Cover image for Alaska's hidden wars : secret campaigns on the North Pacific rim
Alaska's hidden wars : secret campaigns on the North Pacific rim
Hays, Otis, 1915-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Fairbanks : University of Alaska Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvii, 182 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
The Aleutian Islands, 1941/1943 -- 1. Lowering the security curtain -- 2. Confrontation in the Aleutians -- 3. The secret Nisei in the Aleutian Campaign -- 4. Nisei support at Attu and Kiska -- 5. The Tatsuguchi diary -- The Kurile Islands, 1943/1945 -- 6. Looking beyond the Aleutians -- 7. American prisoners in the Kuriles -- 8. Whither the North Pacific weather? -- 9. American deception and Japanese reaction -- 10. The waiting period in the North Pacific -- 11. Soviet presence in the North Pacific -- 12. Lifting the security curtain.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D769.87.A4 H395 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



On the eve of World War II, the national interests of Japan, the United States, and the Soviet Union collided in the North Pacific.

Alaska's Hidden Wars tells the story of the war in the North Pacific, a story of savage weather, isolation, and sacrifice.

Two island chains, the Aleutians and the Kuriles, became the focus of a series of major campaigns that pitted the Americans against the Japanese. Alaska's Hidden Wars chronicles the role of Japanese-American intelligence specialists and reveals a Japanese eyewitness account of the defense of Attu. Two virtually unknown aspects of the North Pacific war are also exposed: the brutal North Pacific weather and the imprisonment of American airmen in Kamchatka.

In 1942, the Japanese raided Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands and occupied the islands of Kiska and Attu. The Americans mounted a vigorous campaign, and the Japanese retreated to the Kuriles. For the next two years, the Americans launched air raids and fleet bombardments, while American soldiers maintained lonely outposts along Aleutian coasts. But in 1945, when Japan finally surrendered, the Kuriles were taken, not by the waiting Americans, but by the Soviets.

Alaska's Hidden Wars is a fast-moving history that brings declassified archival sources to light and draws the reader into the lonely, bitter war fought in the North Pacific.

Author Notes

Otis Hays, Jr. served in Alaska as an intelligence staff officer during World War II. Later, while a professor of journalism at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, he was recalled to active military service in 1951 and served as psychological warfare officer in the Far East and the Pentagon until 1965. He was Director of Indo-China Affairs for the U.S. Information Agency during the Vietnam War from 1966 through 1972.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

A World War II veteran and expert on Alaskan history offers what is more a collection of essays than a connected narrative. The essays cover various aspects of Alaska during that conflict that are seldom mentioned in the more general histories. For example, Hays covers the Alaskanapanese Americans, who were sent south to internment camps, and the Nisei from those same camps, who came north to act as interpreters for army intelligence. Other topics include the great banzai charge on Attu, in which aapanese American doctor, eventually killed serving in the imperial army, participated, and weather reporting, which was vital and in which weathermen faced such unexpected hazards as volcanic eruptions. Hays also chronicles the effects on morale of being in a bad-weather backwater with no prospect of seeing action or going home by means of excerpts from intercepted and censored correspondence, and the air campaign againstapanese bases in theurile Islands from both American andapanese perspectives. A by-no-means dull or negligible regional contribution to WWII history. --Roland Green Copyright 2004 Booklist

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. x
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xv
The Aleutian Islands, 1941-1943
Chapter 1. Lowering the Security Curtainp. 3
Chapter 2. Confrontation in the Aleutiansp. 9
Chapter 3. The Secret Nisei in the Aleutian Campaignp. 15
Chapter 4. Nisei Support at Attu and Kiskap. 19
Chapter 5. The Tatsuguchi Diaryp. 31
The Kurile Islands, 1943-1945
Chapter 6. Looking Beyond the Aleutiansp. 43
Chapter 7. American Prisoners in the Kurilesp. 47
Chapter 8. Whither the North Pacific Weather?p. 55
Chapter 9. American Deception and Japanese Reactionp. 67
Chapter 10. The Waiting Period in the North Pacificp. 81
Chapter 11. Soviet Presence in the North Pacificp. 109
Chapter 12. Lifting the Security Curtainp. 119
Conclusionp. 123
Postscriptp. 125
Appendix A. Nisei MIS Rosterp. 129
Appendix B. Propaganda Leafletsp. 131
Appendix C. Tatsuguchi Diary Translationp. 135
Appendix D. Signal Intelligence Operationsp. 143
Endnotesp. 151
Bibliographyp. 169
Indexp. 175