Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission

Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission

by Hampton Sides
4.6 219

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Overview

Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission by Hampton Sides

“The greatest World War II story never told” (Esquire)—an enthralling account of the heroic mission to rescue the last survivors of the Bataan Death March. 

On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese soldiers elsewhere in the Philippines made the stakes impossibly high and left little time to plan the complex operation.

In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides vividly re-creates this daring raid, offering a minute-by-minute narration that unfolds alongside intimate portraits of the prisoners and their lives in the camp. Sides shows how the POWs banded together to survive, defying the Japanese authorities even as they endured starvation, tropical diseases, and torture. Harrowing, poignant, and inspiring, Ghost Soldiers is the mesmerizing story of a remarkable mission. It is also a testament to the human spirit, an account of enormous bravery and self-sacrifice amid the most trying conditions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400033409
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/17/2002
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 50,888
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Hampton Sides is a contributing editor to Outside. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, DoubleTake, The New Republic, The Washington Post and on All Things Considered. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 219 reviews.
silencedogoodreturns More than 1 year ago
This is a disturbing book, well written and hard to put down. The publisher's notes and other comments make it clear what the story is about. My main comment: Why does no one know of this raid/rescue mission? I've read WWII history all my life, been in the military 20+ years, and never heard of it. It is almost as if it has been erased from our history. Was the US Army so ashamed at how it abandoned the Bataan prisoners that it indeed drew a cloak over the survivors? I don't know...but I do know this is a story every American should become familiar with. Also a movie...not as good as the book, but has actual video footage of the survivors at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An engrossing read, though sometimes I had to put it down because I was truly troubled by the treatment our soldiers endured. Well written account -- a story that had to be shared
SkiSky More than 1 year ago
The novel takes the reader on an emotional journey while following the horrific experiences of the American soldiers stationed on the Philippine island of Bataan during World War II. With help from American not arriving, the soldiers are forced to surrender to the Japanese Imperial army. From here the reader is shown horrific personal accounts of innumerable war crimes committed against these Americans. While recalling these hellish experiences in a story like manner, Sides gives readers equal insight to the army group known simply as the Rangers. These men were called upon when the American army returned to the island of Bataan three years later. They were given an intricate precarious mission that would finally prove themselves as an elite fighting force. The mission's main objective was to secure all of the POWs in the Japanese death camp known as Cabanatuan. Yet to get there the men would have to march countless mile deep into enemy territory all the while keeping the element of surprise. The entire mission proves to be gripping and highly suspenseful, that will make it hard for readers to put the book down. Sides masterfully shows how cultural differences, racial aggression, and new found power come together to form a deadly cocktail that consumes thousands of American lives. The suspense of the novel takes a fare amount of chapters to develop, but the wait proves to be worth it in the end. The realistic elements of the novel, such as interviews and army documents add to the authenticity of the story, yet also add gruesome and sometimes gory scenarios. Due to these situations, if readers are offended by gore and fowl language, this book might not be suited well for them. Sides is also the author of Stomping Grounds and Americana and lives up to his reputation in Ghost Soldiers. This novel truly deserves all the accolades it receives which is why it deserves five stars.
AKC82 More than 1 year ago
Ghost Soldiers would definitely be one of the top three books I have read in my life. It surpassed my expectations. Had me in tears as I read it. My professor even said that my book review made her cry. If you are debating on buying this book, buy it. I am planning on keeping mine and having my kids read it when they get older.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this book. Hampton Sides did such a great job describing the surroundings, characters and emotions that it was difficult for me to continue to read the book because I was an emotional mess. And because it was so heart wrenching I could not stop reading because I needed to know what was going to happen next and how it would end. I highly recommend this book but be warned that it is very detailed and emotional.
Octlow More than 1 year ago
