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Old 05 October 2010, 07:17 PM
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Japan Hiding out on Guadalcanal

Comment: I recall an old story in Reader's Digest or Catholic Digest, in
which an Australian man, in the 1930's, foresees the coming war and seeks
the most remote spot on earth to hide. He sells everything and moves to
his carefully selected sanctuary, the tiny, obscure, all-but-unknown
island of Guadalcanal.
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  #2  
Old 06 October 2010, 10:14 AM
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How could he possibly have come up with that as the most remote place on earth? It's the largest island in the Solomons chain, had been populated for probably thousands of years, and had Western settlers/missionaries as well. There are plenty of nice remote islands in the Pacific, the trouble is that sort of remoteness tends to mean there's not much hope of supporting life (there are some exceptions though). I personally had been thinking long and hard about trying to get orders to Diego Garcia just for kicks, but I think after this tour I'm done with serving overseas for the foreseeable future if I can help it (at some point I should probably try living in the US, you know?).

A remote part of Australia would have been a much better choice. It's cut off from every other country by sea and, if he was worried about Australia being invaded, then why the heck would he pick a large island so close to Australia to run to? If he was dead set on a Pacific island, he could have at least picked one off the coast of South America: plenty of sparsely inhabited yet survivable islands over there, and who the hell would want to invade South America from beyond the sea?

Last edited by ASL; 06 October 2010 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 06 October 2010, 10:20 AM
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There was a similar story in (IIRC) one of Heinlein's Lazarus novels, only it was an American who moved to Iwo Jima.
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Old 06 October 2010, 10:53 AM
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Surely the only real threat to Australia in the 1930's came from Japan? Whilst no one could have easily forseen the extent of the Japanese advance, a Pacific war was likely to make large islands targets for airfield or naval base construction if nothing else.
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Old 16 October 2010, 03:37 PM
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Pitcairn Island certainly comes to mind as being a better option. Three thousand miles to the nearest doctor, lawyer, or policeman, plus it's (somehow) been supporting the descendants of the HMS Bounty mutineers for hundreds of years now. Much more remote than Guadalcanal.
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Old 20 January 2011, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Em View Post
There was a similar story in (IIRC) one of Heinlein's Lazarus novels, only it was an American who moved to Iwo Jima.
Another version appears in Stephen Piles Book of Heroic Failures, however set in the early 80's. A Canadian peace activist decides to move to somewhere so remote that no one will fight over it (eg Not a nuclear target)....he arrives in Port Stanley the day before the Argentina invade the Falklands.
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Old 20 January 2011, 02:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by January View Post
Pitcairn Island certainly comes to mind as being a better option.
I'd pick Kerguelen. Plenty of coast, land, and, if you really want, tiny islands. Pitcairn is always visited by some silly TV crew.
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Old 20 January 2011, 02:55 AM
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The South Georgia Islands would be an interesting choice - lots of fishing, sheltered areas and not near enough to anything else to be worth invading. Maybe even enough soil to grow some crops. Heat might be a problem though.
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Old 20 January 2011, 03:23 AM
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Yeah, I was not particularly aware of th South Georgia part of that altercation. I still say it is not worth invading for anything other than swagger.
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  #10  
Old 20 January 2011, 03:24 AM
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I'm guessing you missed the news circa 1982.
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Old 20 January 2011, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham2001 View Post
A Canadian peace activist decides to move to somewhere so remote that no one will fight over it (eg Not a nuclear target)....he arrives in Port Stanley the day before the Argentina invade the Falklands.
A few questions for the general audience:

Aren't peace activists supposed to go where their "activity" could do some good? What's the point of being a peace activist in the middle of nowhere, especially in the days before internet? If an anti-war protest is held and no one's around to hear it, was it really a protest?
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Old 21 January 2011, 05:53 PM
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Maybe the wrong term was used, if he was a pacifist wanting to avoid war. A pacifist is not necessarily an activist in the sense of wanting publicity. Some people choose to withdraw rather than interact.

Famously, Karl Hess, formerly Barry Goldwater's speechwriter ("extremism in defense of liberty is no vice") was ticked off about the IRS. He spent most of the rest of his life bartering for things to avoid taxes. While no pacifist, some who are have made that choice.

Perhaps that makes more sense as the SAS regiment sails in. Still sounds apocryphal to me.

Ali
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Old 21 November 2013, 09:12 PM
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In the Leon Uris novel Battle Cry there is a story about the Marines finding an Australian man on the island of Tarawa when they invaded it. He had moved there to avoid the European war and had lived there for over two years. Amazingly the Japanese soldiers never bothered him since they considered him harmless. He lived on one of the outer atolls away from the main base. I'm not sure if the story is based on a true incident or not.
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Old 21 November 2013, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0b1knob View Post
In the Leon Uris novel Battle Cry there is a story about the Marines finding an Australian man on the island of Tarawa when they invaded it. He had moved there to avoid the European war and had lived there for over two years. Amazingly the Japanese soldiers never bothered him since they considered him harmless. He lived on one of the outer atolls away from the main base. I'm not sure if the story is based on a true incident or not.
Unlikely since many of the Australian and New Zealand civilians on the various islands became Coastwatchers. The Japanese most likely would not of just left one alone that close to a place they planned to defend.

http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/page/nz-...cuted-japanese

Most likely it was dramatic license by the author.
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Old 21 November 2013, 11:49 PM
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Ah, old thread! Never mind.
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  #16  
Old 22 November 2013, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Em View Post
There was a similar story in (IIRC) one of Heinlein's Lazarus novels, only it was an American who moved to Iwo Jima.
Iwo Jima would be a better choice (in terms of the story). I was looking on Google Earth at the tiny island chain where the volcano has just created new land, and found one that was even tinier and further out than most of the others. I was surprised when I zoomed in and found that it was Iwo Jima. It seems like a pretty obscure place.

Ogasawara, the main island in that chain, looks like a nice place to live. It's tiny but it's forested and rocky and big enough to have an interesting coastline and a reasonable-looking town as well as an uninhabited part. I love islands like that but I would need at least a bit of "civilization" where I could buy books and get a beer or two.

I've still never made it to St Kilda (off Scotland I mean - I've been to the suburb of Melbourne). At one time I was planning to volunteer on a dig out there, but these days it seems it's better known and might be harder to get on.
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Old 10 December 2013, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post

Ogasawara, the main island in that chain, looks like a nice place to live. It's tiny but it's forested and rocky and big enough to have an interesting coastline and a reasonable-looking town as well as an uninhabited part. I love islands like that but I would need at least a bit of "civilization" where I could buy books and get a beer or two.
Do you mean Chichi Jima?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichi_Jima
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  #18  
Old 10 December 2013, 09:05 PM
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Google Earth just calls the island which has "Ogasawara Town" on it Ogasawara, but that's the one.

(Although I can't tell from Wikipedia where "Ogasawara Town" actually is, if not the main town on that island, since it doesn't appear on the map of the island, and the map of the prefecture is very unclear, and I can't see why it needs to be called "Ogasawara Town" if not to distinguish it from another Ogasawara... for example an island...)

I was pleased to discover after my last post that Google Street View stretches as far as that island, though. It looks nice. For an added bonus, half way up one of the mountains there's a mirror containing a self-portrait of the street car and driver, which is the first I've found.

(eta) My atlas calls the archipelago Ogasawara-shoto and that island Chichi-jima, indeed.
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