repulsed enemy forces several thousand strong - but it was still not enough. Among the Marines was 20-year-old PFC Wiley Sloman. By Christmas Day, he lay semiconscious in the sand, struck by enemy fire. Another day would pass before he was found - stripped of his rifle and his uniform. Shocked to realize he hadn't awakened to victory, Sloman wondered: Had he been given up for dead - and had the Marines simply given up?

In this riveting account, veteran journalist Bill Sloan re-creates this history-making battle, the crushing surrender, and the stories of the uncommonly gutsy men who fought it.

©2003 Bill Sloan (P)2021 Tantor

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    4 out of 5 stars
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For want of a nail...

Wake fell because our phone lines were not buried and the Japs cut them so that Deverau could not obtain a proper strategic view. This point is not adequately presented. The Marines were actually pushing them into the sea.

anyone who loves the US Marines will love this story.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Little known story but was well worth the listen. Highly recommended for World war 2 buffs.
Excellent.