I am a British-born writer in my early-sixties, living in Japan for more than 30 years, with grandchildren of my own. I am honored to be able to post here a few words about my novel “Escarpment”. My hope is that Veterans of the Okinawa campaign still alive, who read it, will feel satisfied that my brief description of the battle is accurate. Further, that their families, children and grandchildren will get a glimpse of what their dads and granddads went through on the island of Okinawa between April and June, 1945.

“Escarpment” is story set in the present day, based on a premise which many people believe that objects or artifacts can be possessed by the spirits of their dead owners. That is why it is always dangerous to scavenge from a battlefield.

It is not directly about the Battle of Okinawa, but more about the ghosts and spirits that still haunt the battlefield. That said, the battle itself is a presence that haunts many of the pages. From the unopposed landing at Hagushi to the Shuri Line. Kakazu Ridge and Sugar Loaf. The Japanese retreat to the Kiyan Peninsula. Yuza-Dake and Yaeju-Dake. Kunishi Ridge. Hill 95. The Medeera escarpment. Mabuni Hill. The mud and the rain.

The grueling days and nights of that battle haunted me also while I was researching and writing. Especially the plight of the Japanese civilians caught between the opposing forces. I recount the recollection of one old man who was a child of seven at that time, trapped with his mother and thousands of other women, children and old men between the enemy and the sea.

“There were only two alternatives. One was to hunker down until the fighting ended and then surrender to the Americans. But we had been brainwashed about the terrible fate that waited for us at the hands of the blood-thirsty Yanks. So, many took the second alternative – kill their families, the little kids and the old people, and then themselves.

“But, in fact, there was a third option – turn right around and go home again, head north, back to the destroyed villages. That’s what my mother and thousands of others mothers decided to do.

“Just one problem. To get there, they had to go through the American lines, with machine guns and rifles firing all around and shells flying overhead. Next to the surviving Japanese soldiers and the June rain and mud, women like my mother were the biggest pain in the (redacted) in the whole wide world to the US 10th Army.

“Those GIs and Marines had been living and dying in hell since the beginning of April. Now it’s near the end of June. Finally, finally, finally, they see victory in sight.

“But all the time now, day and night, they’ve got these bands of women and kids in front of them. And all the time, all up and down the lines, American soldiers are shouting, Cease Fire, Cease Fire – Civilians coming through.

“Escarpment” is a short novel, easy to read; not an historical military tome. I would be pleased – and honored again – to send a free copy (paperback or Kindle) to anyone who has read this post and who would like to read my story. My request is simply that if you enjoy it, you recommend it to other people.


david-turriDavid Turri was born in Liverpool in the 1950s and grew up in New Zealand. After living in Barcelona for a few years, he settled down permanently in Japan, where he is surrounded by a noisy harem of wife, two grown daughters and two granddaughters. He has been writing most of his life – textbooks for the English language industry, which industry pays the rent and puts food on the table; and fiction. In spite of his wife’s unspoken belief that his novels would only be published posthumously, one was actually published two years ago. “Damaged Cargoes” is an historical story about child trafficking and opium set in Kobe in 1870. Another novel, a story titled “29 Argyle Drive”, was published last year and is proving popular among Amazon horror fans. It is set in Christchurch, where he grew up, against the background of the earthquake that destroyed the city in 2011.

Share this story

Published on Nov. 2, 2016

Estimated reading time is 3.6 min.

Views to date: 54

14 Comments

  1. Gary Hicks November 15, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Mr. Turri is having some issues responding through the system and asked that I post the following on his behalf:

    I want to apologize for the delay in getting copies of my novel “Escarpment” to those who are interested in reading it.
    I was unable to successfully navigate this site.
    For those who would like the Kindle version, I need only an email address to which I can send it.
    For those who want the paperback, I will need an actual mailing address.
    You can send them to my email address:
    davidturri71@gmail.com
    I will erase both email and postal addresses after I have sent the books.
    I hope you enjoy reading them.

