review Line of Fire
Line of Fire characters Á 7 ´ ❮Ebook❯ ➬ Line of Fire ➭ Author Ian Townsend – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk The little known and intriguing WWII story of an eleven year old Australian schoolboy who was shot by the Japanese in Rabaul in 1942 as a suspected spyIt's hard to imagine this story as being part of The little knownAimed th Estate author and Line of eBook #245 award winning science journalist Ian Townsend has uncovered a fascinating story of WWII little known to most Australians Centring on the hotspot in every sense that was Rabaul in WWII his account is an intriguing narrative which weaves together Australian history military conflict and science with volcanology being the peculiar. Line of Fire Fourth Estate HarperCollins 2017 is an in depth account of a fascinating World War Two story by former journalist Ian Townsend Using not only his journalistic skills of research and reporting but also his novelist’s flair Ian presents a true tale of a ‘forgotten battle a lost family and an 11 year old Australian boy shot as a spy’ set in tropical Rabaul in the midst of war The author has attempted to collect the best evidence of what happened in this murky period of history through extensive interviews with survivors and meticulous research of primary and secondary sources including military accounts and media reports from the time He has filled in the gaps with what could be most probably surmised The result is a page turning compulsive read that proves the adage that truth is stranger than fiction The historical facts surrounding the circumstances of war and also – inextricably – the geology of the volcanic setting of New Guinea are carefully sourced collated and presented Anyone interested in the history of the Asia Pacific region or military history or interested in the structure stability and eruptions of volcanoes will find this book compelling But even lay people like myself with no specific knowledge or special interest in those subjects will be unable to look away from the very human element at the heart of this story Just how did one very ordinary family end up behind enemy lines in New Guinea in 1942 What led to the charge of espionage against them And to the execution of 11 year old Dickie Manson as a spy Why was their story not uncovered at the time and why did it remain forgotten for so many years afterwards How has the fates of those five people echoed through the years and what shadow do they cast on those left behindIan uncovers the details of the family and places it within the context of the larger picture of the machinations of war But he does than that He traces the history of each individual from well before they relocated to New Guinea He uncovers family secrets illegitimacy illicit affairs and bad business deals He also discovers the strength of family ties and a mother’s love the indomitable optimism and spirit of those beaten down by conflict and the Great Depression a grandmother’s grim determination and descendants of today who still find it difficult to speak about these horrific events Some of the most touching moments of the book are when Ian meets with Dickie Manson’s uncle now in his nineties as he remembers his sister Marjorie his brother Jimmy his nephew Dickie and the almost surreal chain of events that led to their deaths The inclusion of family photos adds to the book’s intimacy And the author’s understated sense of humour yields some real gems in imagined dialogue and posited motivations I so admire writers who can gather together the disparate threads of a real life story and weave them together into a narrative that is not only factually correct but also contains as much tension and suspense as a good novel Ian achieves this and – he includes the scientific aspects of the volcanology that scaffolds this entire saga All of this is made not only comprehensible but interesting The tragic tale of one lost Australian family set amidst the horrors of war and the capriciousness of mother nature makes for a powerful and intriguing story that will reverberate in your mind long after the last page This is not a genre which I read habitually and yet I couldn’t put this book down
Ian Townsend à 7 review
Science which drew the Americans Japanese and Australians together in conflict in the Pacific in the s and the story of one ordinary but doomed Australian familyLike The Hare with Amber Eyes this is a fascinating work of narrative non fiction a story of spies volcanoes history conflict and war set against the romantic dramatic and ultimately tragic backdrop of Rabaul in WWI. 'Line of Fire' is an extraordinary story of the execution of an Australian family by the Japanese in WWII New Guinea And like much of our Australian history involving women and like other stories has been swept under the historical carpet I can't remember learning much about New Guinea at school certainly nothing of Rabaul the Japanese or WWII and I thank you Ian Townsend for enlightening me For this was not just the history that culminated in unfortunate circumstances but it was the geology of Rabaul that added to the climatic events of the story and incredibly sad outcomes for the Manson family The Australian Government has a lot to answer for both before and after the events took place I encourage everyone to read 'Line of Fire'
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Line of FireThe little known and intriguing WWII story of an eleven year old Australian schoolboy who was shot by the Japanese in Rabaul in as a suspected spyIt's hard to imagine this story as being part of our past but in an eleven year old Australian boy Richard Manson and his parents either side of him were shot by the Japanese for suspected spying in Rabaul in Papua New GuineaAccl. I was recently sent a copy of Ian Townsend’s latest book; Line of Fire which is a story of an incident that occurred during the early stages of WW2 on Rabaul This incident is one that I am sure many Australians are not aware of but they should be It involved the execution of an 11 year old Australian boy at the hands of the JapaneseFirstly for those not familiar with Rabual it’s a town in East New Britain province on the island of New Britain in the country of Papua New Guinea New Britain is an island about 60 kilometres to the east of the island of New Guinea and for a period of time up to just before WW2 Rabaul was the capital of New GuineaAnother item of note in regards to Rabaul is that it seems to be built on or next to numerous volcanoes and has suffered from a number erruptions many of which have destroyed the town and killed inhabitants In fact beside the story of Richard ‘Dickie’ Manson the 11 year old boy the book is also a story of the volcanoes of Rabaul and a massive caldera which formed an excellent deep water harbour of vital military importance during WW2 This volcanic caldera at Rabaul attracted the notice of the Japanese Navy and in 1942 they sent a naval and army force to invade and occupy the island However before the Japanese entry into WW2 the Australian government realised the importance of Rabaul to itself and the United States and sent the 222nd Infantry Battalion known as ‘Lark Force’ and the 24 Suadron Royal Australian Air Force to defend Rabaul against any potential Japanese invasionInto the mix of volcanoes and the human misery of the Second World War the author has woven the story of young Dickie Manson his mother Marjorie and other family members The author tells us of the life of Marjorie and her family back in Australia her trial and tribulations that led her to Rabaul prior to WW2 and the life of her son Richard otherwise known as ‘Dickie’We follow these two people through their travels till we find them standing blindfolded holding hands at the edge of a freshly dug grave facing a Japanese firing suad How did this come to pass What offence could an 11 year old Australian boy be capable of committing to warrant execution by a military firing suad The author tells us that story using all the available material from surviving family members and other sourcesThe story has never been told in full before even family members didn’t really know what had occurred on Rabaul during the war Many believed that their relatives went down in the sinking of Montevideo Maru by a US submarine in mid 1942 Due to the lack of physical evidence and gaps in the written archives the story has patches but the author covers these as best he can and provides details on Rabaul volcanoes the impact of the war and the final known facts of Dickie and his mother who’s graves have never been foundThis is an easy to read book full of interestsing facts and details of this period and the authors attempts to find the full story Ian Townsend must be credited for finally bringing this sad incident to the wider general public It’s a sad story that must be read how an innocent young Australian boy ended up on Rabaul and died at the hands of the Japanese “It was a miserable scene and the parents had clasped hands with the boy between them” – statement taken from a Japanese witness to the execution after the war