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Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission
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July 2016: Biography Memoir > Ghost Soldiers / Hampton Sides - 4****

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6291 comments Ghost Soldiers – Hampton Sides
Book on CD performed by James Naughton
4****

SUBTITLE: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission

From the book jacket On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected troops from the elite U.S. Army 6th Ranger Battalion slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty miles in an attempt to rescue 513 American and British POWs who had spent three years in a surreally hellish camp near the city of Cabanatuan. The prisoners included the last survivors of the Bataan Death March. …. Elsewhere in the Philippines, the Japanese Army had already executed American prisoners as it retreated from the advancing U.S. Army.

My Reactions
Sides crafts a story that is gripping, informative, horrifying and inspiring. I was captured from page one and mesmerized throughout. I felt that I really got to know the men involved – prisoners and rescuers.

My reaction to this book was somewhat personal. I could not help but think of my father, who served in the Pacific for 33 months, making seven landings with MacArthur’s forces. I remember his stories of how the Filipino guerillas helped them “string wire around Manila Bay. They said it couldn’t be done, but we did it.” I have a collage of photos of him hanging over my desk – including one where he stares into the camera, cigarette in one corner of his mouth, while he and six other men stand holding a large snake that Daddy had killed (Daddy holds the head). And I thought of my husband, an Airborne Ranger who served in Vietnam. In the 1990s, when visiting the Philippines on business, he walked about a hundred meters of the Bataan Death March route – “Just to get the feel of what they endured.”

This is a history that will appeal to fans of Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken or Doug Stanton’s In Harm's Way.

James Naughton does a fabulous job of narrating the audio book. I really felt I was in the heart of the action.


Michael (mike999) | 569 comments Great job, Tessa. Very moving about your father and husband and their service. Sides is such a wonder at making historical accounts read like a novel.


message 3: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5131 comments Ok, I will have to read this!


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6291 comments Michael wrote: "Great job, Tessa. Very moving about your father and husband and their service. Sides is such a wonder at making historical accounts read like a novel."

I kept talking about it ... so my husband is reading it now. He loves WW2 history, especially the Pacific theater, and had never heard of this mission. He's devouring it!


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