Had a hiccup with the PayPal button for the Hardigg cases. Check the post if you’re interested, still have a few left.
I’ve always been fascinated, in a macabre way, with ‘extreme’ survival stories. When I was a kid I repeatedly read and re-read the account of the Chilean soccer team that crashed in the Andes and had to go all Donner Party.
My dad sent me a book the other day that he said he couldn’t get interested in, but maybe I’d enjoy it. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption is about Louis Zamperini who crashed his bomber in the Pacific during WW2, survived 46 days in a raft, got strafed repeatedly by the Japanese, washed up on a Japanese-held island, was interred as a POW (with all its attendant brutality), shipped to an ‘interrogation/high value prisoner’ camp in Japan, and survived (barely) four years in captivity that would have killed just about any one of us reading about it.
One of the many interesting parts of the book was details about how poorly stocked the survival kits in the liferafts were. Meant to be upgraded, they were neglected and when the time came that they were needed they were woefully underequipped. (Some military survival kits with their contents can be found HERE).
The book details the trials of the survivors in the raft, the unbelievable brutality in the camps (including this very sad and depressing tale about 9 Marines marooned and eventually executed by the Japanese) and the eventual end of captivity when Japan surrendered.
Tough book to get into because it starts with his childhood and upbringing and, honestly, that’s not very compelling stuff. But, once his bomber hits the water the book is tough to put down. POW ingenuity and mindset abounds and it makes for a very interesting read. If, like me, you’re fascinated with true stories of people surviving against impossible and brutal odds, I think you’ll like this book.