Lonely Vigil: Coastwatchers of the Solomons

Open Road Media
13
Free sample

From the bestselling author of Day of Infamy: In the bloodiest island combat of WWII, one group of men kept watch from behind Japanese lines.
 The Solomon Islands was where the Allied war machine finally broke the Japanese empire. As pilots, marines, and sailors fought for supremacy in Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and the Slot, a lonely group of radio operators occupied the Solomon Islands’ highest points. Sometimes encamped in comfort, sometimes exposed to the elements, these coastwatchers kept lookout for squadrons of Japanese bombers headed for Allied positions, holding their own positions even when enemy troops swarmed all around. They were Australian-born but Solomon-raised, and adept at survival in the unforgiving jungle environment. Through daring and insight, they stayed one step ahead of the Japanese, often sacrificing themselves to give advance warning of an attack.

In Lonely Vigil, Walter Lord, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of A Night to Remember and The Miracle of Dunkirk, tells of the survivors of the campaign and what they risked to win the war in the Pacific.
 
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About the author

Walter Lord (1917–2002) was an acclaimed and bestselling author of literary nonfiction best known for his gripping and meticulously researched accounts of watershed historical events. Born in Baltimore, Lord went to work for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. After the war’s end, Lord joined a New York advertising firm, and began writing nonfiction in his spare time. His first book was The Fremantle Diary (1954), a volume of Civil War diaries that became a surprising success. But it was Lord’s next book, A Night to Remember (1955), that made him famous. The bestseller caused a new flurry of interest in the Titanic and inspired the 1958 film of the same name. Lord went on to use the book’s interview-heavy format as a template for most of his following works, which included detailed reconstructions of the Pearl Harbor attack in Day of Infamy (1957), the battle of Midway in Incredible Victory (1967), and the integration of the University of Mississippi in The Past That Would Not Die (1965). In all, he published a dozen books.
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4.4
13 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Mar 6, 2012
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Pages
282
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ISBN
9781453238493
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Naval
History / Military / World War II
History / World
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Although the word gliderman does not appear in the dictionary, a brave group of World War II soldiers known as glidermen flew into combat inside unarmed and unarmored canvas-covered gliders known as "flying coffins."



Charles J. Masters points out that because World War II was the first truly mechanized and armored global conflict, the role of the glidermen and their combat gliders was at best anachronistic. Fighter planes exceeded speeds of 400 miles per hour and were heavily armed with multiple machine guns. Dogfights had taken on new dimensions, eclipsing the tactics, speed, and firepower first evidenced by the fragile biplanes of World War I. Tanks achieved a lethal efficiency barely dreamed of even five years before the war. An array of weaponry never seen in any previous military engagement confronted the combat soldier during World War II. And yet there were gliders. And glidermen.



Masters tells of these men and of their fragile aircraft in a war of mechanized chaos. In copious detail, he describes the gliders and the Americans who boarded them during the American D-Day glider attack, a mission that was part of the overall cross-channel plan code-named "Operation Neptune." The son of a gliderman with the 82nd Airborne Division, Masters had unique access to the surviving glidermen and comrades of his father. During the course of his research, he located and interviewed 106 of the men who had flown the D-Day mission in gliders. As an insider—in a sense almost a member of the family and fraternity of glider-men—Masters was cordially received by the members of the American airborne divisions that participated in D-Day, many of whom told him stories they had seldom told their own friends and families. Often harrowing and always riveting, the stories these men told an eager listener and researcher are very much a part of this narrative.



Masters has also assembled the finest existing collection of photographs of the American D-Day glider attack. These photographs—many of which have never before been published—provide a spectacular photographic record of a little-known aspect of this war. In fact, because of the short military history of the American combat glider, most readers, including veterans of World War II, will not have seen one of these "flying coffins," even at a distance. These photographs afford the opportunity to actually examine the inside of the combat gliders used on D-Day, to observe the glidermen in action, and to witness the often tragic consequences of the glider attack.

New York Times Bestseller

A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

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