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Ghost Soldiers

The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Mar 26, 2001 – HPopular writer and Outside columnist Sides (Stomping Grounds) interviewed participants in one of WWII's little-known exploits—the rescue of 500 American and Allied POWs from Cabanatuan prison camp on the Philippine island of Luzon. This gripping account intertwines the tale of these prisoners, who were survivors of the horrible Bataan Death March in 1942, and 121 officers and men of the army's Sixth Ranger Battalion. Led by Colonel Henry Mucci and Captain Robert Prince, these Rangers, who had yet to taste active combat, trekked 30 miles behind Japanese lines to effect the rescue, haunted all the while by the knowledge that if their secret mission was leaked, the POWs would probably be massacred by their captors. Sides includes the heroic efforts of Claire Phillips and other resistance fighters to keep the Americans supplied with accurate intelligence, and the scores of villagers who helped the POWs to safety. Some Alamo Scouts and two Filipino guerrilla groups provided no small assistance to Mucci and his men. The raid itself was almost anticlimactic as the Rangers burst into the POW compound, eliminating the garrison and bringing out the inmates in less than half an hour. It's a tale worthy of a Hollywood movie (and film rights have been optioned by Universal). The author's excellent grasp of human emotions and bravery makes this a compelling book hard to put down.

Customer Reviews


A truly remarkable narrative that is expertly researched and told in a manner that allows you not only to see the events unfolding but to feel the emotions of the participants.

Awesome Read

A remarkable story of survival and great personal sacrifice, the Vets. of WWll should never be forgotten for what they gave for their country

Amazing story teller

This book is so well written. It seems a hard task to try and put into words such a harrowing time in history, but i think the author really hit the mark. This is a story that should be told and retold.

Ghost Soldiers
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Military
  • Published: May 15, 2001
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings