The Twilight Riders: The Last Charge of the 26th Cavalry

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9780762764853: The Twilight Riders: The Last Charge of the 26th Cavalry

A stunning collision of militaray eras--The heroic and tragic final campaign of the U.S. horseback cavalry against the mechanized Japanese Army of World War II

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From the Back Cover:

I have endeavored in the following pages to present the full drama and scope of the 26th Cavalry’s heroic but doomed mounted campaign against the seasoned troops, planes, and tanks of the
Japanese Army,  from the first few hours after the invaders poured from their landing craft onto
the shores of Luzon Island in late December 1941, to the final desperate months in Bataan and
on “The Rock,” the Corregidor fortress.Every step of the way, the scouts bought time for MacArthur’s army to fight back. It is also not hyperbolic to contend that without the 26th’s delaying actions on Luzon—a textbook and innovative campaign studied in modern war colleges—MacArthur might never have had the time to escape the Philippines when ordered to do so in March 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.The cavalrymen of the 26th fought the last full-fledged “horseback campaign” in history, paying a terrible toll but exacting an even higher one upon the Japanese Army. The regiment’s story reveals not only the valor of the horsemen, their horses, and the 26th’s motorized squadron, but also the way in which the unit’s American and Filipino troopers forged ties that transcended race and were forever cemented in blood, suffering, and pride.—from the Prologue, “A Vision from Another Century”

From the Inside Flap:

The Twilight Riders is the first book to chronicle the full drama of the 26th Cavalry’s magnificent but doomed mounted campaign against some of the finest troops, air power, and tanks of the Japanese Army—a long-neglected episode of World War II that marked the end of the grand tradition of the U.S. horseback cavalry.
 
It was shortly after Pearl Harbor, and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines was underway. Among the Philippines’ defenders was a group of Filipino noncommissioned officers and enlisted men, led by white American officers. They were from a different era—trained to fight on horseback as had the Cavalry in the Civil War. They battled fiercely against their Japanese foes but, in the end, were forced to slaughter their mounts and to finish the hopeless fight on foot.
 
Through extensive research based in part on in-depth interviews with 26th Cavalry veterans, author Peter F. Stevens brings this band of brothers and their beloved horses to life as they rode, fought, and bled together in the desperate, doomed struggle to stem the Imperial Japanese Army.

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