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Rampage: MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila Hardcover – Illustrated, Nov. 6 2018
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Before World War II, Manila was a slice of America in Asia, populated with elegant neoclassical buildings, spacious parks, and home to thousands of U.S. servicemen and business executives who enjoyed the relaxed pace of the tropics. The outbreak of the war, however, brought an end to the good life. General Douglas MacArthur, hoping to protect the Pearl of the Orient, declared the Philippine capital an open city and evacuated his forces. The Japanese seized Manila on January 2, 1942, rounding up and interning thousands of Americans.
MacArthur, who escaped soon after to Australia, famously vowed to return. For nearly three years, he clawed his way north, obsessed with redeeming his promise and turning his earlier defeat into victory. By early 1945, he prepared to liberate Manila, a city whose residents by then faced widespread starvation. Convinced the Japanese would abandon the city as he did, MacArthur planned a victory parade down Dewey Boulevard. But the enemy had other plans. Determined to fight to the death, Japanese marines barricaded intersections, converted buildings into fortresses, and booby-trapped stores, graveyards, and even dead bodies.
The twenty-nine-day battle to liberate Manila resulted in the catastrophic destruction of the city and a rampage by Japanese forces that brutalized the civilian population. Landmarks were demolished, houses were torched, suspected resistance fighters were tortured and killed, countless women were raped, and their husbands and children were murdered. American troops had no choice but to battle the enemy, floor by floor and even room by room, through schools, hospitals, and even sports stadiums. In the end, an estimated 100,000 civilians lost their lives in a massacre as heinous as the Rape of Nanking.
Based on extensive research in the United States and the Philippines, including war-crimes testimony, after-action reports, and survivor interviews, Rampage recounts one of the most heartbreaking chapters of Pacific War history.
From the Publisher
Powerful narrative history...impossible to put down.—Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times
A masterful reconstruction of the horror of the battle.—Foreign Affairs
A chilling, sometimes horrifying narrative of some of the fiercest urban fighting of World War II....Scott gives voices to the victims, and that is an important service to history....[He] is a fine writer, and he musters his considerable talents to move the storyline forward.—Hal Bernton, Seattle Times
An excellent but wrenchingly graphic account of one of the least commemorated massacres in World War II....Scott has dug very deep into the U.S. and Philippine records of the battle and uses them deftly....[He] wields the vivid testimony of the rare survivors to portray the full horrors of the events.—Richard Frank, Proceedings
Scott has done history a service in recording for all time this dark chapter in the Pacific War.—Buffalo News
What Iris Chang did for our understanding of the Rape of Nanking, James M. Scott has now done for the Battle of Manila. Here is a sweeping tale of frenzied fighting and heartbreaking devastation, written by a meticulous historian who has unflinchingly probed the truth of this largely forgotten episode from the Pacific.—Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers and On Desperate Ground
A masterpiece of historical reportage, brilliantly bringing to life the savage battle for Manila—one of the most dramatic and disturbing episodes of World War II.—Alex Kershaw, New York Times best-selling author of Avenue of Spies
This is General Douglas MacArthur as you have not heard him; this is World War II as you have not seen it before; this is history written with a wide sweep and deep focus, the prose and reporting falling in aching rhythms on scenes of beauty, despair, defiance, the terrible trespasses people make, and their striving to endure. James Scott’s skill as a reporter and his precision as a stylist make this story unstoppable from the very first scene. Across these pages falls the shadow of a history we thought we knew well, but in Scott’s telling, so much is revealed and illuminated. A bold surprise of a history book. A treasure for lovers of stories beautifully told. Transcendent.—Doug Stanton, New York Times best-selling author of The Odyssey of Echo Company and 12 Strong
A relentless narrative of one of the darkest chapters of the Pacific War....Deeply researched and superbly written.—Ian W. Toll, New York Times best-selling author of The Conquering Tide
About the Author
- Publisher : WW Norton; Illustrated edition (Nov. 6 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 640 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0393246949
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393246940
- Item weight : 1.1 kg
- Dimensions : 16.51 x 4.32 x 24.13 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #307,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I bought my dad this for Christmas and he loved it.
My father was one of the 800 troopers who slipped into Manila and rescued the prisoners at Santo Tomas in February of 1945. Before he passed away, I managed to persuade him to talk about his experiences during the dash to Manila, going through the front gate of the prison, and later, fighting in the battle of Manila. He was wounded twice.
Even when talking with him about the Cavalry's rescue of the prisoners held at Santo Tomas, and even knowing that he had been hit in the collar bone by Jap shrapnel in the prison, (one inch to the left, and it would have killed him), and later during the battle of Manila he was wounded when a hand grenade exploded spewing shrapnel into his face, I had NO idea that the bombardment of the prison was so heavy and lethal and that the battle itself was so horrible until reading this book. The rescue truly was a daring operation. Why Spielberg or Eastwood or Gibson do not make a film of this, I have no idea.
People who had survived over 3 years of abuse, starvation, executions of friends are killed while holding hands in the main building. I saw the pock marks on the building when I was there in 2010. One cavalryman came into the main building holding a bundle wrapped in a poncho. He was dazed like in a trance. He went up to one of the doctors and asked "What should I do with this?" The doctor unwrapped the bundle. It was the upper torso of the cavalryman's best friend.
In New Guinea, in the Admiralty Islands, on Leyte, and then in Manila, my father saw the results of many Japanese atrocities, day in and day out. He only spoke of one such horror and refused to revisit so many others. This book lays such horrors out in detail and those details will rob most people of sleep. Reading Rampage, I understand my father so much better now.
Anyone with a feeling for the Philippines or interested in the Pacific War should read this book.
This is well worth reading for anyone interested in WWII history or war crimes.
The most tragic part of the book is the telling of the atrocities that the Japanese performed on the Philippine people in part II. They murdered thousands of people through beheading with swords, bayoneting, shooting and burning alive. Unarmed civilian males, women, and even children as young as months old (and even the wombs) were murdered by the Japanese. I won't go into the details of the murders committed by these barbarian animals because it disgusts me even to think that it happened. Furthered, the destroyed downtown Manila through bombs, mines and fire. At one point, a civilian exclaimed "burn down Tokyo"! (That would start on March 9th and continue through the end of the war with the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.)
When you read these barbaric atrocities, you can understand why some of our grandparents had such anger and even hatred of the Japanese.
If you want to read of a part of World War II that has not been covered enough, and if you can handle the detailed descriptions of the murders of the Philippine citizens in Manila in February, 1945, I highly recommend this book.
Books like these are very important to document the horror and tragedy of war so that hopefully, we will learn from our past and not do this again.