The Luzon Campaign-1945- Macarthur Returns

Review by Martin Koenigsberg

When I got back from a trip to the Philippines- I knew I wanted to read this book next. The Philippines was my father’s campaign- and I visited Luzon, so I was eager to put my knowledge to work. Nathan N. Prefer, a scholar and author of the Pacific War, brings his military history skills to explaining a military situation full of micro-battles and with severe logistical constraints. As with most WWII Pacific War campaigns fought large civilian populations, the collateral damage casualties and the intentional Japanese atrocities are both tragically part of the total story. There are lots of maps and photos to further explain the action- and plenty of attention paid to the logistical underpinnings of the whole enterprise.. What really surprised me was how quickly and effectively Filipino Guerillas were integrated into the US Army efforts. Within a few weeks, almost every US combat unit had Filipino Scouts, and within a few months, every US Regiment seems to have had a full-fledged Guerrilla band of Battalion size or larger to work with. The Japanese- who did have a logical battle plan -with some exceptions – were still caught out by the speed and agility of the Allied advance. With the Japanese always in need of resources- it is little wonder that the locals were eager to rid themselves of such hungry “guests’. The book does not linger over the Japanese destruction of Manila and its citizens- but gives it it proper space in the narrative. I enjoyed learning- although the tone was not light. The main adult themes are atrocities and various forms of abuse, making this best understood by the Junior Reader over 14/15 years. For the Gamer/Modeler/Military Enthusiast, it’s a bit of a mixed outing. For the Gamer, there are a lot of battles/pursuits that lend themselves to scenario/campaign development. My only advice would be to focus on precipitous terrain- as all hills and ravines I saw featured steep slopes. For the modeler, this will be a good source- but I am sure plenty of other resources would be as useful.for build/diorama development. The Military Enthusiast is the big winner- as this is a good explanation of a seldom studied late war campaign for the modern reader. A strong package on a less well known chapter of the Pacific War.

WhatAreYouReading #BookReviews #20thCenturyHistory #MilitaryHistory #PhillipinesHistory #AmericanColonialHistory #ImperialJapaneseHistory #FilipinoHistory #PinoyHistory #PacificWar #WWIIHistory #SWWHistory #SWW #WWII #WargameResearch #TheLuzonCampaign1945 #MacArthurReturns #NathanNPrefer #CasematePublishing #Luzon #Manila #ClarkAirForceBase #SubicBay #Corregidor #FlamesOfWar #BoltAction #WorldWarIIWargaming

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