Should We Fall to Ruin
This is the untold story of a remote garrison of Allied soldiers on New Guinea during WWII who stood up to the Japanese invasion despite insurmountable odds.
When the Japanese invade in 1942, the Australian men and women stationed at the New Guinea port of Rabaul flee into the jungle. Written off by their government as ‘hostages to fortune’, the little-known garrison on Australia’s tropic frontier has been left with no modern equipment, no lifeline to the outside, and no means of escape. Most are captured and killed in the sinking of the prison ship Montevideo Maru, which remains Australia’s worst sea disaster. But the surviving soldiers and nurses carry on, to fight the Japanese on other fronts, or to witness the collapse of the Japanese Empire from the inside. Having borne the brunt of defeat, their letters and diaries also record the turning point of the war and the march to victory.
Rich in detail drawn from first person accounts, Should We Fall To Ruin illuminates this untold period in military history. It is a compelling tale of bravery and resilience in the face of a seemingly unstoppable enemy.
Praise for Men Without Country
‘Full of quirky detail, hair-raising descriptions of ocean voyages and memorable characterisations, Men Without Country is an absolute ripper of a tale, an old story that new questions make relevant and fresh.’
The Saturday Paper
‘Written by a descendant of Christian, this is an unvarnished, unbiased, account of the mutiny and its aftermath on Pitcairn, putting it in its broader historical context. Rich in detail, but easy to read, this is a great retelling of the tale.’
‘In his highly readable book, Harrison Christian captures something of [Fletcher Christian’s] elusive personality, but also the terror of the mutineers’ precarious existence on Pitcairn and the brutal end that awaited many of them.’
‘This is both a journalistic investigation, using primary and secondary sources, and a personal journey, the author being a direct relative of the mutiny’s leader, Fletcher Christian.’
Sydney Morning Herald
‘What joy to be at sea again, adrift on the vast Pacific, in the clutches of a gifted storyteller. Harrison Christian and the mutineers of Men Without Country held me happily captive to the very last page.’
Dava Sobel, author of Longitude
‘Men Without Country shows what a writer can produce when he has real skin in the game … Harrison Christian sets the record straight on the Bounty mutiny with forensic fervour, including the before, the during – and the after.’
Adam Courtenay, author of The Ship that Never Was
About the author
Harrison Christian is a New Zealand journalist and writer. His reporting career has seen him travel extensively in the Pacific and beyond, covering such topics as rising sea levels in Arctic Alaska and the escape of political refugees from China. He is a direct descendant of Bounty mutineer, Fletcher Christian. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and their greyhound. His first book, Men Without Country told the story of his ancestor Fletcher Christian and his role in the infamous mutiny on the Bounty.