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Editorial Reviews

After Japan's capture of the Philippines in 1942 forced General Douglas MacArthur to flee to Australia, the archipelago became a crucial battleground in the Pacific during World War II. MacArthur promised a return, and in 1944 he and his troops invaded the island of Leyte, engaging in a long and brutal battle with the Japanese over control of the country. Nathan Prefer's history of the struggle is well-researched, and the drama of combat comes to life with Jones Allen's impeccable performance. His gravelly voice imbues the firsthand accounts with even more of a sense of gravitas and thrilling danger.

Publisher's Summary

When General Douglas MacArthur arrived in Australia in March 1942, having successfully left the Philippines to organize a new American army, he vowed, "I shall return!" More than two years later he did return, at the head of a large U.S. army to retake the Philippines from the Japanese. The place of his re-invasion was the central Philippine Island of Leyte. Much has been written about the naval Battle of Leyte Gulf that his return provoked, but almost nothing has been written about the three-month long battle to seize Leyte itself.

Originally intending to delay the advancing Americans, the Japanese high command decided to make Leyte the "Decisive Battle" for the western Pacific and rushed crack Imperial Army units from Manchuria, Korea, and Japan itself to halt and then overwhelm the Americans on Leyte. As were most battles in the Pacific, it was a long, bloody, and brutal fight. As did the Japanese, the Americans were forced to rush in reinforcements to compensate for the rapid increase in Japanese forces on Leyte.

This unique battle also saw a major Japanese counterattack - not a banzai charge, but a carefully thought-out counteroffensive designed to push the Americans off the island and capture the elusive General MacArthur. Both American and Japanese battalions spent days surrounded by the enemy, often until relieved or overwhelmed. Under General Yamashita’s guidance it also saw a rare deployment of Japanese paratroopers in conjunction with the ground assault offensive.

Finally there were more naval and air battles, all designed to protect or cover landing operations of friendly forces. Leyte was a three-dimensional battle, fought with the best both sides had to offer, and did indeed decide the fate of the Philippines in World War II.

©2012 Nathan N. Prefer (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • jbnimble
  • 19-04-2014

Very well Researched..

The only thing the audio book is lacking is a map. Frequently I had to consult a map to get the feel of the terrain and distances. Unlike the European theater, which I assume most readers will be familiar with. Leyte is virtually unknown to most. So, get a map and start listening.

5 people found this helpful

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  • William Assande
  • 10-12-2020

interesting history, but boring narration.

A very indepth and detailed history of the Letye campaign. Sadly the narrators delivery was lack luster and comes across like a high school history lecture.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jim Payne
  • 22-12-2020

An important story not really well told here.

While I enjoy war history and think it is important to pass down stories of WWII to our follow on generations, the manner in which this book was written is tough to read. The text seems to be a rehash of after-action reports, both American and Japanese, award citations and command histories with very little other human element or direct quotes from soldiers that were there. While I was excited to pick up this story I was left a little wanting at the end,

1 person found this helpful

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  • Donald F Miller
  • 07-12-2020

Plodding and lackluster

it was slow at times, lots of information about the battle but it was like reading a stream of field reports and debriefing text. Very apparent that interviews and personal accounts were few or unobtainable. A fair amount of blame should be placed with the narration. Dry and monotonous.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dean
  • 26-04-2014

Let-Down

Honestly, I've listened to a lot of WW-II books. This is just lacking everywhere. Anyone can put a book together by reading the Action Reports. There is just very little depth to this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Player 1
  • 02-05-2021

Great Details down to individual efforts

I really liked it, only wish I had a map to see where the story happened to add perspective

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  • Joe
  • 25-03-2021

Wow

Very good book. Rich in history and haed to quit listening. Stayed up late a few times.

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  • CapnJ
  • 17-02-2021

A Complete Account

Complete in minute detail of the battles of the Leyte campaign. Exhausting to listen to the multitude of heroics of the US Army. Definitely an important book.

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  • Jerry
  • 27-04-2020

From the front lines

Let you follow the overall strategy in a personal way with the Generals who bore the responsibility of this huge undertaking and the lives involved to the frontlines of the soldiers involved who ultimately would decide the issue. Jones did a great job with the narration.

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