By Cunningham, Michele
Sandakan is acknowledged as being one of the greatest tragedies in Australian military history. It is the story of 2800 Allied POWs (including1500 Australians) who were taken from Changi in mid-1942 to Sandakan. 2500 died many as a result of sickness, malnourishment and appalling... violence by the Japanese. But worse were the casualties from the infamous death marches where many more hundreds died, or were killed by the guards, on forced evacuation marches as the Allied fighting came closer. Only 6 Australians survived from the 1500 who left Changi HELL ON EARTH is the story of the men who lived and died in Sandakan: the men who refused to break, no matter how badly they were starved or beaten or tortured, the men who escaped in the early days, and fought with local guerillas for the rest of the war, and it is the story of the depths to which the Japanese guards sank in their cruelty Michele Cunningham has interviewed many survivors of the Borneo campaign, including those who spent time in Sandakan in the early years, and has done original research in the Australian and British archives, and has had access to many Japanese records.Read more
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Michele Cunningham is a writer and historian based in Adelaide, and is the author of Defying the Odds (2006).
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