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Shadows in the Jungle: The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines in World War II

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Overview

In the early days of World War II, Japanese forces pushed across the Pacific, taking island after island from Allied forces. General Douglas MacArthur needed a new kind of fighting force. He needed the Alamo Scouts.

Formed as an elite intelligence unit, the Scouts were to silently slip onto Japanese-held islands and assess enemy locations, conditions, morale, and troop strength, all while remaining undetected. It was an impossible task that ...

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Overview

In the early days of World War II, Japanese forces pushed across the Pacific, taking island after island from Allied forces. General Douglas MacArthur needed a new kind of fighting force. He needed the Alamo Scouts.

Formed as an elite intelligence unit, the Scouts were to silently slip onto Japanese-held islands and assess enemy locations, conditions, morale, and troop strength, all while remaining undetected. It was an impossible task that became an incredible success.

More than just a recon and intelligence outfit, the Scouts conducted rescue missions to recover prisoners from Japanese camps, organized and supplied guerrilla freedom fighters, and provided protection for General MacArthur himself. They completed at least 108 known missions, but not a single Scout was killed or captured.

National bestselling author Larry Alexander takes readers in the footsteps of the men who made up the elite reconnaissance unit that served as General MacArthur's eyes and ears in the Pacific War. Drawing from interviews and testimonies from Scout veterans, Alexander weaves together the tales of the individual Scouts, who often spent weeks behind enemy lines to complete their missions. Now, more than sixty years after the wax, the story of the Alamo Scouts has finally been told.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The little-known Alamo Scouts were formed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur as an elite unit shortly after defeat in the Philippines in 1942 and charged with gathering intelligence, reporting on conditions in the occupied areas, and rescuing prisoners and hostages from the Japanese. They completed 108 missions behind enemy lines. Alexander (Biggest Brother) has a story-telling style that makes this account, based largely on memoirs and interviews with the now elderly surviving Scouts, an easy read. For those reading comprehensively on the war in the Pacific.
—Edwin Burgess

From the Publisher
"One of those rare works of nonfiction that does indeed read like a novel and also sheds light on a heroic and almost unknown group of men." —-Michael Korda, New York Times bestselling author of Ike: An American Hero
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616814205
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/3/2009
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry Alexander has been a journalist and columnist for the Intelligencer Journal newspaper in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for more than a decade, winning numerous awards for excellence in journalism. He grew up on the same street in the same town as Major Dick Winters, three decades later.

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Table of Contents

Introduction The Best of the Best 1

1 Hollandia: "Looks Like We Walk Home." 9

2 "I'll Form My Own Intelligence Unit." 26

3 Recruitment and Training 44

4 The First Mission 69

5 "God Bless You, Brave Soldiers." 84

6 "...The Entire Shoreline Was Ablaze." 101

7 Final Operations in New Guinea 117

8 "...By Far the Best Show I've Ever Seen." 139

9 The Rescue at Cape Oransbari 157

10 "Maybe We Can Save the World." 170

11 Samar/Ormoc Bay 198

12 "Only an Act of God Is Going to Get You Out." 218

13 First In, Last Out 230

14 "If I Don't Make It, It's Up to You." 257

15 "I Wouldn't Trade the Whole Damned Jap Army for One Alamo Scout." 272

16 "It Would Have Been Near Suicide." 298

Epilogue: Through the Years 307

App. A Alamo Scout Team Rosters 315

App. B Glossary of Terms 319

Selected Bibliography 321

Index 325

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Customer Reviews

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