Page 1 of 1

New Book on Coastwatchers

Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:06 pm
by Edward
The Coast Watchers: The Men who saved the Pacific in WWII
Patrick Lindsay
(Random House 2010)

Author's Webpage

Promo Video

Review by Donald Lawie ... t&sid=4397

From the author's webpage:

"The Coast Watchers’ exploits in the Pacific Islands in World War II show that individuals can have an extraordinary impact even in a global conflict involving millions of combatants.

Mostly Australian, with some British, New Zealand and American members, the Coast Watchers hid in the jungle on the islands, constantly moving to evade enemy patrols, all the while reporting via cumbersome tele-radios that took a dozen men to transport.

What made their valour even more laudable was that they did so at a time when there was no certainty that the Allies would be able to prevail against the seemingly unstoppable invaders. The Coast Watchers risked their lives when the Japanese had total control of the region and discovery meant certain death.

The Coast Watchers reported on Japanese troop movements, warned of attacks by sea and air and saved countless civilians, downed airmen, lost soldiers and shipwrecked sailors – including the future US President John F. Kennedy.

As the tide of the war turned in the Allies’ favour, many Coast Watchers took an offensive role, leading guerrilla bands that greatly hampered the Japanese retreat.

These unheralded heroes performed extraordinary feats. Two of their most remarkable members, Paul Mason and Jack Read, worked on Bougainville under the most harrowing circumstances: with constant enemy patrols trying to eliminate them, with few supplies and uncertain support. Their warnings played a critical role in allowing the Americans to triumph on Guadalcanal.

Malcolm Wright and Peter Figgis worked from New Britain, Martin Clemens on Guadalcanal, Donald Kennedy (who led his own private army) on New Georgia Island, Reg Evans (who rescued JFK) on Kolombangara Island, Father Emery de Klerk, the warrior-priest, protected his flock by leading a guerilla band against the Japanese on Guadalcanal, the heroic islander, Simogun Pita, personally killed 31 Japanese soldiers while working with the Coast Watchers on New Britain.

I’ve been fascinated by the Coast Watchers since I first heard of their legendary deeds while on a TV assignment in Rabaul in 1983. After long and painstaking research, I can now shine some light on some of the least-known but most extraordinary heroes of the Pacific War."

Re: New Book on Coastwatchers

Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:04 am
by Andy in West Oz
It looks good. I picked up my copy (in Australia) from Big W as I keep an eye on that and Kmart for books of this genre as they are generally a fair bit cheaper than the big bookstores. Have to be quick though as they don't seem to keep them in stock for long.

Re: New Book on Coastwatchers

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:55 pm
by Gregg
Look forward to reading this book

Re: New Book on Coastwatchers

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:51 pm
by joad
this book is not worth reading. it is a potted history taken from other books and a few interviews. There is sloppy editing and factual errors, e.g. a catalina is not a four engined aircraft and the evacuation of coastwatchers from New ireland was not done by PT boat etc etc and more. There is a lcak of depth or analysis and after all this time surely it would not be inappropriate to review Snowy Rhoades opinions of some of his fellow coastwatchers and some of their claims. this might have refreshed the story and added that new insight. Sadly there is none of this.
I work for the catholic church the Solomon Islands and have lived many years in the Solomons and PNG and I would love to know where the story came from that Bishop Aubin told Fr Emery De Klerk he could fire at the japanese or the natives helpiung them. If i hear it is fr ambrose and thats why he is thanked in the forward then I will have to buy ambrose a beer!!!!
As for the claim that the coastwatchers are an unkown aspect of the pacific war.......
this sort of warm fuzzy history leaves me very cold

Re: New Book on Coastwatchers

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:27 am
by Andy in West Oz
That's a shame, Joad. Sounds quite annoying and disappointing considering the pedigree of the author.

Simple things like getting a Catalina wrong is, really, unforgivable. I recently finished Ernest C Ford's My New Guinea Diary and was disappointed that the man's story of his WW2 flying career was marred by 'loose' editing. Great story but...

Re: New Book on Coastwatchers

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:36 pm
by joad
Hi Andy
I see from a previous post you have purchased the book, what did you think? Did you pick up on the errors? Like the mention of a coastwatcher reporting a formation of "B-52" bombers..... This mistake was repeated twice, once in what was supposed to be a verbatim radio transcript of the coastwatchers report.

Re: New Book on Coastwatchers

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:10 am
by Andy in West Oz
Hi joad

Sorry, mate, I missed your post asking me if I'd read the book. I'm afraid I haven't yet and it will be a long time until I do.

You are absolutely correct though. There is no way in this world the "B-52" error is anything but a typo and evidence of poor proofreading and even worse referencing. Inexcusable really.