Title: If I Die – Coastwatching and Guerrilla Warfare behind Japanese Lines

Author: Wright, Malcolm

Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 1965


Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 192 pages

Comments: Malcolm Wright recounts his WWII experiences as a Coastwatcher on the island of New Britain and his exploits collecting real time intelligence against the Japanese during WWII.

This book is more about his personal account of gathering actionable intelligence than it is about guerrilla warfare. That does not mean he does not describe guerrilla activities, he does however, his memoir is much more than that. It’s a personal account, with emotion and in-depth descriptions of techniques that he and his small team of Australians employed in a jungle environment. None of his or any other Coastwatcher activities in the southwest Pacific would have been successful without the cooperation of the local natives. I liked the way he successfully integrated the descriptions of heir different native tribal beliefs and skills and how he worked them into the overall story line. He leaves little room for doubt that the cooperation of the local natives was the major contributing factor to his success. His account of bringing together such a diverse band of natives is a testament to his skills and his pre-WWII knowledge of the area. He gives a good description of the jungle tradecraft that kept him one step ahead of the Japanese. Students of guerrilla warfare will not feel left out in this book, but with the emphasis on collecting information aficionados of the intelligence genre will very much enjoy reading it.