Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese land-based bombers pounded Wake Island, the American advanced base that was key to the U.S. Navy’s strategy in the Pacific. Throughout the next two weeks, the Wake Island garrison survived nearly daily bombings and repulsed the first Japanese attempt to take the atoll. The determined defenders provided a badly needed lift to American morale. Cressman was the first to make extensive use of Japanese materials to identify the enemy order of battle and the roles each unit played in the drama to provide a moving account of the heroism of the defenders in the face if tremendous odds.
Robert J. Cressman is an award-winning author who is a leading expert on the War in the Pacific. He is the author of The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II. He lives in Rockville, MD.