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That night was the most horrible that any member of the motor launch crews ever experienced. The scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of wounded men crushed in the jaws of huge reptiles, and the blurred worrying sound of spinning crocodiles made a cacophony of hell that has rarely been duplicated on earth. At dawn the vultures arrived to clean up what the crocodiles had left.... Of about one thousand Japanese soldiers that entered the swamps of Ramree, only about twenty were found alive.

The above extract, describing the horrific events of the night of February 19, 1945, is taken from the 1962 book “Wildlife Sketches Near and Far” by eyewitness Bruce Stanley Wright, who was one of the participating soldier of the British army in the Battle of Ramree Island, that took place during the waning days of the Second World War.

ramree-island-2

Allied troops run ashore after the amphibious assault on Japanese-held Ramree Island. January 21, 1945

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