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Long Walk To The Sun (Jock Miles WW2 Adventure Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 527 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The first book, and the scenario that just barely qualifies as alternate history, posits a Japanese foray to northern Australia. It is a pitifully weak thrust, but possibly strong enough to accomplish something against the even weaker Allied defense posture. MacArthur, who had escaped from the Philippines, decides on a suicidal response that requires Capt. Jock Miles and a few men to make the long, arduous journey to recce the Japanese position for a bombing raid.
The book tells a number of interesting stories, and none is really about combat between Japan and the US: Australian attitudes towards the aborigines; the dangers of Australian nature; the poor training of US soldiers and airmen in the early days; the gap between combat soldiers and the rest; and FDR's pressure on his commanders to produce success in the early days of the war. I was reminded of that classic of Army fiction, "Once an Eagle", though "Long Walk" is a single, small mission versus the epic of the older book. But the story is quite well told, with smooth and consistent chronology, and can be recommended without reservation.
This book is called an alternate history, which is technically correct I guess in that some of the great events of the Pacific War play out differently than they did in history. But this is not the story of those great events - it is a war story about a few soldiers on a small job in a small corner of a big war. The advantage of this to the reader is that we just don't know what Mr. Grasso is going to do with his characters, and where the plot will go - and that made it a page turner for me!
As a footnote, Mr. Grasso has a grasp of period detail that convinced me thathe knows what he writes about. He shows us General MacArthurs personality, some of the troubles that American forces actually had in Australia in the early days, the undeveloped nature of NW Australia at the tie, and quite a bit more. I bought into it all, and thoroughly enjoyed the book.
By the way Mr. Grasso is NOT one of 'those' Kindle authors who lack basic grammatical,spelling and editing skills. This book is professionally done - don't worry!
The characters are well-drawn, and you come to know and care about them, whether they endure or are simply snuffed out randomly; whatever fate they encounter somehow seems "real" - because that is the way life actually is, especially during wartime.
I wouldn't know if the story qualifies as "alternate history" because I am not familiar enough with the campaign in Australia, but it certainly has the ring of truth to it.