Cover image for Alone on Guadalcanal : a coastwatcher's story
Alone on Guadalcanal : a coastwatcher's story
Clemens, Martin, 1915-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xviii, 343 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


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D767.98 .C53 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A remarkable memoir by the near-mythic coastwatcher who helped shape the first great Allied counter-offensive in the Pacific war.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Clemens served as a district officer in the British Colonial Service in the Solomon Islands from 1938 through the period of Japanese invasion and the subsequent landing of US Marines in 1942. He demonstrates the courage, loneliness, fear, deprivation, and determination of those Westerners caught behind enemy lines after the sudden Japanese invasion of the Pacific. Although his book reflects the general mood and social attitudes of the times, Clemens nevertheless exemplifies what was best about the Colonial Service and seems to have had a genuine, deep concern for the welfare of the Solomon islanders. After the landing of the Marines, Clemens served as a valuable liaison and intelligence officer for American forces. Although the book does not provide much new information about the Pacific War and the author makes no claim for historical accuracy, it is significant as an account of the raw physical and moral courage demonstrated by British and Australian coastwatchers against overwhelming odds in a little- known corner of the world. Complements Richard B. Frank's exhaustive Guadalcanal (CH, May'91). For the viewpoint of the islanders see The Pacific Theater: Island Representations of World War II, ed. by Geoffrey White and Lamont Lindstrom (CH, Apr'90). General readers; undergraduates. C. J. Weeks; Southern Polytechnic State University

Table of Contents

Gen. Alexander Archer Vandegrift and Sir Philip MitchellAllan R. Millett
Forewordsp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Guadalcanal and Martin Clemensp. 1
1 "And there we were ..."p. 31
2 In Harm's Wayp. 53
3 Clearing the Decksp. 61
4 Visitors, Welcome and Otherwisep. 69
5 A Watcher in the Westp. 80
6 A European Murderedp. 87
7 In Which We Prepare for the Worst, and the Enemy Arrivesp. 97
8 The Battle of the Coral Seap. 106
9 Some Unexpected Guestsp. 111
10 "The district officer has gone."p. 119
11 "Japan 'e come 'long Guadalcanal"p. 126
12 "When creeping murmur...!"p. 133
13 "Devil b'long Chimi sing out!"p. 142
14 Retreat to Vunganap. 153
15 "Oh! Lord, how long?"p. 162
16 Watch and Prayp. 174
17 The Marines Have Landedp. 188
18 Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire: The Battle of the Tenarup. 201
19 Attacked on All Sidesp. 224
20 Backs to the Wallp. 246
21 Nip and Tuckp. 256
22 Advance to the Rearp. 268
23 Hammer and Tongsp. 276
24 All's Well That Ends Wellp. 301
Epiloguep. 308
Mapsp. 313
Notesp. 321
Glossaryp. 331
Indexp. 335