Over the course of the past two hundred years, only one United States territory has experienced foreign occupation: Alaska. Available for the first time in paperback, Alaska at War brings readers face to face with the North Pacific front in World War II. Wide-ranging essays cover the war as seen by Alaskan eyes, including the Japanese invasion of the Attu and Kiska islands, the effects of the war on Aleutian Islanders, and the American campaign to recover occupied territory. Whether you’re a historian or a novice student interested in this pivotal period of American history, Alaska at War provides fascinating insight into the background, history, and cultural impact of war on the Alaskan homefront.
On the eve of World War II, the national interests of Japan, the United States, and the Soviet Union collided in the North Pacific.
Alaska's Hidden Wars tells the story of the war in the North Pacific, a story of savage weather, isolation, and sacrifice.
Two island chains, the Aleutians and the Kuriles, became the focus of a series of major campaigns that pitted the Americans against the Japanese. Alaska's Hidden Wars chronicles the role of Japanese-American intelligence specialists and reveals a Japanese eyewitness account of the defense of Attu. Two virtually unknown aspects of the North Pacific war are also exposed: the brutal North Pacific weather and the imprisonment of American airmen in Kamchatka.
In 1942, the Japanese raided Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands and occupied the islands of Kiska and Attu. The Americans mounted a vigorous campaign, and the Japanese retreated to the Kuriles. For the next two years, the Americans launched air raids and fleet bombardments, while American soldiers maintained lonely outposts along Aleutian coasts. But in 1945, when Japan finally surrendered, the Kuriles were taken, not by the waiting Americans, but by the Soviets.
Alaska's Hidden Wars is a fast-moving history that brings declassified archival sources to light and draws the reader into the lonely, bitter war fought in the North Pacific.
An Aleutian Ethnography
Lucien Turner University of Alaska Press, 2008 Library of Congress E99.A34T874 2008 | Dewey Decimal 979.800497
Lucien Turner was a pioneering nineteenth-century ethnographer whose study of Aleut communities surpassed the work of all of his contemporaries, and now his rare writings are collected here for the first time. Turner’s admittedly fragmentary ethnographic notes, which chronicle his complete immersion in three Aleut communities, reveal valuable insights into Aleutian cultures and the outsiders who lived among them in the nineteenth century. Carefully edited by Ray Hudson, An Aleutian Ethnography is an essential resource for scholars of American history and history of anthropology alike.
Albert C. Spaulding reports on the 1949 excavations on the island of Agattu, at the western end of the Aleutian Islands. Spaulding and his team identified the remains of two villages on Agattu, within which they opened four excavation units. They found numerous burials and hundreds of artifacts, including stone tools, bone ornaments and tools, and animal bone. The site is dated to about 615 BC.
In the quiet of morning, exactly six months after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese touched down on American soil. Landing on the remote Alaska island of Attu, they assailed an entire village, holding the Alaskan villagers for two months and eventually corralling all survivors into a freighter bound for Japan.
One of those survivors, Nick Golodoff, became a prisoner of war at just six years old. He was among the dozens of Unangan Attu residents swept away to Hokkaido, and one of only twenty-five to survive. Attu Boy tells Golodoff’s story of these harrowing years as he found both friendship and cruelty at the hands of the Japanese. It offers a rare look at the lives of civilian prisoners and their captors in WWII-era Japan. It also tells of Golodoff’s bittersweet return to a homeland torn apart by occupation and forced internments. Interwoven with other voices from Attu, this richly illustrated memoir is a testament to the struggles, triumphs, and heartbreak of lives disrupted by war.
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 weather--the 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.
Williwaw: A Novel
Gore Vidal University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3543.I26W5 2003 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
A gripping tale of men struggling against nature and themselves, Williwaw was Gore Vidal's first novel, written at nineteen when he was first mate of the U.S. Army freight supply ship stationed in the Aleutian Islands. Here he writes of a ship caught plying the lethal, frigid Arctic waters during storm season. Tensions run high among the edgy crew and uneasy passengers even before the cruel wind that gives the book its title suddenly sweeps down from the mountains. Vividly drawn characters and a compelling murder plot combine to make Williwaw a classic war novel.
When the 206th Coast Artillery Regiment of the Arkansas National Guard was called into federal service in January of 1941, few of the soldiers saw this action as anything more than a temporary detour in their lives. The war, after all, was in Europe and Asia and did not seem to involve them; many of the men thought they would serve their one-year enlistment and go home. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor changed all that.
The Williwaw War highlights the event sthat shaped the service of Arkansas’s 206th in the Aleutian Islands, including the Japanese strikes on Dutch Harbor on the third and fourth of June 1942, as well as the naval battle of the Komandorski Islands and the recapture of Attu and Kiska.
Written by the noted co-authors of the best-welling books on World War II, The Williwaw War chronicles the efforts of the men of the 206th as they battled terrible weather, overwhelming boredome and deprivation, and the Japanese, who were succesfully attempting to distract the Americans from the main Japanese assault on Midway Island.