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Recounts the return of American forces to the island fortress that symbolized the humiliating conquest of the Philippines by the Japanese, and describes how the risky plan for recovering the island was carried out
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Sharply told account of how US paratroopers took back ``The Rock'' from Japan in a pivotal WW II battle; by Devlin (Paratrooper!, 1979). Where Pearl Harbor was a sudden devastation from the air, the battle for the Philippines was messy from the start, beginning with MacArthur's decision (despite radar warning) to leave his aircraft on the ground to be destroyed. In due course, the Japanese forced American troops to retreat to Corregidor, where they were to be rescued but were not. Devlin weaves the details of the US attack to retake the island into a tale that conveys the realities of airborne warfare, right down to those whose chutes failed and the startling death by suicide of the airborne commander shortly before the battle. He also makes a convincing case that the use of paratroops was extremely wise, the Japanese having prepared thoroughly for a conventional attack. But while this is an excellent account of a very interesting military engagement, Devlin's uncritical and enthusiastic assessment of MacArthur reflects a weakness in his approach. Unlike George Feifer (Tennozan, p. 368) or Thurston Clarke (Pearl Harbor Ghosts, 1991), Devlin fails to create a sophisticated historical/cultural context for his tales of battle, nor does he go deeply into the lives of participants. His is patriotic writing in which individuals and concepts are not much explored. The crushed ribs, concussions, and splintered bones of difficult landings are there, along with ugly details of the hand-to-hand fighting common in the Pacific Theater, but while names are given, there is little sense of who is receiving that pain, or why. Conventional military history of a high order, but without the leavening of thoughtfulness that could raise it to a still higher level. (Photos--32 pages--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
The three-and-a-half-mile-long island of Corregidor, which guards the entrance to Manila Bay, was captured by the Japanese in May 1942. Devlin's ( Silent Wings ) stirring account describes how the Americans reclaimed it three years later in a spectacular operation executed mainly by the U.S. Army's 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment. Though heavily outnumbered by the Japanese marine garrison, the GIs methodically overcame their defenses between February 16 and March 2, 1945, killing more than 6000 defenders while losing fewer than 200 of their own troops. Devlin recounts the continuous small-unit action, including individual feats of heroism, in a way that conveys the special fascination of combat in a constricted battleground. Especially well done is his brooding description of how the GIs dealt with hundreds of Japanese die-hards holed up in caves and tunnels throughout the island. The narrative concludes with a moving account of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's return to Corregidor and the poignant flag-raising ceremony there. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description St Martins Pr, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0312076487
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Book Description St Martins Pr, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110312076487