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Joseph Tachovsky

Oct 29, 2021

40 Thieves on Saipan

The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles

Regnery History 2020

An elite platoon of Marine Scout-Snipers, Lieutenant Frank Tachovsky's "40 Thieves" were chosen for their willingness to defy rules and beat all-comers. When two Marines got into a fight, the loser ended up in the infirmary, the winner in the brig. Tachovsky wanted the winner on his team--a brush with military law was a recommendation.

These full-blooded men were trained in a ruthless array of hand-to-hand killing techniques and then thrown into the battle for Saipan--Emperor Hirohito's "Treasure" and the bulwark of the Japanese Empire in the Pacific--where they would wreak havoc in and around, but mostly behind, enemy lines. They witnessed inhuman atrocities; walked into an ambush after the cunning Japanese used wounded Marines as bait; endured body-punishing extremes of heat, hunger, and thirst; fought a relentless enemy who would not surrender; and watched best friends die.

In 40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles (Regnery History, 2020), Tachovsky's son Joseph tells their remarkable story--a story he didn't even know until after his father's death--reported from an extensive documentary record, including priceless mementos his father kept, and from exhaustive interviews with survivors who served under Lieutenant "Ski."

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