Book Review – Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission


Most war stories would be listed as a historical account. There are few war stories that should be listed as inspirational and even an invaluable life lesson. The book, "Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission" is one of those war stories. This book was even made into a movie, "The Great Raid", back in 2005.

To understand the urgency of rescuing those prisoners who have been prisoners for several years, you will appreciate the timing of the rescue. More than likely, the prisoners would have been killed soon. It was a pattern that was happening around the Philippines during the inevitable re-taking of the Philippines by the Allied forces. Many POWs were massacred in the Southern part of the Philippines since it was a burden for the Japanese Imperial Army to keep these prisoners.

Many of us may not experience the atrocities of a Death March or the tribulations of a prison camp. We can learn lessons of perseverance, team work, commitment, and inspiration from the soldiers who took part in this rescue. We can learn lessons of endurance, patience, comradeship, and triumph from the prisoners at Cabanatuan.

The men involved in the rescue mission came from different background and had different perspectives and personalities. This rescue mission is a testament on how team work and team building can succeed. Failure was not (and can not be) an option. This is a story of a precise rescue plan with a timely execution and what it takes to succeed at it. The "why" was more important than "how".

On a personal note, my father-in-law survived the Death March but my uncle did not survive. The story of those who endured and those who perished is one that is inspiring and humbling. There have been several movies and books that discusses this triumphant tragedy in history. Prior to reading this book, I did not realize there was such a dinging mission to rescue some of the survivors of the Death March who were imprisoned in Cabanatuan. America is one of a few countries where they would risk lives to rescue lives. It is important to leave no one behind- whether you bring them back alive or even dead. There is value for the soldier and their life. There are many rescue missions done by various military armies. A major of them have been done by the American army. This says a lot about the importance of the GI (the American soldier) and how they are valued by their country.


Source by Pascasio JR Felisilda