Thousand Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians / Edition 2by Brian Garfield, Terrence Cole
Pub. Date: 02/28/1995
Publisher: University of Alaska Press
The Thousand-Mile War, a powerful story of the battles of the United States and Japan on the bitter rim of the North Pacific, has been acclaimed as one of the great accounts of World War II. Brian Garfield, a novelist and screenwriter whose works have sold some 20 million copies, was searching for a new subject when he came upon the story of this "forgotten/i>
The Thousand-Mile War, a powerful story of the battles of the United States and Japan on the bitter rim of the North Pacific, has been acclaimed as one of the great accounts of World War II. Brian Garfield, a novelist and screenwriter whose works have sold some 20 million copies, was searching for a new subject when he came upon the story of this "forgotten war" in Alaska. He found the history of the brave men who had served in the Aleutians so compelling and so little known that he wrote the first full-length history of the Aleutian campaign, and the book remains a favorite among Alaskans.
The war in the Aleutians was fought in some of the worst climatic conditions on earth for men, ships, and airplanes. The sea was rough, the islands craggy and unwelcoming, and enemy number one was always the weatherthe savage wind, fog, and rain of the Aleutian chain. The fog seemed to reach even into the minds of the military commanders on both sides, as they directed men into situations that so often had tragic results. Frustrating, befuddling, and still the subject of debate, the Aleutian campaign nevertheless marked an important turn of the war in favor of the United States.
Now, half a century after the war ended, more of the fog has been lifted. In the updated University of Alaska Press edition, Garfield supplements his original account, which was drawn from statistics, personal interviews, letters, and diaries, with more recently declassified photographs and many more illustrations.
Table of Contents
Preface to the 1995 Edition
PART ONE Buckner's War
CHAPTER ONE Japan Steams North
CHAPTER TWO "You Will Be Governed by the
Principle of Calculated Risk"
CHAPTER THREE The Battle of Dutch Harbor:
The First Day
CHAPTER FOUR The Battle of Dutch Harbor:
The Second Day
CHAPTER FIVE Buckner's Beehive
CHAPTER SIX "The Airfield Is for Use Either
by Ourselves or by the Enemy,
Whichever Gets There First"
PART TWO Eareckson's War
CHAPTER SEVEN The Forward Blitz
CHAPTER EIGHT Mission to Seek and Destroy
Enemy in Alaska
CHAPTER NINE "When You Could See a Hundred
Feet, That Was a Clear Day"
CHAPTER TEN The Navy's Spring Plowing
CHAPTER ELEVEN Foward to Adak
CHAPTER TWELVE "I had a Sheep-Lined Fur Parka-
And Then I had One to Wear Outdoors"
PART THREE Kinkaid's War
CHAPTER THIRTEEN Kinkaid's Blockade
CHAPTER FOURTEEN The Battle of the Komandorskis
CHAPTER FIFTEEN "The Hunger Was Maddening..."
CHAPTER SIXTEEN Operation Landcrab
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN The Battle of Attu
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN The Raids on Paramushiro
CHAPTER NINETEEN Battle of the Pips
CHAPTER TWENTY The Invasion of Kiska
Appendix One Further Discussion of the
Appendix Two Further Discussion of the
Battle of the Pips
Bibliographic Addendum 1995
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I was born in 1943. My father was in the Navy and stationed in the Aleutians. A friend recommended I read The Thousand-Mile War. I did not know about the war in Alaska and the Aleutians including Japan's occupation. For me it was the forgotten war and even my mom and dad had not told me much about what happened. This book has opened new discussions with my parents who are both still living. The book has helped me to appreciate the "Greatest Generation" even more than before. The research done to write this book is impressive and yet it reads like a movie script.
The Thousand Mile War is a very interesting account of an obscure theater of WWII. For over a year in 1942-43 the US and Japan struggled to control the Aleutian Islands, a possible jump-off point for an invasion of either Alaska or Northern Japan. Although neither side ever launched such an operation, the fighting there was desperate. The elements were more deadly than enemy shells and bullets. Brian Garfield, the author of Death Wish, the inspiration for the Charles Bronson movies, wrote the original book in 1969 and put out this updated edition in 1995. He focuses on both the commanders and the men who fought in the Arctic environment. Because most of the Japanese perished and almost all Japan's military records were destroyed, the focus is on the Americans. Both those interested in military and Alaskan history should find much of interest.