Hell's Heroes

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Hell's Heroes

Roger Maynard

Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd

Hell's Heroes is the story of the POW camp that never was - so dubbed by one old soldier because the atrocities that occurred there went largely unreported at the time. Nestled by the riverside in the west-coast Japanese town of Naoetsu, camp 4-B was the prison for some 300 Australian soldiers, collectively known as C Force, who spent nearly three years of their lives there after being taken prisoner in Singapore in February 1942 and enduring a spell at the notorious Changi Barracks. Most of them were from the 2/20th Battalion. Sixty of the 300 died in captivity - more men per capita than at any other Japanese POW camp. And after the war, eight guards were executed for their reign of terror at Naoetsu, a figure that is again more than for any other camp in Japan. In his gripping history of the men who spent the war in Naoetsu, Roger Maynard draws on the diaries and memories of those who survived. Their recollections make compelling reading, but more than that, they demonstrate a strength and inner determination that seems impossible to comprehend today. How could these blokes endure such physical deprivation and discomfort for so long?What happens to men when death is all around them? How do they keep hope alive?

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