By Brian Garfield
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Additional resources for Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians
But Buckner had no doubts that war would come, or that Alaska would be one of its battlegrounds. Backed by the new defense budget and the prestige of his new rank, General Buckner received a steadily increasing tonnage of equipment—but this posed a new problem. He could not get the equipment out of his ports. 3 The railroad belt to Fairbanks was almost the only reliable corridor of movement—and the Стр. 2009 1:15 The Thousand-Mile War file:///E:/%D0%AE%D0%9B%D0%AF/2009-01-18/Thousand-Mile... thought of a bomb attack on that slim thread gave Buckner ample cause to thunder and roar.
When not traveling, Buckner spent his first Alaskan winter in a tent. His orderly used a blowtorch to thaw the ice rime on Buckner's outdoor bathtub each morning. " No soldier ever complained that he did not hear an order Buckner gave—his normal voice Стр. 2009 1:15 The Thousand-Mile War file:///E:/%D0%AE%D0%9B%D0%AF/2009-01-18/Thousand-Mile... level was one most men would have used only during an artillery barrage. Upright, downright, and loudspoken, Buckner was not known for tact; but there were times when he displayed unexpected subtlety—as when his shrewd silence helped bring Alaska its first real defense funds: For two years the House Committee on Un-American Activities had been busily "exposing Communists," spurred by the Hitler-Stalin alliance and the fear of war in the Pacific.
Buckner, the battling great swaggerer, the performing extrovert, pushed his men harder every day. Ebullient, crusty, bellicose, he had a resonating impact. With miraculous speed, a massive discordant complex was orchestrated into phenomenal harmony under Buckner's direction. Miles of runway were hewn out of the tundra, scores of barracks raised and roofed, hundreds of gun emplacements scooped out and revetted. In spite of supply problems, weather, mosquitoes2 and myriad other handicaps, Simon Buckner changed the face of Alaska virtually overnight.
Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians by Brian Garfield