Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II

Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II Author Vicki Croke
ISBN-10 0812981650
ISBN-13 9780812981650
Year 2015-04-14
Pages 368
Language English
Publisher Random House Trade Paperbacks
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKThe remarkable story of James Howard Billy Williams whose uncanny rapport with the worlds largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill Billy Williams came to colonial Burma in 1920 fresh from service in World War I to a job as a forest man for a British teak company Mesmerized by the intelligence character and even humor of the great animals who hauled logs through the remote jungles he became a gifted elephant wallah Increasingly skilled at treating their illnesses and injuries he also championed more humane treatment for them even establishing an elephant school and hospital In return he said the elephants made him a better man The friendship of one magnificent tusker in particular Bandoola would be revelatory In Elephant Company Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williamss growing love for elephants as the animals provide him lessons in courage trust and gratitude But Elephant Company is also a tale of war and daring When Imperial Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942 Williams joined the elite Force 136 the British dirty tricks department operating behind enemy lines His war elephants would carry supplies build bridges and transport the sick and elderly over treacherous mountain terrain Now well versed in the ways of the jungle an older wiser Williams even added to his stable by smuggling more elephants out of Japanese held territory As the occupying authorities put a price on his head Williams and his elephants faced his most perilous test In a Hollywood worthy climax Elephant Company cornered by the enemy attempted a desperate escape a risky trek over the mountainous border to India with a bedraggled group of refugees in tow Elephant Bills exploits would earn him top military honors and the praise of famed Field Marshal Sir William Slim Part biography part war epic and part wildlife adventure Elephant Company is an inspirational narrative that illuminates a little known chapter in the annals of wartime heroism Praise for Elephant Company This book is about far more than just the war or even elephants This is the story of friendship loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species Elephant Company is nothing less than a sweeping tale masterfully written Sara Gruen The New York Times Book ReviewSplendid Blending biography history and wildlife biology Vicki Constantine Crokes story is an often moving account of Billy Williams who earned the sobriquet Elephant Bill and his unusual bond with the largest land mammals on earth The Boston Globe Some of the biggest heroes of World War II were even bigger than you thought You may never call the lion the king of the jungle again New York PostElephant Company is as powerful and big hearted as the animals of its title Billy Williams is an extraordinary character a real life reverse Tarzan raised in civilization who finds wisdom and his true self living among jungle beasts Vicki Constantine Croke delivers an exciting tale of this elephant whisperercumwar hero while beautifully reminding us of the enduring bonds between animals and humans Mitchell Zuckoff author of Lost in Shangri La and Frozen in Time

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