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The admiral's baby by Laurens Van der Post
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The admiral's baby (1996)

by Laurens Van der Post

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"As adviser to the Allied Forces, Laurens van der Post played a little-known but key role in maintaining peace in Indonesia at the end of World War II. The story, told here for the first time, begins in August 1945 (two weeks after the horror of Hiroshima) and immediately following the author's release from a brutal Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Java. He stands watching his fellow prisoners, emaciated and sick, but free at last, disappearing on the way to Batavia and home." "As the most senior British officer in Indonesia, van der Post, although weak and exhausted, remains at the request of the Japanese who are charged by their High Command with total responsibility for the lives and well-being of all ex-prisoners and internees pending the Allied troops' arrival. Overnight he finds himself in the bizarre position of overseeing the same enemies who for three and a half years held him in such brutal captivity." "In this unexpected new role of peacemaker, van der Post not only built up a remarkable position of trust with the Japanese, but with some of the principal leaders of the nationalist upheaval taking place throughout Indonesia too. This trust, and his influence on the internees, did much to prevent the spread of violence and murder which could easily have led to war." "As a result of van der Post's preparatory work, when the overstretched forces of Mountbatten at last arrived, the basis of Allied policy in Java had been laid. This was illustrated by the written testimony to van der Post's accomplishments from the British government and High Command and personal messages of appreciation from the Prime Minister, Mountbatten and many others."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (more)

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This story is told also as a memorial to my 'CS5', Admiral Sir Wilfred Patterson, and 'Christie', General Sir Philip Christison, of Burma, the Arakan and Java
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If I had to choose a point where my life suddenly changed course, it would be in the Western Desert, some days after Pearl Harbor.
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