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Paperback Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission Book

ISBN: 038549565X

ISBN13: 9780385495653

Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

"The greatest World War II story never told" ( Esquire )--an enthralling account of the heroic mission to rescue the last survivors of the Bataan Death March. On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Great retelling of the forgotten story and survival of the Bataan Death march.

Learn of the forgotten heroes of the WWII Pacific theater in this very readable telling of the horrors and resilience of the Phillipine US POWs.

another story that needs telling

When I was a kid, my father and uncles spoke with reverence of those who were on the Bataan Death March. These men who were heroes in my eyes regarded the Bataan guys as REAL heroes. They described the march as the most horrible treatment ever received by US military personel. Only recently have I really begun reading books about the Pacific war, and I stumbled over this one after seeing the trailer for the movie. I'm really glad I found it The book tells the story of the rescue of 500+ POW's from a Japanese prision camp in the Philippines. It was the first Pacific action of the U.S. Army Rangers. It is written as two intersecting narratives. The first narrative is the story of the Bataan Death March, and the camp story. The second begins with the escape of a handful of individuals who bring the camps to command attention, and the preperation for the raid. As the troops grow closer, the narratives slowly converge until they intersect with the assault on the camp. I thought the story was well told and written beautifully. The narrative device of convergence creates momentum and the account of the assault is vivid and to the point. The author did a commendable job of telling the story of the Death March, particularly trying to identify the real villans. A commendable work, I highly recommend this book

Moving, Heroic and Interesting War Story

This is a great war story that is moving for both the depravity of Japanese treatment of American POW's and our soldier's struggle to survive.Ghost Soldiers traces American GI's from the Bataan Death March through their internment in the Japanese prison system and the eventual liberation of several hundred during a daring raid on the prison at Cabanatuan by an army Ranger unit. It is a gripping and well written story that will keep you fixed to the pages of this fine book.The first chapter is searing and just about the saddest piece of history I've ever read. The massacre of American prisoners at Palawan tipped the US Army to the danger faced by other POW's operating under a Japanese policy of prisoner annihilation as the Empire's prospects faded late in the war. Knowing that 500 prisoners were at the Phillipine camp Cabanatuan ahead of the US Sixth Army unleashed what is perhaps the war's most dramatic rescue mission in early 1945.Hampton Sides is a good writer who knows how to keep a story moving. He weaves back and forth between the prisoners and their Ranger rescuers withoug breaking the story pace. He also traces the history of the prisoner's experiences under Japanese authority. The sadistic barbarity with which the captors treated American prisoners is amazing for its uniformity. Sides brings enough of Japanese culture and military training into the story to show how almost everyone from top commanders to lowly prison guards were perhaps predisposed to the atrocities that visited our soldiers with stunning regularity through their long months of starvation and neglect.The threads of the story come together nicely with a climatic battle scene that will glue your attention to the pages. This is a well written story that deserves to be remembered both as a testament to the barbarity of the war-era Japanese army and the heroics of POW survival and American arms.

Ghost Soldiers

Cabanatuan City was my home in December 1941. My parents were missionaries and we were caught in the onslaught of the Japanese attack. We fled our home on December 24 in an attempt to avoid the invasion army. Capture was obviously inevitable, but survival chances were greater if it came at the hands of an occupational force. While hiding in the mountains, we were captured on February 3, 1942, and were taken to the military base at Cabanatuan. After days of extensive interrogation of my father, we were transferred to Santo Tomas internment camp in Manila.The accounts of deprivation and starvation in this book are so accurate it brought back a flood of memories. While the years have somewhat dimmed the horrors of death and destruction during the battle of Manila, if I live to be a hundred I will never forget starvation. So true was the segment discussing recipes. Hours were spent talking, even arguing, about which recipe would produce the tastiest results. This book also reinforces the things we learned about the importance of faith, hope, resilience and a sense of humor...without which we would not have survived.Hampton Sides presents a true picture of life in a Japanese internment camp.

Don't miss the experience...

I'm not a fan of War stories or history books. I am not easily moved emotionally. I read this because it seemed like an interesting story. I was astounded by this book. It actually gave me chills in the end. It was shocking how cruel the Japanese captors were to the Americans and gave me a deep respect for the American POW's of World War II. The book is well researched, intelligently written and emotionally stimulating. It reads like a fast paced action novel, the character development makes you feel like you know these people personally and the mood of dread, fear and hope are touchingly communicated to the reader. Don't get me wrong, this is not a tear jerker story, it is an accurate account of history as told by people who actually lived through the ordeal. It has intrigue, spies, guerrillas, culture clashes, desperation and most of all - courage. It is a rewarding read in the end and an adventure from the beginning. Highly recommended!
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