A Doctors War

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Interned by the Japanese in Java, he helped his fellow prisoners in awful conditions. His life was literally saved by the dropping of the Nagasaki atom bomb. This title presents his account. Num Pages: pages, map. Dimension: x x Weight in Grams: Seller Inventory V Books ship from the US and Ireland. About this Item: New Book. Shipped from UK within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since Seller Inventory GB Published by Grub Street Publishing About this Item: Grub Street Publishing, Seller Inventory DGP Condition: Used: Good.

Seller Inventory zk Condition: UsedAcceptable. From: Karen Millward Bantry,Co. Paper Back. Condition: Used Acceptable. Stiff card covers have a little light shelf rubbing to edges and corners. This is the wartime memoir of an Irish doctor who served in France and survived Dunkirk.

A Doctor’s War

Published by Grub Street, London About this Item: Grub Street, London, Soft cover. Condition: Fine. Reprint Reissued. Mint unread condition. Trade paperback in fine condition.

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A Doctor's War : Aidan MacCarthy :

Galway, Ireland Seller Rating:. A Doctor's War. He emigrated to England, and after a boozy night with some fellow doctors from Cork he joined the RAF.


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After a stint in England where he narrowly avoided being killed by a bomber that crash-landed on a stockpile of bombs , he was posted to Singapore on a convoy filled with fighter aircraft, but they were too late; it had already fallen. MacCarthy was eventually captured by the Japanese and was imprisoned for three and a half years in appalling conditions in a variety of locations.

The Japanese military tradition, contemptuous of surrender, extended that contempt to opponents who had surrendered; their treatment of Allied POWs across the Pacific theatre was genuinely horrific. McCarthy himself was beaten badly on numerous occasions; after one beating he was forced to undergo an operation to remove damaged cartilage from his arm without anaesthetic.

Allied prisoners were essentially slave labour to the Japanese; their usefulness in this regard kept them alive, though their captors deemed them expendable. They were often moved around as required, and as MacCarthy was being ferried to Japan in June the freighter he was on was torpedoed by a US submarine MacCarthy later met the US captain.

He and his fellow survivors were in the water for twelve hours, where he sought to minister to the wounded and witnessed Australian POWs beat some of their former captors to death before they were rescued by a Japanese destroyer. The crew were initially unclear who they had captured; when they realised, they began to beat the prisoners unconscious and throw them overboard. MacCarthy and a number of others made a break for it, jumping overboard only to be picked up by Japanese whalers who landed the handful of survivors at Nagasaki.

Personal Histories

Ordered to dump the prisoners at sea, the whalers refused to do so, and so MacCarthy ended up working in shipyards and at the Mitsubishi factory. He was in Nagasaki when it was destroyed by a US nuclear attack in August —he and others had seen the planes but had been sheltering in an underground bunker a mile from the epicentre of the blast and survived.

And this returns us to the sword, which he received from Isoa Kusano, the commandant of his POW camp, after the Japanese unconditional surrender. Here is a young man that somehow escaped drowning when his prison boat was sunk by the Allies during transportation back to the Japanese mainland. It is a first-person journey through the horrific realities of war: beatings, executions, starvation and disease.

It touches on how luck plays a crucial role: finally held at a prison in Nagasaki, only luck allowed him and others to survive the world's second atom bomb used in anger. But A Doctor's War is much, much more. Despite his cruel captivity, Aidan constantly works to save the lives not only of his fellow prisoners but when offered the opportunity, also his captors. And it is a book of faith: McCarthy firmly believes that his faith in God was instrumental in finding the courage and will to survive.

I read the book in a single sitting.

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Having reached the end, closed the cover, and considered his story, I was dumbstruck: Aidan McCarthy should not have survived. And yet - he did. This is a story that affected me. His simple, always humble words forces me to sit up and take in the simple beauty of the world. Because of Aidan, it makes me realize how wonderful it is to be alive.

Jul 30, Damon rated it it was amazing. The bomb itself had done this grim work. In another area, further away, the tall administrative building which had been the head office of the Mitsubishi empire had been toppled in the blast. Nearly five hundred girls had been working in these offices, and when the building had been hit, they had been catapulted out.


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  4. They were spread in a human carpet up to a distance of nearly a thousand feet, giving the impression of a nightmare "In and around the main blast zone cremations were not required. They were spread in a human carpet up to a distance of nearly a thousand feet, giving the impression of a nightmare doll factory. The majority lay as if asleep, unmarked and unburnt, still in their trouser suits, and seeming as though they were waiting to be replaced on a massive shelf. Dec 10, Ray Richard rated it really liked it.

    When someone recommends a book, I always read it. His travels take him to prison camps in the Far East and eventually to Japan where he witnessed a a decisive event. It's all in this compact book, including sickening descriptions of death and decadence, all needed to convey the remarkable story of When someone recommends a book, I always read it. It's all in this compact book, including sickening descriptions of death and decadence, all needed to convey the remarkable story of this unassuming Irish doctor.

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    Apr 21, Diane rated it liked it Shelves: world-war-ii , memoir-bio-autobio , medicine. He also reflects the stereotypical British colonist mentality. Still, it is a look at the war and life in the Japanese POW camps from the point of view of a medical officer and I have never read anything from that perspective before.

    Very human and matter of fact. Ted rated it really liked it Nov 15, Michael Greene rated it it was amazing Nov 16, Sharon rated it really liked it Jan 01, Hannah Harvey rated it really liked it May 17, Donal Guilfoyle rated it it was amazing Mar 31, Beth rated it it was amazing Jul 10, Niall McNally rated it it was amazing Dec 24, Thad rated it really liked it Jan 01, Electra McCabe rated it it was amazing Jun 14, Rising Swan rated it really liked it May 03, Mad rated it liked it Mar 30,


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