Rampage: MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila (Hardcover)
This is the account of General Douglas MacArthur's much-storied, promised return to Manila in February, 1945, which marked the long-awaited liberation of two, eventually three, internment camps. Though the general expected that the enemy would retreat, it remained entrenched, and what followed was a horrendous twenty-nine-day battle, one that destroyed the city and slaughtered thousands of Philippine men, women and children. At the close of the conflict the commander of Japanese forces in the Philippines, General Tomoyuki Yamashita, was apprehended and brought to trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to hang. This is a brutal story but one told meticulously that should be remembered.— From Ann
The definitive history of one of the most brutal campaigns of the war in the Pacific.
Before World War II, Manila was a slice of America in Asia, populated with elegant neoclassical buildings, spacious parks, and home to thousands of U.S. servicemen and business executives who enjoyed the relaxed pace of the tropics. The outbreak of the war, however, brought an end to the good life. General Douglas MacArthur, hoping to protect the Pearl of the Orient, declared the Philippine capital an open city and evacuated his forces. The Japanese seized Manila on January 2, 1942, rounding up and interning thousands of Americans.
MacArthur, who escaped soon after to Australia, famously vowed to return. For nearly three years, he clawed his way north, obsessed with redeeming his promise and turning his earlier defeat into victory. By early 1945, he prepared to liberate Manila, a city whose residents by then faced widespread starvation. Convinced the Japanese would abandon the city as he did, MacArthur planned a victory parade down Dewey Boulevard. But the enemy had other plans. Determined to fight to the death, Japanese marines barricaded intersections, converted buildings into fortresses, and booby-trapped stores, graveyards, and even dead bodies.
The twenty-nine-day battle to liberate Manila resulted in the catastrophic destruction of the city and a rampage by Japanese forces that brutalized the civilian population. Landmarks were demolished, houses were torched, suspected resistance fighters were tortured and killed, countless women were raped, and their husbands and children were murdered. American troops had no choice but to battle the enemy, floor by floor and even room by room, through schools, hospitals, and even sports stadiums. In the end, an estimated 100,000 civilians lost their lives in a massacre as heinous as the Rape of Nanking.
Based on extensive research in the United States and the Philippines, including war-crimes testimony, after-action reports, and survivor interviews, Rampage recounts one of the most heartbreaking chapters of Pacific War history.
About the Author
James M. Scott is the author of Rampage, Target Tokyo, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; The War Below, and The Attack on the Liberty. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
Illuminating....An eloquent testament to a doomed city and its people. Rampage is a moving, passionate monument to one of humanity's darkest moments.
Powerful narrative history...impossible to put down.
— Bob Drogin
A masterful reconstruction of the horror of the battle.
A chilling, sometimes horrifying narrative of some of the fiercest urban fighting of World War II....Scott gives voices to the victims, and that is an important service to history....[He] is a fine writer, and he musters his considerable talents to move the storyline forward.
— Hal Bernton
An excellent but wrenchingly graphic account of one of the least commemorated massacres in World War II....Scott has dug very deep into the U.S. and Philippine records of the battle and uses them deftly....[He] wields the vivid testimony of the rare survivors to portray the full horrors of the events.
— Richard Frank
Scott has done history a service in recording for all time this dark chapter in the Pacific War.
What Iris Chang did for our understanding of the Rape of Nanking, James M. Scott has now done for the Battle of Manila. Here is a sweeping tale of frenzied fighting and heartbreaking devastation, written by a meticulous historian who has unflinchingly probed the truth of this largely forgotten episode from the Pacific.
— Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers and On Desperate Ground
A masterpiece of historical reportage, brilliantly bringing to life the savage battle for Manila—one of the most dramatic and disturbing episodes of World War II.
— Alex Kershaw, New York Times best-selling author of Avenue of Spies
This is General Douglas MacArthur as you have not heard him; this is World War II as you have not seen it before; this is history written with a wide sweep and deep focus, the prose and reporting falling in aching rhythms on scenes of beauty, despair, defiance, the terrible trespasses people make, and their striving to endure. James Scott’s skill as a reporter and his precision as a stylist make this story unstoppable from the very first scene. Across these pages falls the shadow of a history we thought we knew well, but in Scott’s telling, so much is revealed and illuminated. A bold surprise of a history book. A treasure for lovers of stories beautifully told. Transcendent.
— Doug Stanton, New York Times best-selling author of The Odyssey of Echo Company and 12 Strong
A relentless narrative of one of the darkest chapters of the Pacific War....Deeply researched and superbly written.
— Ian W. Toll, New York Times best-selling author of The Conquering Tide