40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles

40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles


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Winner of The 2020 Best Book Award for Military History — American Bookfest

An elite platoon of Marine Scout-Snipers, Lieutenant Frank Tachovsky’s “40 Thieves” were chosen for their willingness to defy rules and beat all-comers. When two Marines got into a fight, the loser ended up in the infirmary, the winner in the brig. Tachovsky wanted the winner on his team—a brush with military law was a recommendation.

These full-blooded men were trained in a ruthless array of hand-to-hand killing techniques and then thrown into the battle for Saipan—Emperor Hirohito’s “Treasure” and the bulwark of the Japanese Empire in the Pacific—where they would wreak havoc in and around, but mostly behind, enemy lines. They witnessed inhuman atrocities; walked into an ambush after the cunning Japanese used wounded Marines as bait; endured body-punishing extremes of heat, hunger, and thirst; fought a relentless enemy who would not surrender; and watched best friends die.

Now Tachovsky’s son Joseph tells their remarkable story—a story he didn’t even know until after his father’s death—reported from an extensive documentary record, including priceless mementos his father kept, and from exhaustive interviews with survivors who served under Lieutenant “Ski.”

This is how America won the war in the Pacific, where “uncommon valor was a common virtue.” 40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of World War II’s Bloodiest Battles is true history. It’s also an adventure you don’t want to miss.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684510481
Publisher: Regnery History
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Pages: 338
Sales rank: 111,675
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

JOSEPH TACHOVSKY is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the son of Frank Tachovsky, commanding officer of the 40 Thieves on Saipan, also known as Tachovsky’s Terrors.

CYNTHIA KRAACK holds a B.A. in journalism and history from Marquette University, a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and an M.F.A. from the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of five novels, including the award-winning The High Cost of Flowers.

Table of Contents

A Note from the Authors xv

Prologue Four Woodpeckers xvii

Chapter 1 A Mustang 1

Chapter 2 The Dumb Hayshaker 7

Chapter 3 Mr. Kansas City 13

Chapter 4 Borawski Done It 21

Chapter 5 Ellie, Tilly, Roxie, and Ruth 11

Chapter 6 Sweet Dreams 37

Chapter 7 I Got Me a New Boss 45

Chapter 8 A Full-Blooded Bunch 51

Chapter 9 Old Dead Dog! 57

Chapter 10 The Black Death 69

Chapter 11 Pololu 77

Chapter 12 A Three-Day Pass 93

Chapter 13 Red Sky at Night 107

Chapter 14 Arello and Duley 123

Chapter 15 A Pact and a Premonition 129

Chapter 16 Red Sky at Morning 147

Chapter 17 The Kitchen Sink 165

Chapter 18 Hell Is on Us 179

Chapter 19 All the Devils Are Here 191

Chapter 20 Dark Eyes 199

Chapter 21 Evans, Arello, and Johnson 213

Chapter 22 The Road to Garapan 229

Chapter 23 Emerick 241

Chapter 24 Kenny 247

Chapter 25 Dyer 253

Chapter 26 Oliver 261

Chapter 27 Seven Lives 265

Chapter 28 Good-Byes 277

Epilogue Every Day for the Rest of Your Life 293

The Making of 40 Thieves on Saipan 303

Index 313

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