Nineteen-year-old Jack Finnigan is a born troublemaker. He has grown up defying authority and leaves his small town to enlist in the Royal Rifles. He expects adventure . . . and is not afraid of danger. Little does he know what awaits across the Pacific, where his untested regiment is being sent to defend the vulnerable British colony of Hong Kong.
The Royal Rifles and the Winnipeg Grenadiers, many of them young and untrained, quickly find themselves in the thick of battle as the Japanese attack on Sunday, December 7, 1941 — the same day as the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After a month of fighting, Hong Kong falls to the Japanese.
Jack conveys the fierce battles of those hard weeks, including the surrender and capture of his unit, and even his brutal time in the POW camp. It is through his friendship with a once-despised sergeant that Jack learns how to survive.
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