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Pacific World War II Reviews  

by Geofrey White
University of the South Pacific  1988
Soft cover
242 pages
Index, photos

Language: English

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The Big Death
Solomon Islanders Remember WWII

Bikfala Faet: Olketa Solomon Aelanda Rimembarem Wol Wo Tu

The Solomon Islands was the site of fierce fighting and arguably the turning point of the war, with battles on Guadalcanal.  Although many books have traced the American and Japanese history of these battles, few have covered the war from the viewpoint of the people who lived on these islands.

Prewar, the Solomons was a sleepy British colonial possession, dominated by plantation life, a handful of outsiders.  In a matter of months beginning in mid-1941 the area became the frontlines of the Pacific war, witnessing the arrival of ships, planes and thousands of soldiers from Japan and America.  For the local people, their world had just become horrific and fascinating.  The war would dominate their way of life for years, and its impressions and effects would last forever.

The book explores the oral history of the islands, with interviews divided into five chapters, covering topics including: being behind Japanese lines, scouting and fighting on Santa Isabel, in the thick of fighting, Malaita Guadalcanal labor corps, Massina Rule.

The book is also unique for being published in both tok pidgin and english. Accompanied by maps, photos and appendixes.  An important read for anyone interested in the war form the perspective of islanders.

Review by Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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