Japan has just invaded the Phillipines and the US Army attempts a desperate defence. Thirteen men are chosen to blow up a bridge on the Bataan peninsula and keep the Japanese from ... See full summary »
In November 1941, Major Caton takes command of the small Marine garrison on Wake Island. His tendency toward spit and polish upsets the men's tropical lassitude, but Pearl Harbor changes everything. Soon the island is attacked and the Marines pull together day by day; but how long can they hold out? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to Hedda Hopper's newspaper column of June 23, 1942, three different endings of this movie were shot. The ending to be used when released in August would depend upon how the war was going by then. See more »
During one of the scenes showing the bombardment of the island, the Marine CO has ordered the observation tower evacuated. Later scenes show two men still in the tower when it is destroyed. See more »
This week the History Channel presented a fine documentary on this action. No question that the Wake Island defenders were heroic in every way, but they did not fight to the last man, as the film implied. The commanding officer surrendered the island to the Japanese after an American admiral decided the Marines weren't worth it and recalled a task force steaming to Wake's rescue. The Japanese decided not to follow their instincts and murder their captives outright, knowing the atrocity would be obvious. Later, when defeat was imminent, the Japanese commander in a rage murdered all the civilians; he was hanged for it. The few surviving Marines endured terrible captivity until the war's end. Six of them were featured in the documentary. Their stories were heart-wrenching.
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