New book on bloody WWII battle inspired by NY veteran

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — When military history author Bill Sloan sought inspiration for his new book on World War II in the Pacific, he found it in a then-96-year-old combat veteran from upstate New York who survived one of the war's bloodiest battles.

John Sidur (SEE'-dur) rescued two hometown buddies during Japan's largest banzai attack of the war, near the end of the Battle of Saipan in July 1945. Sidur's regiment was nearly wiped out — 900 Americans killed or wounded.

The Dallas-based writer's new book is titled "Their Backs Against The Sea: The Battle of Saipan and the Largest Banzai Attack of World War II."

Da Capo Press publishes the book this month. Sidur, of Cohoes (kuh-HOHZ'), near Albany, died in 2015.