    David Turri

  2. Bruce Saltzman November 4, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    With so many actual accounts of the battle by both participants and military historians it is criminal to be producing fiction about military battles. The author is just to lazy or lacks the ability to actually do factual research.

    Texts about communicating with ghosts falls in the category of mental-vomit.
    I spent a year in Viet Nam with the 101st.

  3. Jeff Steward November 4, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Yes I’d like the opportunity to read your novel.
    As a Marine I was a bit full of myself. I was stationed on Okinawa in 1970.It made me realize, then, just what both sides of that horrible battle had to go through. I was humbled.

  4. Dale Gunnoe November 4, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    I also would like to receive a printed copy so I could ‘recycle’ it by leaving it at the VA hospital where I volunteer. Like several others, I was at Kadena AB, but I was not stationed there and only flew in an out several times during the Vietnam War. My first time there was in 1969 and then I changed airplane types and was back on a second combat tour in 1970. I remember being briefed about the caves and being told that we could not go ‘exploring’ due to the (then) still-present dangers.

  5. Steven R. Albritton November 4, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I was stationed at Kadena AFB in the early 70’s. Fell in love with the island and the people, rich in heritage and tradition. Would like to go back to visit someday.

  6. Connie Walters November 4, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    I ordered the Kindle edition. My father was in Hiroshima 2 weeks after we dropped the bomb. I really don’t know very much. He told me a little bit, showed me some pictures in 1990. This was the the first time I had been told anything about it. He died a few months later. I’m very happy to learn anything about the Pacific Theater. Thank you.

  7. Gary Hicks November 4, 2016 at 11:16 am

    If you click on the title of the book within the blog, it takes you to Amazon, where it is available for any electronic device for free. Or you can just click here: https://www.amazon.com/Escarpment-David-Turri-ebook/dp/B016LX8U60/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

    • Michael Clark November 4, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Both of the links which are provided lead to the Amazon page for this book. Unfortunately, Amazon didn’t seem to get the word, and while the book is free (as are all books in the Amazon Kindle collection) to Kindle Unlimited subscribers, the price to all nonmembers is $2.99. Still, to me the price seems little enough for the time and efforts of the author. Hopefully he will receive some of what Amazon takes in for his work.

      • Gary Hicks November 4, 2016 at 12:08 pm

        That never occurred to me as I am a member and always “signed in” so the book opened for me. Good catch Mr. Clark and thanks for clarifying.

  8. Ken Shinn November 4, 2016 at 11:03 am

    yes, I would like to receive a copy of your tome on Kindle. Thank you for your research and generosity.

  9. William F. Confalone November 4, 2016 at 10:48 am

    I I was in the naval amphibious force that invaded Okinawa arriving several days before the invasion which occurred on April 1 – Easter Sunday. A beautiful day for a picnic, not a war. I remained at Okinawa with almost constant air attacks, riding out about 5 typhoons, (temporarily taken time out for the invasion of Ie Shima) until the Japanese said they would surrender. I look forward to reading your novel. May I have it in Kindle format?

  10. Donald H. Smith November 4, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I also would like a chance to read your story. I would prefer to receive a paperback copy to facilitate passing it on to others at McGuire Veterans Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. If available electronically in a text format, it could be emailed and I could (with your permission) print out several copies for distribution.

    Thanks ever so much.

  11. James Troche November 4, 2016 at 10:26 am

    I was Stationed at Kadena AB from 88-92 and unfortunately I didn’t know the history of that wonderful Island. I have since been researching the battle of Okinawa and have amassed a nice collection of items from the battle. I wish I could share a picture on here with you! May I please have the honor of reading your novel!

  12. Michael Fairfax November 2, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Having been stationed on Okinawa back in the 80s, I would be very pleased to read this novel, in kindle format.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • During Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September, the American Red Cross emphasizes the importance of a diverse blood supply to help meet the needs of those with sickle cell disease – the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S.

  • CaringBridge, a free online tool to communicate health news to family and friends, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

  • Shahpur Pazhman flew Black Hawk missions in 27 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, resupplying and relocating Afghan ground forces and evacuating casualties to safety. Thanks to Bridge My Return, he's back in the air.