“A soldier stood with a loaded gun in front of a locked steel door. He was guarding the secrets buried below from spies and thieves. No one was allowed to talk about what went on in the “dungeon,” and if anyone did, his life was at stake. The armed guard stopped anyone who tried to enter. If necessary, he would shoot to kill.”
This story begins with highly classified cryptographers—code-breakers—deep underground behind a guarded door during World War II. Why were they being watched under such strict security? They were the first to find out classified information about the movements of enemy forces, including one of the most deadly (and secret) attacks on American soil—an attack that many people today still don’t know about.
Did YOU know that just months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese also attacked and occupied the Aleutian Islands in Alaska? American citizens were killed and captured as the islands were assaulted by land and sea. U.S. airplanes bombed their own country to try to drive out the invaders. Americans from the mainland and native Aleuts were taken prisoner, packed together in ships and practically left to die. . . And on May 29, 1943, American and Japanese soldiers clashed in Attu, Alaska, in one of the deadliest battles in the entire war.
Read this story of bravery and perseverance to find out more about the code-breakers, soldiers, pilots, sailors, and ordinary Americans who experienced an invasion in their own town.
–Melissa, Scholastic Booktalker