Surviving the sword
Many of the British, Australian and American prisoners held by the Japanese during the Second World War were so scarred by their experiences that afterwards they could not discuss them even with their families. They believed that their brutal treatment was, literally, incomprehensible. But some prisoners were determined that posterity should know how they were starved and beaten, marched almost to death and used as slave labour, and how thousands died from tropical diseases. They risked torture or execution to draw and write diaries that they hid wherever they could, sometimes burying them in the graves of lost comrades. Brian MacArthur draws on these diaries, together with interviews with surviving prisoners to bring their inspiring accounts to new generations. Soft cover, photographs, 494 pages.