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Corregidor: The Rock Force Assault Paperback – February 17, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gen. Douglas MacArthur, escaping Corregidor not long before it fell to the Japanese in 1942, delivered a ringing promise to the people of the Philippines: "I shall return." Flanagan tells the story of the Japanese conquest of the Philippines and the recapture of the tiny island at the entrance to Manila Bay in 1945, militarily a minor but symbolically important moment in MacArthur's return. The two-week battle for Corregidor was complicated by the Americans' gross underestimation of enemy strength: expecting a few hundred demoralized defenders, they encountered more than 6000 Japanese soldiers and marines deployed in tunnels and caves, every man dedicated to the Bushido code that dictated a fight to the death. As the dust was settling, MacArthur himself came ashore and was met by the commander of the victorious U.S. Army troops. "Sir," said Col. George Jones, "I present to you the Fortress Corregidor"a stirring conclusion to a dramatic and well-told story.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

These two titles complement each other nicely. Together they tell the complete story of the island fortress in Manila Bay which became the symbol of American defeat and resurgence in the Philippines. Of the two, General Wright's story is far more gripping and personal. Wright was on the notorious Bataan Death March in 1942 and then in POW camps in the Philippines and Japan. An analytical and sensitive West Pointer, Wright gives a memorable look at POW life and attitudes towards food, the war, and each other. Several of the personalities he describes are unforgettable. Other survivors have published their stories, but this is one of the most detailed and best written. By contrast, General Flanagan's book is a straightforward popular history of the U.S. airborne and amphibious assault that eventually recaptured the island in 1945. There is a useful account of Corregidor's prewar history, the American fortifications, and the doomed campaign against the Japanese. Most of the book is a bullet-by-bullet account of the attack by the 503d Parachute Regiment, based on numerous interviews and recollections. Both titles are recommended for general collections.Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Press (February 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891416595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891416593
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,629,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
An amazinf feat of daring by a group of outnumbered Paratroopers, less than 3000, fighting against the best Japan had, namely Japanese Imperial Tiger Marines. Their strength was said to be over 6800. Only 21 Japaneses surrendered , 17 lived surviving their wounds. A tale of total disregard of human life. Corregidor was a small island fotress built by the US prior to WW2 and carried 56 major cannon emplacements behind concrete walls over 25 feet thick in parts and some sited over 600 feet above some of our forces. At the end of the battle over 6000 Japanese bodies covered the ground and fostered billions of flies and maggots entering our mouths while trying to eat or talk. A horrible experience which cannot be described in mear words. I was there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen VINE VOICE on June 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Corregidor: The Rock Force Assault" is the story of the island by that name which has played a prominent role in the defense of Manila Harbor. This book gives a good history of the island and the troops who recaptured it in 1945.
The book begins with the story of the conquest of the Philippines by American Forces in 1898 during the Spanish American War. It then continues with the military fortifications of the island during the American Administration. The Japanese conquest of the Philippines culminating in the Fall of Bataan and Corregidor in 1942 set the stage for the American reconquest.
Flanagan does an excellent job of introducing the reader to the assault forces, the 503d Parachute Regimental Combat Team and the 3rd Battalion Combat Team of the 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Division. We become familiar with the preparations of the 503d in the U. S., Australia and in its jumps at Nadzab in New Guinea and onto Noemfoor Island.
With the invasion of the Philippines proceeding successfully the hour for the redemption of American honor at Corregidor arrived. The small available drop zones on the island made the airborne assault most unlikely and, therefore, a total surprise to the Japanese defenders. Flanagan takes the reader through the challenges met by the assault force, the means of attack by air, sea and land, the Japanese resistance and the descriptions of the ambient conditions which add to the hellish atmosphere of war. The fanatical Japanese resistance captures our amazement while the cave by cave extermination of the enemy brings to mind contemporary reports form Afghanistan.
The emotional climax of the book is Gen.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Colocorky on July 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a pilot on one of the planes the paratroopers in the top of Corregidor so this book describing the assault from the perspective of a paratrooper was extremely interesting to me. I found it factual and it helped me to recall some things that has slipped into the shadowy past. I often wondered what happened to the plane immediately to my right that was hit in the engine as we were over the drop zone. I last saw him descending and trailing black smoke. Flanagan answered my question.

I now live in Colorado Springs, CO
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Format: Paperback
I picked up and old copy of this book and read it many years after having spent a weekend crawling around the shattered ruins of Corrigedor. Flanagan's history spends about the last half of the book detailing the planning and the set up for the Rock Force Assault to recapture Corrigedor. But it should be mentioned that Flanagan spends a considerable amount of time on how American got to the Philippines in the first place and sidetracks down areas of US foreign policy under MacKinley and even includes a military description of the battles in Cuba against the Spanish... whose empire America eventually took over.

There is also a rather excellent acount of the fall of Bataan and Corrigedor with and extremely detailed account of the fighting on the eastern end of the island. Most of this would not have gotten past a good editor who would have said... "too much detail and not central to the story you are telling." But no worries -- Flangan has a rare writing style that makes supremely interesting any tale he tells so wherever he took me I found him to be a great read.

No two ways about it, the Rock Force Assault was a daring raid. I saw the top-side golf course and the very small area the paratroopers jumped into -- a very close run thing. But with the amount of firepower and tremendous resources the Americans could bring to bear on the Island the result was a foregone conclusion - Japanese soldiers cut off from support of any kind simply took the only choice they had - death and here as elsewhere they died very well and very hard. Flanagan's story is about the Rock Force that took back the island, but it is much more than that, it is an excellent read.
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