Most people would recognize and understand what the Bataan Death March was and who was involved. Also most Americans would not know why it happened, how many people there were, and where was support from America to help these men and women. The author tells us about the men who were on the Death March, their lives as POW¿s on Bataan and the rescue mission by Army Rangers in 1945 of Cabanatuan POW Camp on Bataan. From this book I attained a deeper appreciation for the Filipino guerilla soldiers who were left behind by McArthur, and the determination of the American soldiers who marched, died and endured during this time. Many of these men and women felt ¿abandoned¿, lied to and discarded; but they never gave up. The rescue mission was a brilliant tactical operation attempting to free these forgotten soldiers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read Mr. Sides' "Blood & Thunder" a year or so ago and enjoyed it so much I did an E-book search and bought "Ghost Soldiers". I'm glad I did. I don't even know how to describe this book other than to say it's unbelievable what those men survived. Well written and painstakingly researched, it is an excellent book.
Ameley More than 1 year ago
This is an absolute must read! I love reading about the wars, but even people not interested in military history would have to enjoy this story! It is heroic and exciting! It bounces around perfectly to provide the reader with the bigger picture! This book never drags, and I would recommend it to anybody!
hiii More than 1 year ago
The book that I am reviewing is Ghost Soldiers. The author of the book is Hampton Sides. The book takes places in World War 2. This book is about the prisoners of war (POW) and about a rescue mission. This book will tell you what it was like in World War 2 as a POW. Also it will get in depth into how they were treated. My personal reaction to this book is that I enjoyed it. The reason I enjoyed the book is because of all the action that happens throughout the chapters. There are some disgusting parts in this book, like when a soldier digs out a women's fetus with a butane. The book has a lot of graphic scenes. I think this book is a must read for people who enjoy history, action, and war books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very eye opening about Bataan and disturbing the way the Japanese treated it's prisioners -- shame on them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great story and good detail about the people helping the POWs. Very moving descriptions of the good and bad during war.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ghost soldiers... is a thrilling World War 2 book and Mr. sides tells the story very well giving the captives, captures, and rescuers personalities alike. My opinion is that this book is vibrantly, powerful and seems alive on the page. This book is a thrilling tale of American courage and heroism ghost soldiers Hamton side brings to life a fogotten rescuer mission that changed the lives of 513 POWs in a hellish POW camp This rescue mission alone is one that you will always remember. This book is recommended to childern interested in America's greatist World War 2 rescue mission.
Ranger82 More than 1 year ago
An exceptional book, it gives the reader a non-stop adventure from start to finish. It provides a full & heartfelt perspective of the heroic men and women from the beginning of the end at Bataan up to one of the most perfectly executed raids in American history. Mr. Sides' research and ability to express what these great men and women went through in war is a true gift to the reader. It combines courage, love, heroism, patriotism, humility.........and so much more. The veterans of Bataan, the brave Filipino guerillas, the courageous men of the Alamo Scouts and 6th Ranger Battalion, the dedicated women like "High Pockets"...... WOW!!You're talking real-life heroes here, not "Rambo" crap.The worst thing about this book is that it ends; you don't want to stop reading it. It's regretable there's not a higher rating, because giving this book a five star rating doesn't do it justice. Reading it is a gift from the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For school, i had a choice between 5 different nonfiction books to read. Im very glad i chose this one. It took me about2 chapters to get into, but after that, it read like a war movie. Very good read
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All I can say is I cried a lot this is a most read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Years of reading American history have taught me to separate author opinions from facts. I ignore the veiled opinions mixed with fact, but this authors opinions make me mad that i bought this book. He makes vicious treatment and decapitations of prisoners out to be a normal reaction from the Japanese, who had reason to hate us. Surely, a better book written on the subject is out there. Mr. Sides uses great vocabulary words, some rather archaic to appear modernly relevant, but it feels more smoke and mirrors than anything. Makes the content appear more scholarly than it actual probably is.
YankeeTony More than 1 year ago
Sorry, I thought this would be better, read it because nothing else at that time, Sorry. Yankee Tony
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DPINMT More than 1 year ago
Very touching story of endurance and the victory of good over evil. That's a poor description, but what else can I say? When I came to the end of the book I was disappointed because it was done. It's been a long time since I enjoyed a book this much.