Fighting Monsters

An Intimate History of the Sandakan Tragedy

Richard Wallace Braithwaite

An extreme POW story, the Sandakan death marches. The tragedy had four stages: active resistance, stubborn endurance, the collapse of civilized existence in 1945 and, finally, the postwar decades of torment for the six damaged survivors. The author's father was one of the six.
Publication date:
February 2020
Publisher :
Arden
Language:
English
Format Available     Quantity Price
Paperback
ISBN : 9781925984392

Dimensions : 234 X 156 mm
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This book is available
£30.00

Overview
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• Only 6 escapees survived the Sandakan death marches in 1945. This is the story of one of them.

Only six escapees survived the Sandakan death marches of 1945 in North Borneo, the worst atrocity ever inflicted on Australian soldiers. 1787 Australian and 641 British POWs perished. Previous descriptions of the numerous violent acts have yielded little understanding of a situation where the real struggle was to keep one's humanity when so many were losing theirs, whether Allied POWs, local residents of Borneo, Javanese slave labourers, or Japanese soldiers. Understanding this extraordinary story is aided by reference to a wide range of sources in different countries and disciplines, and by examining the perspectives of all players in this terrible game of survival.

An unusual and extreme POW story, the Sandakan tragedy had four stages: active resistance in 1942-3, stubborn endurance in 1943-4, the collapse of civilized existence in 1945 and, finally, the postwar decades of torment for the six damaged survivors, the gradual assimilation of the story, the healing of the damage and the commemoration of the tragedy by the families and communities involved.