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

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of No Easy Day comes a thrilling World War II story of the American airborne soldiers who captured a Japanese-held island fortress In late December 1941, General Douglas MacArthur, caught off guard by the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, is forced to retreat to Corregidor, a jagged, rocky island fortress at the mouth of M From the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of No Easy Day comes a thrilling World War II story of the American airborne soldiers who captured a Japanese-held island fortress In late December 1941, General Douglas MacArthur, caught off guard by the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, is forced to retreat to Corregidor, a jagged, rocky island fortress at the mouth of Manila Bay. Months later, under orders from the president, the general is whisked away in the dark of night, leaving his troops to their fate. It is a bitter pill for a fiercely proud warrior who has always protected his men. He famously declares "I shall return," but the humiliation of Corregidor haunts him, even earning him the derisive nickname "Dugout Doug." In early 1945, MacArthur returns to the Philippines, his eyes firmly fixed on Corregidor. To take back the island, he calls on the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, a highly trained veteran airborne unit. Their mission is to jump onto the island—hemmed in by sheer cliffs, pockmarked by bomb craters, bristling with deadly spiky broken tree trunks—and wrest it from some 6,700 Japanese defenders who await, fully armed and ready to fight to the death. Drawn from firsthand accounts and personal interviews with the battle's surviving veterans, acclaimed war correspondent and bestselling author Kevin Maurer delves into this extraordinary tale, uncovering astonishing accounts of bravery and heroism during an epic, yet largely forgotten, clash of the Pacific War. Here is an intimate story of uncommon soldiers showing uncommon courage and winning, through blood and sacrifice, the redemption of General MacArthur.


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From the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of No Easy Day comes a thrilling World War II story of the American airborne soldiers who captured a Japanese-held island fortress In late December 1941, General Douglas MacArthur, caught off guard by the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, is forced to retreat to Corregidor, a jagged, rocky island fortress at the mouth of M From the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of No Easy Day comes a thrilling World War II story of the American airborne soldiers who captured a Japanese-held island fortress In late December 1941, General Douglas MacArthur, caught off guard by the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, is forced to retreat to Corregidor, a jagged, rocky island fortress at the mouth of Manila Bay. Months later, under orders from the president, the general is whisked away in the dark of night, leaving his troops to their fate. It is a bitter pill for a fiercely proud warrior who has always protected his men. He famously declares "I shall return," but the humiliation of Corregidor haunts him, even earning him the derisive nickname "Dugout Doug." In early 1945, MacArthur returns to the Philippines, his eyes firmly fixed on Corregidor. To take back the island, he calls on the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, a highly trained veteran airborne unit. Their mission is to jump onto the island—hemmed in by sheer cliffs, pockmarked by bomb craters, bristling with deadly spiky broken tree trunks—and wrest it from some 6,700 Japanese defenders who await, fully armed and ready to fight to the death. Drawn from firsthand accounts and personal interviews with the battle's surviving veterans, acclaimed war correspondent and bestselling author Kevin Maurer delves into this extraordinary tale, uncovering astonishing accounts of bravery and heroism during an epic, yet largely forgotten, clash of the Pacific War. Here is an intimate story of uncommon soldiers showing uncommon courage and winning, through blood and sacrifice, the redemption of General MacArthur.

30 review for Rock Force: The American Paratroopers Who Took Back Corregidor and Exacted MacArthur's Revenge on Japan

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alex Kershaw

    Loved this book. It's an amazing true story never told before. We always think of Europe when we think of WW2 paras. Think again. Written with real gusto and style. Proper page turner. Loved this book. It's an amazing true story never told before. We always think of Europe when we think of WW2 paras. Think again. Written with real gusto and style. Proper page turner.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cassie-Traveling Sister-

