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and life along the winding road

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

In Killing the Rising Sun, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard explain the events leading up to World War II in the Pacific, the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the eventual defeat of the Japanese by launching an atomic bomb. While the atrocities are well known, it does go into detail how the people of the Philippines were treated and the bloody battlefields. But it also humanizes those in the midst of the war in Asia and gives us a glimpse into those in power and those fighting.

One thing that did get my attention in view of our current situation with so many refugees coming into the country, was that Japanese soldiers, several years before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, under cover of other professions, infiltrated the Philippines. Their motives were to map the islands (7,000) and spy on Philippine coastal defenses. Filipino president, Manuel Quezon  stated later that he was unaware that his gardener was a Japanese major and his masseur a Japanese colonel. General MacArthur was criticized for being ill-prepared. After leaving the US army in 1937 he had lived in opulence in a Manila penthouse as a field marshal in the Philippine Army before being recalled to the US Army in 1941 and thought to be the best choice to command American forces. But after Japanese bombing, he retreated, leaving his army to face the brutal treatment of the Japanese - The Bataan Death March.

Reports of General Douglas MacArthur can be read here

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