Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians by Brian Garfield

By Brian Garfield

The Thousand-Mile War, a strong tale of the battles of the us and Japan at the sour rim of the North Pacific, has been acclaimed as one of many nice bills of global battle II. Brian Garfield, a novelist and screenwriter whose works have offered a few 20 million copies, used to be trying to find a brand new topic whilst he came across the tale of this ''forgotten war'' in Alaska. He chanced on the historical past of the courageous males who had served within the Aleutians so compelling and so little recognized that he wrote the 1st full-length heritage of the Aleutian crusade, and the e-book continues to be a favourite between Alaskans. The warfare within the Aleutians used to be fought in a number of the worst weather conditions on the earth for males, ships, and airplanes. the ocean used to be tough, the islands craggy and unwelcoming, and enemy #1 was once continually the weather--the savage wind, fog, and rain of the Aleutian chain. The fog appeared to succeed in even into the minds of the army commanders on either side, as they directed males into events that so frequently had tragic effects. not easy, befuddling, and nonetheless the topic of discussion, the Aleutian crusade however marked a huge flip of the struggle in want of the us. Now, part a century after the warfare ended, extra of the fog has been lifted. within the up-to-date collage of Alaska Press variation, Garfield supplementations his unique account, which used to be drawn from data, own interviews, letters, and diaries, with extra lately declassified photos and lots of extra illustrations.

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On February 11, 1935, Mitchell had singled out Alaska as "the key point of the whole Pacific," and told the House Military Affairs Committee, "He who holds Alaska holds the world . . Alaska is the most strategic place in the world. It is the jumping-off place to smash Japan. " Fairbanks, center of Alaska, was within 4000 miles of London, Berlin, Moscow, and almost every other strategic northern capital. The shortest line between Tokyo and the United States — the Great Circle Route — crossed the Aleutians and Alaska.

The other is to bash in its head and put it out of business. That is what I favor. To DeWitt, July 17: Only two fields exist in Alaska from which bombers can take off with full loads. To Chief of Staff, Gen. George C. Marshall, July 24: In view of our present available strength, or perhaps I should say weakness, I would rather have one squadron of heavy bombers than a whole division of infantry. To DeWitt, September 4: We must have an air striking force now. To Marshall, November 28: Quick-drying cement does us very little good in speeding up construction unless some quick-drying ink is used on the approval of our plans.

The 36th Bombardment Squadron had no remaining aircraft of its own; its crews alternated half-day shifts in another squadron's planes, and clearly the few remaining B-18s would not last long if they had to stay in the air eighteen hours a day. Billy Wheeler wrote in the Squadron's unit diary: All patrols are flown to the maximum range of the B-18's. The weather is very bad, even for Alaska. . Icing conditions are always present and both men and ships suffer. The P-36 flying air-alert over Turnigan Arm iced up suddenly and spun out of control.

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