Contains 23 photos and 8 maps and charts.
The story of the immortal heroic defence of the American outpost on Wake Island by a handful of marines and civilians against an overwhelming forces of the Japanese.
“During December 1941, the stubborn defense of Wake by less than 450 Marines galvanized not only the American public but their comrades in arms. In days of disaster then, as of uncertainty later, the thought of Wake and its defenders encouraged Marines to hang on longer, and to fight more resolutely. Small in time and numbers though the action was by comparison with Guadalcanal or the other great battles to come, Wake will never be forgotten.
“To my mind, in addition to the obvious military lessons which may be drawn from any battle, be it victory or defeat, the defense of Wake points up two soldierly characteristics which may well be remembered by Marines. These are military adaptability, and the realization that, first and always one must be prepared to face ultimate close ground combat with the enemy.
“The officers and men of the 1st Defense Battalion on Wake were artillerymen of a highly specialized type; those of VMF-211 were aviation technicians. neither group let its specialized training or background prevent it from fighting courageously and well as basic infantry when the chips were down. Despite its specialization, each group did the best it could with what it had.
“These capabilities and attributes, I submit, should characterize Marines now as they characterized those Marines on Wake, who, though they were outnumbers and eventually overwhelmed, were never outfought.-A.A. VANDEGRIFT, General, U.S. Marine Corps”