The Storm on Our Shores: One Island, Two Soldiers, and the Forgotten Battle of World War II

· Sold by Simon and Schuster
4.8
4 reviews
Ebook
256
Pages
Eligible

About this ebook

This “engrossing” (The Wall Street Journal) national bestseller and true “heartbreaking tale of tragedy and redemption” (Hampton Sides, bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers) reveals how a discovered diary—found during a brutal World War II battle—changed our war-torn society’s perceptions of Japan.

May 1943. The Battle of Attu—called “The Forgotten Battle” by World War II veterans—was raging on the Aleutian island with an Arctic cold, impenetrable fog, and rocketing winds that combined to create some of the worst weather on Earth. Both American and Japanese forces tirelessly fought in a yearlong campaign, with both sides suffering thousands of casualties. Included in this number was a Japanese medic whose war diary would lead a Silver Star–winning American soldier to find solace for his own tortured soul.

The doctor’s name was Paul Nobuo Tatsuguchi, a Hiroshima native who had graduated from college and medical school in California. He loved America, but was called to enlist in the Imperial Army of his native Japan. Heartsick, wary of war, yet devoted to Japan, Tatsuguchi performed his duties and kept a diary of events as they unfolded—never knowing that it would be found by an American soldier named Dick Laird.

Laird, a hardy, resilient underground coal miner, enlisted in the US Army to escape the crushing poverty of his native Appalachia. In a devastating mountainside attack in Alaska, Laird was forced to make a fateful decision, one that saved him and his comrades, but haunted him for years.

Tatsuguchi’s diary was later translated and distributed among US soldiers. It showed the common humanity on both sides of the battle. But it also ignited fierce controversy that is still debated today. After forty years, Laird was determined to return it to the family and find peace with Tatsuguchi’s daughter, Laura Tatsuguchi Davis.

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Mark Obmascik “writes with tremendous grace about a forgotten part of our history, telling the same story from two opposing points of view—perhaps the only way warfare can truly be understood” (Helen Thorpe, author of Soldier Girls).
4.8
4 reviews
Joseph Netti
May 11, 2019
Best perspective on WWII in the Aleutians I have ever read! Well written and well researched. I wish every world leader would read this book. It reads like historical fiction, but it is historical fact. I can only imagine the emotions of the author as he got to know the real-life characters in this amazing story.
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A Google user
Known by few other than historians: Japan did successfully invade America, at Attu and Kiska on the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. This well-written book captures the desolation and futility of warfare ...
A Google user
Probably many Americans couldn't find the Aleutians on a map, and Attu would only bring a blank look, so author Mark Obmascik is right on in calling the WWII fight for Attu a "forgotten battle, " in ...

About the author

Mark Obmascik is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author of The Big Year, which was made into a movie, and Halfway to Heaven. He won the 2009 National Outdoor Book Award for outdoor literature, the 2003 National Press Club Award for environmental journalism, and was the lead writer for the Denver Post team that won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Denver with his wife and their three sons.

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