Bastard Behind the Lines: The Extraordinary Story of Jock Mclaren's Escape from Sandakan and His Guerrilla War Against the Japanese

Author(s): Tom Gilling

Aust History

He escaped from Singapore's Changi prisoner of war camp to become one of Australia's greatest World War II guerrilla fighters. 'The way I look at it is this...When you're behind the line and get yourself into trouble, you've got to get your bloody self out irrespective of anybody else. That's why I like it.'Scottish-born but a Queenslander to the bone, Jock McLaren was a true Australian hero. As a prisoner he escaped twice, first from Changi and later from the infamous Sandakan POW camp in Borneo. After paddling a dugout canoe across open sea, he fought for two years with American-led Filipino guerrillas, his exploits so audacious the Japanese put a price on his head.At the helm of his 26-foot whaleboat, the Bastard, McLaren sailed brazenly into enemy-held harbours, wreaking havoc with his mortar and machine guns before heading back out to sea. In early 1945 he joined Australia's secretive Z Special Unit, parachuting into Borneo to carry out reconnaissance and organise anti-Japanese resistance ahead of Allied landings. He cheated death on numerous occasions and saved his own life by removing his appendix without anaesthetic, using 'two large dessert spoons' and a razor blade. Drawing on Allied and Japanese wartime documents, Bastard Behind the Lines brings the story of a courageous digger vividly to life and throws light on a rarely explored aspect of Australia's Pacific war. 


Available Stock:

Add to Cart

Click & Collect

Add to Wishlist

Product Information







General Fields

  • : 9781760875879
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : January 2021
  • : {"length"=>["23.4"], "width"=>["15.3"], "units"=>["Centimeters"]}
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 256
  • : English
  • : 2102
  • : Paperback
  • : Tom Gilling