Given Up for Dead: America's Heroic Stand at Wake Island
A gripping narrative of unprecedented valor and personal courage, here is the story of the first American battle of World War II: the battle for Wake Island. Based on firsthand accounts from long-lost survivors who have emerged to tell about it, this stirring tale of the “Alamo of the Pacific” will reverberate for generations to come.
On December 8, 1941, just five hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese planes attacked a remote U.S. outpost in the westernmost reaches of the Pacific. It was the beginning of an incredible sixteen-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 twenty-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. From the civilians who served as gunmen, medics, and even preachers, to the daily grind of life on an isolated island—literally at the ends of the earth—to the agony of POW camps, here we meet our heroes and confront the enemy face-to-face, bayonet to bayonet.
From the Hardcover edition.
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I'm only half way through this book, I have read hundreds of books on WW2 and this one rates right up there with E.B. Sledges With the Old Breed. The Pacific Alamo about Wake Island was a good read, but Given up for Dead, also a story on Wake Island,is in a class of its own. In the Prologue is where the author Bill Sloan got his title for the book. If after reading this which focuses on PFC Wiley W Sloman a true hero of Wake Island doesn't lift your patriotism to its peak level nothing ever will. Wiley Sloman and many others including many civilians that were on the island working, defend Wake Island against all odds. Enough said for now I want to get back reading this great story that many people including myself didn't no much about it. Fought by the Men of the greatest generation there ever was. Kyle Worthington, WW2 Patriot
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