Rock Force: The American Paratroopers Who Took Back Corregidor and Exacted MacArthur’s Revenge on Japan

Kevin Maurer. Caliber, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5247-4476-2
Journalist Maurer (coauthor, No Easy Day) delivers a straightforward account of the battle for the Philippines island of Corregidor during WWII. After fleeing the island in March 1942, two months before it succumbed to Japanese forces, Gen. Douglas MacArthur needed to retake Corregidor as part of the U.S. military’s “stepping-stone” strategy for an invasion of Japan. In February 1944, paratroopers from the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment under the command of Col. George Jones landed on the head of the tadpole-shaped island, in an area known as Topside. Drawing on letters and war journals, Maurer follows Jones and other officers, as well as enlisted men, throughout the difficult and dangerous campaign, which involved extracting determined Japanese soldiers from caves and other underground fortifications previously occupied by the Americans. In the end, the two-week battle for Corregidor cost 228 American lives with another 727 injured or wounded, while the Japanese lost 4,497 men. Maurer includes several intriguing scenes from the Japanese perspective, and dramatically describes many individual acts of American heroism, but the sorties and missions begin to blur together, and the links to the larger war effort are somewhat underdeveloped. This tightly focused history is best suited to WWII completists. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 08/28/2020
Release date: 12/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-1-5247-4478-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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