Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Review of "MacArthur’s Undercover War: Spies, Saboteurs, Guerrillas and Secret Missions," by William B. Breuer

 Review of

MacArthur’s Undercover War: Spies, Saboteurs, Guerrillas and Secret Missions, by William B. Breuer ISBN 9780785820482

Five out of five stars

A story of incredible heroism

 When the Japanese invaded the Philippines, they appeared to be unstoppable and there was concern that all of Asia would be added to their domain. Yet, in the darkest of times immediately after the American forces in Bataan and Corregidor surrendered, there were those that remained in the Philippines and continued the fight. Some were given orders to become part of the Japanese designated native officials while engaged in espionage while others took to the jungles and engaged in guerrilla warfare against the superior Japanese forces.

 The Japanese were ruthless in their treatment of enemy POWs and the native populations. Therefore, to resist the Japanese in any way and to be discovered meant torture and death. Sometimes, even the mere suspicion was enough to be killed. Therefore, the people that fought back were very courageous. Some of the bravest were the men that volunteered to be transported into enemy territory in order to gather intelligence. Although most survived, as they were being planned, they were openly considered suicide missions.

 This is a fascinating book in that it describes a side of the Pacific war rarely mentioned. Specifically, the ways that the native people resisted the Japanese rule and how they suffered for it. Most of the historical coverage is about the major battles, this book describes the background intelligence gathering that reduced Allied casualties. They had the right stuff needed to win wars.

MacArthur is described as incredibly brave, going into and remaining upright in combat zones as the bombs and bullets were flying. There is little to no criticism of his tactics, as he moved his forces from island to island destroying the enemy or bypassing them and letting them rot away.

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