    One of My New Year resolutions was to read more non fiction, WW2 has always interested me and when I received this book I immediately started it! To be honest I don’t know very much about paratroopers and I feel like we don’t hear a lot about them. When I started this book I was amazed with their bravery. The 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment were dropped on the Island of Corregidor in the Philippine Islands. These men were sent their to retake the island from the Japanese, they knew they would One of My New Year resolutions was to read more non fiction, WW2 has always interested me and when I received this book I immediately started it! To be honest I don’t know very much about paratroopers and I feel like we don’t hear a lot about them. When I started this book I was amazed with their bravery. The 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment were dropped on the Island of Corregidor in the Philippine Islands. These men were sent their to retake the island from the Japanese, they knew they would be dropping down on rough terrain, some of the men landed and had broken bones or even died. The men of the 503rd struggled in battle for ten days against 6500 defending Japanese, in a battle that raged against the background of ruins that one time in the past was known as Gibraltar of the east. Low on food and water and sometimes trapped in one spot these men gave everything even their lives, they watched men who they considered friends die right in front of them. One fateful night the 50 men from the F company paratroopers watched over 500 Japanese marines March towards them what happened was a three hour battle that shocked me and left me amazed. The author does an incredible job introducing you to these brave soldiers before they made the jump onto Corregidor, then we follow them into battle and even after and we see how the battle effected the men after leaving the island. I feel like we need to remember the lives that were lost and the brave men who fought in WW2. I’m giving this book five stars I learned so much and I feel like it’s a must read!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This was an alright story, however I didn’t find it really compelling or exciting. I understand the importance since we mostly hear about paratroopers in the European theater. So on that point, I see why this book could be important. All that was overshadowed though with the first sentences of this book which told me that soldiers referred to the Japanese in ww2 as japs and nips, and the author had to remind me that I should be offended by this. Yeah, that’s a no from me on that. I think reading This was an alright story, however I didn’t find it really compelling or exciting. I understand the importance since we mostly hear about paratroopers in the European theater. So on that point, I see why this book could be important. All that was overshadowed though with the first sentences of this book which told me that soldiers referred to the Japanese in ww2 as japs and nips, and the author had to remind me that I should be offended by this. Yeah, that’s a no from me on that. I think reading a book about the pacific theater of ww2 gives me a basic understanding that that might happen. Virtue signaling and “woke” politically correctness is an automatic star deduction from me and I took another one off for being extra woke in that first statement. Thanks but no thanks on the warning mr. author. I appreciate that language as a sign of the times, I mean it was an effing war they started so save the lecture for someone else!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    I'm pretty conversant with most of the parachute operations that took place in Europe and the Mediterranean in World War II, from Eben Emael and Crete to Market-Garden and Varsity. I even know about the Soviet drop at Kanev, and operations by the American 11th Airborne Division in the Philippines. But I had never heard of the parachute drop by the 503rd Parachute Infantry Battalion to retake Corregidor in February 1945. Kevin Maurer's book fills that gap in my knowledge with an excellent tale tol I'm pretty conversant with most of the parachute operations that took place in Europe and the Mediterranean in World War II, from Eben Emael and Crete to Market-Garden and Varsity. I even know about the Soviet drop at Kanev, and operations by the American 11th Airborne Division in the Philippines. But I had never heard of the parachute drop by the 503rd Parachute Infantry Battalion to retake Corregidor in February 1945. Kevin Maurer's book fills that gap in my knowledge with an excellent tale told from the personal diaries and reminiscences of some of the key participants, supplemented by research from the official unit records and even the scanty Japanese accounts. The result is a Band of Brothers-like account that is gripping and embraceable, encompassing as it does a very well-defined space (the island of Corregidor) and time (about two weeks). Maurer weaves the details of daily life for the American paratroopers--the filth, the flies, the fear--into a larger picture of the recapture of the island fortress and the significance of that for American prestige.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mschultz62000

    As a history buff, I'm disappointed by how much I know about the war in the Pacific. This is a great telling of a crucial battle that was a precursor to the invasion of Japan. After reading this I have a further understanding of what such an invasion would have been like. It creates a good perspective on the argument regarding the dropping of atomic bombs. Engaging read, so happy I discovered this book As a history buff, I'm disappointed by how much I know about the war in the Pacific. This is a great telling of a crucial battle that was a precursor to the invasion of Japan. After reading this I have a further understanding of what such an invasion would have been like. It creates a good perspective on the argument regarding the dropping of atomic bombs. Engaging read, so happy I discovered this book

