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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The grandfather would be proud of the book the grandson produced.
When I first received my review copy I thought, oh great a memoir written by the grandson. As I started reading, the book was a pleasant surprise. It is well written, entertaining, and insightful. I found myself not wanting to put the book down. It is the story of Harold Guard. He's from England. This wonderful book gives use the story of his life with the focus on his...
Published on April 30, 2012 by Jimmie A. Kepler

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3.0 out of 5 stars Really a biography of Harold Guard, not a war history,
This a well-written biographic account of the experiences of Harold Guard, an Australian war correspondent in the Pacific War. It is not an "uncensored" expose' of the war against Japan. Almost all of it deals with the Australian struggle against the Japanese and Mr, Guard's career as a war correspondent. It deals with a very small aspect of the war. There is...
Published 3 months ago by Laird M. Wilcox


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The grandfather would be proud of the book the grandson produced., April 30, 2012
When I first received my review copy I thought, oh great a memoir written by the grandson. As I started reading, the book was a pleasant surprise. It is well written, entertaining, and insightful. I found myself not wanting to put the book down. It is the story of Harold Guard. He's from England. This wonderful book gives use the story of his life with the focus on his role as a war correspondent with the United Press International.

Mr. Guard led an interesting life. The story begins with him in the British Navy serving on submarines. We experience the accident that shatters his right knee joint. The right knee joint is removed leaving his leg stiff. The stay at the hospital allows him to get reacquainted with a Queen's Army schoolmistress, Marie Guppy. He had met her originally in Hong Kong during his Navy travels. She becomes Mrs. Harold Guard and they accompany each other on their many adventures over the next three decades.

After they marry, Marie has to return to Hong Kong. We get the story of their travels back to the Far East. On they arrive in Hong Kong Harold has to find work. Ultimately, because of ingenuity if starting a magazine and a financial newsletter he is offered a position of getting the United Press office started in Hong Kong. We are given a wonderful depiction of 1930s and early 1940s Hong Kong.

Because of his position with United Press, Harold Guard is an eyewitness to history reporting on many of the critical battles of the Second World War. The United Press moves Harold to Singapore where he opens their office. The coverage of Singapore, the lack of preparation of the British and local authorities, and ultimately the Japanese attack and invasion are breath taking.

Harold's escape and evasion from the Japanese forces and decisive retreat to Java and then to Australia will keep you turning the pages. Harold's coverage of events has made him a celebrity by the time he arrives in Australia.

The book does an excellent job of describing 1940s Australia. Credit for the role of the American engineers occurs numerous times in the book. We see this in everything from the building of roads across the Outback to the making of corduroy roads in Java. I especially enjoyed the coverage given to the common soldier and airman in Harold's articles and in the book. He comes across as selfless. An example is when he writes the dispatches for United Press and then for the other newspaper correspondents sending the cables when he has the breaking news of the Battle of the Coral Sea. His getting to fly on missions with the United States Army Air Forces and report on them amazed me. I also chuckled when reading his account of General MacArthur. No wonder his truthful story failed to be published.

Without writing a summary of the book, I would point out that Harold's adventures moved on to the Burma front, helping the United Press' establishment in India. This would allow him to get back to London. We learn of the political unrest in India. A funny story during his India time was traveling back to Australia. On arrival he was treated as if he was a general when a sister airplane carrying several general had to turn back because of mechanical problems. Because of radio silence, no one knew the plan had turned back.
Harold gets back to England just as the war ends. We see his further adventures as he helps establish the United Press office in Prague. He then covers such events as establishment of the nation of Israel, Princess Elizabeth's death, the London Olympics, the death of the British King George VI and then goes on a world tour for the Foreign Office to give an assessment of what is happening in the world.

The grandfather would be proud of the book the grandson produced. This is well written and very enjoyable. Hollywood would do good to buy the movie rights and make and action adventure movie on Harold Guard's life. I strongly recommend the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Remarkable Life of Harold Guard, January 6, 2013
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Who would not enjoy this book? Persons who care not a whit about WWII, or about memoirs, or both. For the rest of you, I heartily recommend this book. The author, Harold Guard, had intended to write his memoir years ago, but blindness overtook him. He recorded his story on a series of cassette tapes. His grandson, John Tring, edited the tapes into this book. Tring states that almost the entire book is in his grandfather's words.

