Fighting for MacArthur

The Navy and Marine Corps' Desperate Defense of the Philippines

by John Gordon IV

As the only single-volume work to offer a full account of Navy and Marine Corps actions in the Philippines during World War II, this book provides a unique source of information on the early part of the war. It is filled with never-before-published details about the fighting, based on a rich collection of American and newly discovered Japanese sources, and includes a revealing discussion of the buildup of tensions between Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the Navy that continued for the remainder of the war. U.S. Army veteran and defense analyst John Gordon describes in considerable detail the unusual missions of the Navy and Marine Corps in the largely Army campaign, where sailors fought as infantrymen alongside their Marine comrades at Bataan and Corregidor, crews of Navy ships manned the Army's heavy coastal artillery weapons, and Navy submarines desperately tried to supply the men with food and ammunition. He also chronicles the last stand of the Navy's colorful China gunboats at Manila Bay.

The book gives the most detailed account ever published of the Japanese bombing of the Cavite Navy Yard outside Manila on the third day of the war, which was the worst damage inflicted on a U.S. Navy installation since the British burned the Washington Navy Yard in 1814. It also closely examines the surrender of the 4th Marines at Corregidor, the only time in history that the U.S. Marine Corps lost a regiment in combat. To provide readers with a Japanese perspective of the fighting, Gordon draws on the recently discovered diary of a leader of the Japanese amphibious assault force that fought against the Navy's provisional infantry battalion on southern Bataan, and he also makes full use of the U.S. ship logs and the 4th Marine unit diary that were evacuated from Manila Bay shortly before the U.S. forces surrendered.

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