Beyond Courage: One Regiment Against Japan, 1941-1945

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9781881325147: Beyond Courage: One Regiment Against Japan, 1941-1945

"Their irrepressible spirit and unshakable faith that their country would liberate them, enabled them to survive... ." "The men joined the Army for adventure, fun, and a few extra dollars. They found themselves facing a Japanese juggernaut with old weapons, too little food, and only their 'esprit de corps' as a defense. BEYOND COURAGE is a wrenching look at the small band of New Mexico National Guardsmen of the 200th Coast Artillery Regiment, sent to the Philippines just before WWII and captured there at the fall of Bataan. "Acknowledged in 1941 as the best anti-aircraft regiment in the Army, the 200th (and the battle-born 515th) fought the Japanese until starvation forced the surrender of over 70,000 Americans and Filipinos. The New Mexicans were the last organized resistance on Bataan to face the Japanese. Little did the men know that the worst was yet to come. "From the Bataan Death March to the staggering death rates at the O'Donnell prisoner of war camp, the story of the 200th is told in unstinting, horrifying, believable detail. Dorothy Cave's exhausive original research gives the reader a personal, first-hand account as the 200th and 515th travel through the prisoner of war camps of the Japanese empire. "The shocking brutality of the Japanese is exposed as a recurring, unrelieved, and barbaric way of life. That any of the New Mexicans survived at all is a testament to their toughness and comradery. The 200th 'buried its own' as it left the Philippines on the hell ships, fighting to survive the death throes of Japan's war machine. "At every opportunity, using every wile imaginable, the starved, diseased men sabotaged Japanese work projects and machinery. Throughout their imprisonment, they sustained their faith in their country and in their ultimate deliverance. American POWs from other units marveled at how 'those damned New Mexicans' looked out for each other, shrugging off Japanese attempts to break unit cohesion." -- LTC John Whitman, author of "Bataan: Our Last Ditch.

The 200th's story is one that shocks, yet inspires in its portrayal of the human spirit, that can, under such grueling, inhuman conditions, somehow still survive.

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Review:

A vivid narrative of the men of New Mexico's 200th and 515th Coast Artillery (AA) units. Cave skillfully tells a story of hardship, bravery, unspeakable treatment, and a never-dying belief that their country would liberate them. They were the first unit to fire on the enemy in the Philippines and the last organized unit to lay down their arms when surrender came.

About the Author:

Reared on tales of New Mexico's heroes of Bataan and Corregidor, she was determined to accomplish what other considered an impossible task, write their story. She spent six years proving them wrong and BEYOND COURAGE is the result of her interviews with 120 survivors. Her BA and MA in history are from Agnes Scott College and Universities of Colorado and Wyoming. Cave has received two Southwestern Writers' Awards and the Manuscripts International Literary Award. BEYOND COURAGE was the recipient of the 1994 Zia Award from the New Mexico Presswomen for the outstanding book written by a New Mexico woman.

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Dorothy Cave
Published by Yucca Tree Press 1996-08-01 (1996)
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