  6. 5 out of 5

    Randall Thomas

    An outstanding book on a battle I knew nothing about. Written as a story made it easier to follow than some other battle histories where one needs a map to keep track of the movements. Some reviewers marked the book down due to the author's note on the terms "Jap" and "Nip," seemingly because he was being politically correct. However, I do not see that as fair to the author, whom, I'm sure wrote those words mainly to protect himself from unfair accusations of racism. An outstanding book on a battle I knew nothing about. Written as a story made it easier to follow than some other battle histories where one needs a map to keep track of the movements. Some reviewers marked the book down due to the author's note on the terms "Jap" and "Nip," seemingly because he was being politically correct. However, I do not see that as fair to the author, whom, I'm sure wrote those words mainly to protect himself from unfair accusations of racism.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Very interesting book as well as enjoyable!!!! When I think of American paratroopers during World War II, I think of the 82ns and 101st Airborne that fought in Europe. I never knew of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment that fought on the island of Corregidor in the Philippine islands. The 503rd fought hard against the Japanese as well as the island's rough terrain to recapture the island. Very interesting book as well as enjoyable!!!! When I think of American paratroopers during World War II, I think of the 82ns and 101st Airborne that fought in Europe. I never knew of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment that fought on the island of Corregidor in the Philippine islands. The 503rd fought hard against the Japanese as well as the island's rough terrain to recapture the island.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    Audiobook - 3 stars. Glad to have watched movies/documentaries of the Pacific war before I read this so I had a clearer picture in my head what these soldiers were up against. Wish I could see a Hollywood adaptation of that Sherman tank blowing up.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheri Branham

    Amazing Stories Another great book about the greatest generation and the brave men who fought to take back Corrigador. These brave men gave everything they had to take back what the Japanese had taken.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hugh Breslin

    I loved this book. My father was in the 503rd and jumped on Corregidor. Gave me some insight into what he faced in the war. As most WWII vets, he never spoke about his combat tour of duty. I wish he was alive today to share this with him. RIP Dad.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tami Ami

    Kevin Maurer did a great job to collect some of the last surviving accounts and sentiments of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Division that dropped on Corregidor. War is brutal and often graphic. But, Mr Maurer set the stage to remember the events that were, for many, their last days of World War II.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Randall Malone

    Amazing book about real life heroes. They weren’t called the greatest generation for nothing. This book hit home as my grandfather also fought for the liberation of the Philippines. Loved it. Definitely worth your time to read especially if you are a WWII buff or just love history.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ernesto Ludman

    Fascinating story about a bit of history I knew nothing about before I picked up the book. Very skilled writer who knows how to keep the reader engaged.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rich Iorio

    This book has a special significance to me, my grandfather jumped on Corregidor with the 503rd. He said he went out the door his the wind pushed his helmet over his eyes he pushed it up next thing he knew his feet hit the ground and all hell broke loose . Come to learn in this book he was probably only 300 ft off the ground when he jumped. He was an 18 year old kid. It's hard to fathom. This book has a special significance to me, my grandfather jumped on Corregidor with the 503rd. He said he went out the door his the wind pushed his helmet over his eyes he pushed it up next thing he knew his feet hit the ground and all hell broke loose . Come to learn in this book he was probably only 300 ft off the ground when he jumped. He was an 18 year old kid. It's hard to fathom.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marshal Rosenberg

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sean Connelly

  17. 4 out of 5

    Willis

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  19. 5 out of 5

    ken

  20. 5 out of 5

    steven olslund

  21. 4 out of 5

    Akshaya Handa

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Curnutt

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mario F.

  24. 5 out of 5

    John C. Robbins

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ron Baumer

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dan Van

  27. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  28. 5 out of 5

    Herbert Hurn

  29. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Moore

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joe M. Lovoi

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