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Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides Essay

Words: 328, Paragraphs: 1, Pages: 2

Paper type: Essay

When Japanfirst attacked Pearl Harbor, exactly 60 ago, little was known about the Imperial Army. Their mentality seemed almost non-human. Even while General MacArthur was attempting to maintain America’s ground in the Philippines this was so. Eventually, this lead to the surrender of the American army, the Batan death march, and imprisonment at Cabanatuan POW camp. These POWs were in fact elite soldiers of the sixth army. As the author of Ghost Soldiers, Hampton Sides, put it: ;They were the forgotten, an elite of the damned;.
The book begins with a long prologue describing the Palawan massacre at Puerto Princesa Prison Camp from the point of view of one of few survivors, Eugene Nielson. In fact, the majority of this book is described by World War II veterans who were either POWs or their rescuers. In the prologue, Nielson tells with little detail of how the Japanese imperial army managed to burn alive over 100 of his comrades and by which methods he and only 10 others managed to survive and swim to safety. Once in safety and within American lines, Neilson tells his story to high ranking officials in the army. This testimony brings the officers to a realization that the Japanese are inhumanly cruel to the POWs and the forgotten soldiers of Cabanatuan must be rescued. In addition General Mucci, in charge of the operation, is introduced along with his own man Captain Prince.
After the prologue, the story begins introducing thefirst of the prisoners, Dr. Ralph Hibbs, a medic in the army who was stationed in Batan. In this chapter, the loosing battle between the American army and the Imperial army is described finally leading up to American surrender. At the beginning this seemed wonderful, the men were tired of fighting and low on supplies. The surrender seemed even promising since the Japanese were know for their good hospitality. Tommie Thomas, one of the POWs even tells the story of his surrender to general Homma…

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