The Castaway's War: One Man's Battle against Imperial Japan

Hardcover | May 3, 2016

byStephen Harding

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In the early hours of July 5, 1943, the destroyer USS Strong was hit by a Japanese torpedo. The powerful weapon broke the destroyer's back, killed dozens of sailors, and sparked raging fires. While accompanying ships were able to take off most of Strong's surviving crewmembers, scores went into the ocean as the once-proud warship sank beneath the waves—and a young officer's harrowing story of survival began.

Lieutenant Hugh Barr Miller, a prewar football star at the University of Alabama, went into the water as the vessel sank. Severely injured, Miller and several others survived three days at sea and eventually landed on a Japanese-occupied island. The survivors found fresh water and a few coconuts, but Miller, suffering from internal injuries and believing he was on the verge of death, ordered the others to go on without him. They reluctantly did so, believing, as Miller did, that he would be dead within hours.

But Miller didn't die, and his health improved enough for him to begin searching for food. He also found the enemy—Japanese forces patrolling the island. Miller was determined to survive, and so launched a one-man war against the island's occupiers.

Based on official American and Japanese histories, personal memoirs, and the author's exclusive interviews with many of the story's key participants, The Castaway's War is a rousing story of naval combat, bravery, and determination.

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From the Publisher

In the early hours of July 5, 1943, the destroyer USS Strong was hit by a Japanese torpedo. The powerful weapon broke the destroyer's back, killed dozens of sailors, and sparked raging fires. While accompanying ships were able to take off most of Strong's surviving crewmembers, scores went into the ocean as the once-proud warship sank ...

Stephen Harding is the author of nine previous books, including the New York Times bestseller The Last Battle. He is a longtime journalist specializing in military affairs and currently is editor-in-chief of Military History magazine. His contributions on defense topics and aviation, military, and maritime history have appeared in Time...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.5 × 6.25 × 1 inPublished:May 3, 2016Publisher:Da Capo PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0306823403

ISBN - 13:9780306823404

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“Stephen Harding has done it again! He has somehow found a truly extraordinary story from World War II that has all the elements of a Hollywood thriller or adventure movie, and yet is true in every regard. We're all familiar with the stories of sole Japanese who stayed in obscure island jungles fighting on after the peace, but here is its exact mirror image: an American who fought on during wartime on an island from which he had no hope of escape. Unbroken meets The Sands of Iwo Jima.”—Andrew Roberts, author of Napoleon and The Storm of War“Stephen Harding pulls back the jungle canopy on Arundel Island to uncover a riveting story of courage and resilience from World War II. The Castaway's War weaves together meticulous research and gripping storytelling to bring alive a story that transcends the war. At its heart, this is a book about finding the inner strength to battle on.”—Brian Murphy, author of 81 Days below Zero