Behind the Barbed Wire

Memoir of a World War II U.S. Marine Captured in North China in 1941 and Imprisoned by the Japanese Until 1945


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SKU: 9780786467228 Categories: , , , Tags: ,

About the Book

On December 8, 1941, Japanese troops methodically took over the U.S. Marine guard posts at Peiping and Tientsin, causing both to surrender. Imprisoned first at Woosung and then at Kiangwan in China, the men were forced to laboriously construct a replica of Mount Fujiyama. It soon became apparent that their mountain was to be used as a rifle range. In 1945 the author was among those transferred to the coal mining camp at Uteshinai in Japan. Recounted here are descriptions of the living and working conditions at the prison camps in China, the treatment of American prisoners by their Japanese captors, and how the POWs were able to hold themselves together.

About the Author(s)

Chester M. Biggs, a retired Marine Corps master sergeant, has taught school and was the coordinator for audiovisual and printing services at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, North Carolina. He lives near Hope Mills.

Bibliographic Details

Chester M. Biggs, Jr.

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, map, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [1995]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6722-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8770-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. The Surrender      3
2. Peiping 1940      35
3. Peiping 1941      53
4. Prisoners of War      69
5. Woosung POW Camp      85
6. Kiangwan POW Camp      119
7. Fengtai and Fusan POW Camps      159
8. Hokkaido POW Camp      167

Epilogue      199
Notes      201
Appendix: Roster of Personnel at Peiping, Tientsin, Chinwangtao      213
Bibliography      217
Military History      219
Index      221

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “paints a vivid portrait…a readable addition to the literature…will certainly be enjoyed by a wide range of WWII students”—Booklist
  • “a fine account…pleasing, straightforward, and interesting”—Marine Corps Gazette