Harold Guard -- that's a name few of us know today. During WWII he was a highly regarded war correspondent for the South Pacific and Southwest Pacific regions, where he became famous for his eyewitness reports of sea, air and ground battles. Working for United Press he reported on the fall of Singapore (indeed, previously, he had written warnings about Singapore officials deceiving themselves about the city's defenses). Guard made a harrowing escape from Singapore through Java (also being invaded by the Japanese) to Australia, where he became an accredited war correspondent for United Press. He wanted to gain an understanding of what was going on by observing events as close to the front lines as possible. He hitched rides on just about every type of American bomber stationed in Australia (even in the remote outback air fields). He flew twenty two bombing raids and one wild, carrier fighter flight. He also accompanied Australian and American ground troops who were slugging it out with the Japanese over the infamous, always muddy, steep-sloped Kokoda Trail in New Guinea. Elsewhere, he even fixed a failed steering mechanism on a Landing Craft Tank (LCT) during an amphibious assault of Lae, New Guinea, under heavy Japanese fire. He is also known for his interview of General MacArthur, which did not get past the censors...

So who is Harold Guard? At age sixteen in 1916, he joined the British navy and received training as a submarine engineer. That was the extent of his formal education. But his ability to learn and to apply what he learned was truly astounding. The early chapters of this book clearly show the making of a "self made" man. His navy career seemed bright and full of promise until an explosion aboard a submarine shattered his knee. Medical operations fused the bones of his leg together so that he had a straight leg -- no knee flex at all (now go back to previous paragraph and note his activities!). The navy discharged him as an invalid, and he gained employment in London as a building engineer. Newly married to the woman who had been his nurse in the hospital, he followed her to her new assignment in Hong Kong in 1931. There he took on a number of jobs and suceeded at all of them. Working as a telephone operator for a Hong Kong stock broker, he began writing about trends in stock trading, complete with charts -- and that got him a job with United Press in Hong Kong and later Singapore. So began his career in news reporting. All this is a story in itself -- mix in the coming Pacific war...

One last note: Guard's view of news reporting is to go where the story is and then try to get at the truth of the matter. I wonder if today's entertainment-driven cable news knows about that premise...

-J.B. Bannister
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars War Correspondent in The Pacific War Theatre, October 31, 2012
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This review is from: Pacific War Uncensored: A War Correspondent's Unvarnished Account of the Fight Against Japan (Kindle Edition)
Pacific War is a remarkable story of actual events taken from the tapes of a person who was there...i found it little disjointed due to the fact that it was being translated from the tapes by a third party...this doesnt detract from the overall structure of the work however....historical military events are decscribed in an easily digestable form and once again the astounding arrogance of the British Military over the defence of Singapore is given a fair hearing....the bravery of the Correspondent should not be underestimated as he risked his life on many occasions to bring true accounts of horrendous events to the world at large....also a very valuable insight into the set up and operation of early press agencys and how they grew due to the dedication of a few motivated operators....while covering some torrid Paific Battles of the 1940s it also provides some thought provoking insights into some of the everyday fear and hardships suffered by combatants....also intersting the personal relationships between the Crrespondent and his family...being apart for so long..don't think it would woork today...well worth a read to fill in some back ground to the Pacific War and the dedication of one man to get the news to the rest of world almost as it happened often in very trying circumstances PACIFIC WAR UNCENSORED, THE: A War Correspondent's Unvarnished Account of the Fight Against Japan
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3.0 out of 5 stars Really a biography of Harold Guard, not a war history,, August 4, 2014
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This a well-written biographic account of the experiences of Harold Guard, an Australian war correspondent in the Pacific War. It is not an "uncensored" expose' of the war against Japan. Almost all of it deals with the Australian struggle against the Japanese and Mr, Guard's career as a war correspondent. It deals with a very small aspect of the war. There is very little about the major Pacific battles. If you bought it to expand your knowledge of the war itself you will be disappointed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Read, June 6, 2014
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This review is from: Pacific War Uncensored: A War Correspondent's Unvarnished Account of the Fight Against Japan (Kindle Edition)
I want to see a different perspective that was unfiltered on the Pacific War. It was very interesting and I would recommend.
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