Given Up for Dead: America's Heroic Stand at Wake Island

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Random House Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - History - 432 pages
48 Reviews
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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Review: Given Up for Dead: America's Heroic Stand at Wake Island

User Review  - Mimi Fintel - Goodreads

This nonfiction book details the struggles of a small garrison of Marines, sailors, and civilians fighting against the Japanese on Wake Island. After Pearl Harbor was bombed the next big battle site ... Read full review

Review: Given Up for Dead: America's Heroic Stand at Wake Island

User Review  - Jack - Goodreads

An excellent story of the heroic stand at Wake Island. Read full review

All 3 reviews »


k A Massive Awakening
k Picking Up the Pieces
k The Beginning of the End
7k A Battle That Made the Gods Weep
it? WilkesThe Victory Nobody Noticed
l6 3? The Alamo of the Pacific
7k The Terrible Voyage of the Nitta Maru
l9 7 The Peace and the Price
7k Fading Images and Forgotten Heroes

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About the author (2007)

BILL SLOAN is a Pulitzer Prize nominated freelance journalist and the author of a dozen books. During his ten years as an investigative reporter/feature writer for the Dallas Times Herald, Sloan covered many of the major events and personalities of the twentieth century.

From the Hardcover edition.

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