National News

New book on bloody WWII battle inspired by NY veteran

By CHRIS CAROLA
Posted: Jun. 19, 2017 7:00 am Updated: Jun. 19, 2017 10:29 am

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) When military history author Bill Sloan sought inspiration for his new book on World War II in the Pacific, he found it in a then-96-year-old combat veteran from upstate New York who survived one of the war's bloodiest battles.

John Sidur (SEE'-dur) rescued two hometown buddies during Japan's largest banzai attack of the war, near the end of the Battle of Saipan in July 1945. Sidur's regiment was nearly wiped out 900 Americans killed or wounded.

The Dallas-based writer's new book is titled "Their Backs Against The Sea: The Battle of Saipan and the Largest Banzai Attack of World War II."

Da Capo Press publishes the book this month. Sidur, of Cohoes (kuh-HOHZ'), near Albany, died in 2015.