The Eighty Thieves story tells of the short battle for Guam against overwhelming odds. Captured and taken to Japan, the prisoners were forced to work as slaves at the Nippon Sietesu steel mills (Nippon Iron and Steel, as NKK was known as before the war).
Iannarelli gives a detailed and stirring account of bravery by these prisoners as they endured endless days of starvation, savagery, and brutality at the hands of the Japanese guards. Iannarelli’s father was one of these prisoners and he had the advantage of speaking Japanese, thereby being able to prevent much of the savagery against fellow inmates by interpreting Japanese commands. Like the 80 fellow POWs from Guam, Iannarelli’s father learned to steal food and supplies in order to live. Being caught meant a savage beating with baseball bats and mass punishments of the entire camp.
Reviewed as one of the singular best books written about the Hirohata POW camp. Worth acquiring for the serious student of World War II history.