Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission
The release of the megabudget critical dud Pearl Harbor has undoubtedly stirred a renewed interest in World War II (witness the proliferation of war documentaries up and down the television dial). Ghost Soldiers separates history from Hollywood, recounting the 1945 rescue of 513 U.S. soldiers who had been captured by Japanese troops and subjected to the Bataan Death March. (Nearly 80,000 American and Filipino soldiers and 20,000 Filipino civilians were apprehended by Japanese forces. Of those, only 513 survived.) The soldiers were tortured, brutalized, and ravaged by malaria and dysentery for three years before the 6th Army Ranger Battalion liberated the group from the Cabanatuan prison camp in the Philippines. Hampton Sides, a columnist for Outside magazine, interviewed surviving Rangers and has assembled a gripping account of one of the most appalling examples of wartime brutality.