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Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians (Classic Reprint Series) Paperback – February 1, 1995


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Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians (Classic Reprint Series) + The Capture of Attu: A World War II Battle as Told by the Men Who Fought There + Ghosts in the Fog: The Untold Story of Alaska's WWII Invasion
Price for all three: $45.04

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Product Details

  • Series: Classic Reprint Series (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: University of Alaska Press; 1st edition (February 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0912006838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0912006833
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Students of World War II history will delight to find an exclusive focus on how the battles were fought in Alaska and the Aleutians: something commonly overlooked in favor of the more graphic and active European and Pacific arenas. This first appeared in 1969: it remains one of the best accounts of the war, reading like fiction and including fine documentary records in this reprint. -- Midwest Book Review

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Customer Reviews

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This is a well-researched book that reads like a novel.
Amazon Customer
He reports that the information was thoroughly researched, extensive in detail and carried the reader into the experiences being described.
Idaho Granny
I highly recommend this book to any interested in WW2 history.
cpt matt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Charles F. Hawkins on August 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
"The Thousand Mile War" is an old and cherished friend, and tells the story of the Aleutian Island Campaign against the Japanese in 1942-43. I settled in comfortably with the first edition in 1969 on my way to another war, and became thoroughly captivated by it. I'm delighted to see it reprinted in softcover.
There are so many strong points to the book, and too many exciting tales to capture easily in a short review. It seems to me, though, that one of Brian Garfield's greatest strengths is his ability to unravel and relate accurately the joint and combined nature of allied operations in the Aleutians. The air, sea and ground operations, which the book richly details, sometimes occured in isolation, but more often were part of a concerted effort to oust the Japanese from the islands of Attu and Kiska. Although the fighting was borne primarily by U.S. forces, there were significant contributions by Canadian allies.
Then there is the weather. The Aleutians, a chain of rugged islands stretching from Dutch Harbor to Attu in the west, cover about 1,000 miles, and are subject to some of the worst, most inhospitable weather conditions on the planet. As much of Garfield's story is about fighting the elements as it is about fighting the enemy. Having grown up in Alaska, I can easily identify with the harshness of wind and storm, of cold and snow and freezing ocean spray.
To sum up, in Garfield's words: "The campaign in the grey and windy Aleutians was the United States' first offensive campaign of World War II -- the first to begin, the first to be won.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
Having spent three years in peace-time on various Aleutian Islands I was keenly aware of the many relics of war (old quonset huts, hangars, runways, etc.) scattered throughout the chain. What I was not aware of at the time was that actual battles had been fought there. Brian Garfield's "The Thousand Mile War" brought to life the tremendous effort required to remove the enemy from American soil. Having experienced this unique area, it was not hard to match Garfield's descriptions with what I knew of the area. The book is clearly based on considerable research and benefits from interviews with military personnel from both sides of the war. I have collected quite a few books on the Aleutians; this one is by far the best written, most comprehensive and accurate portrayal of events related to the Aleutian Campaign.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on June 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Though little remembered in the public consciousness today, the Aleutian islands campaign was an epic struggle that featured some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific theater of World War II. Garfield's account shows how the American efforts there were hampered because military strategests were slow to recognize the strategic importance of Alaska. The Japanese invasion was belatedly countered by an intense American effort to save Alaska from becoming a Japanese base for operations against the mainland. The ensuing struggle was fought in perhaps the worst weather conditions of any campaign in the entire war. Garfield is an excellent writer and this book has the page turning quality of a suspense novel. This is yet another moving tribute to the "Greatest Generation" in action.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Coffin on December 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is simply one of the best books I have ever read. I picked it up in Alaska on a trip several years ago. It reads like a novel. I couldn't put it down. I'm not a history or a military buff.
The descriptions are immersive. I really got the feeling of being there, slogging it out in the mud and the rain and the snow and the ice.
It is put together very well, explaining both what it was like for the grunt on the ground and also the political and strategic factors.
(Note: it looks like the author gave it no stars either accidentally or to avoid increasing its rating. Otherwise it would be 100% five stars.)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 1996
Format: Hardcover
The Aleutian Islands Campaign, perhaps the most onerous
of World War II, is one of the least known. Fighting in
"the worst weather in the world", the isolated Americans
battled not only the hard-bitten Japanese but also more
debilitating enemies: monotony, neglect, and blundering
leadership. Author Garfield, a novelist and screenwriter,
has brought his story-telling skills to bear: his account of
the Battle of Attu is as clear and gripping as a novel,
The men of the Aleutians have deserved a first class telling
of their story. This is it.

.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book several years ago when I began discovering some of the interesting and little known facts about Alaska's involvement in the WW II Pacific theater. It was written in a style that captured my attention fully.
So few people realize to this day that some Aleutian Islands were actually occupied by the Japanese. The author clearly described the events, both large and small, which lead up to the final battles.
He left me realizing that the Americans recaptured the island in spite of their ignorance and inter-service rivalries. The book leaves you amazed at the blundering ways of both the American and Japanese militaries.
Everything I've since seen in the book rings out to be true and factual. From the bombing of Dutch Harbor to the final charge by the remaining Japanese on Attu, this book keeps you fascinated.
The book portrays many brave men on both sides that were ill-prepared for the harsh climate of the Aleutians but still pulled off some magnificent feats. The critical part that the heavy fog and weather played was described very well.
I strongly recommend this book as a primer on the war in the Aleutians.
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