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Download Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission Audiobook, by Hampton Sides Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00010459156992 out of 54.00010459156992 out of 54.00010459156992 out of 54.00010459156992 out of 54.00010459156992 out of 5 4.00 (9,561 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hampton Sides Narrator: James Naughton Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2001 ISBN: 9780553755077
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A tense, powerful, grand account of one of the most daring exploits of World War II

On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected troops from the elite US Army 6th Ranger Battalion slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: march thirty miles in an attempt to rescue 513 American and British POWs who had spent three years in a hellish camp near the city of Cabanatuan. The prisoners included the last survivors of the Bataan Death March left in the camp, and their extraordinary will to live might soon count for nothing—elsewhere in the Philippines, the Japanese Army had already executed American prisoners as it retreated from the advancing US Army. As the Rangers stealthily moved through enemy-occupied territory, they learned that Cabanatuan had become a major transshipment point for the Japanese retreat, and instead of facing the few dozen prison guards, they could possibly confront as many as 8,000 battle-hardened enemy troops.

Hampton Sides’ vivid minute-by-minute narration of the raid and his chronicle of the prisoners’ wrenching experiences are masterful. But Ghost Soldiers is far more than a thrilling battle saga. Hampton Sides explores the mystery of human behavior under extreme duress—the resilience of the prisoners, who defied the Japanese authorities even as they endured starvation, tropical diseases, and unspeakable tortures; the violent cultural clashes with Japanese guards and soldiers steeped in the warrior ethic of Bushido; the remarkable heroism of the Rangers and Filipino guerrillas; the complex motivations of the US high command, some of whom could justly be charged with abandoning the men of Bataan in 1942; and the nearly suicidal bravado of several spies, including priests and a cabaret owner, who risked their lives to help the prisoners during their long ordeal.

At once a gripping depiction of men at war and a compelling story of redemption, Ghost Soldiers joins such landmark books as Flags of Our Fathers, The Greatest Generation, The Rape of Nanking, and D-Day in preserving the legacy of World War II for future generations.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Ghost Soldiers…is a great war story, and Mr Sides tells it well, giving texture to the personalities of  captives, captors, and rescuers alike.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • Ghost Soldiers is destined to become a classic of it’s genre. The ‘heartwarming World War II book’ is becoming a tiresome cliché, but you would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved—and inspired—by this book.” 

    Salon

  • “An anguished look into a pit of despair and an examination of the power of the human soul to create, destroy, and endure.”

    Sunday Oregonian

  • “Read the first ten pages of this moving book and you will be hooked by a riveting tale of American courage and heroism. In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides brings to life a forgotten adventure of World War II that you will always remember.”

    James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 2/19/2014

    " A book every American should read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 2/13/2014

    " It was definitely interesting to learn more about what happened in some of the POW camps in the Philippines. I love books that help history come to life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven Hummer | 2/10/2014

    " Got this for christmas I had just watched the movie "The Great Raid" wow didn't expect this book to be so great this book is the true story from the movie "The Great Raid" Great war movie and a great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 2/4/2014

    " Fabulous rescue story that completely renewed my interest in WWII. Mr. Sides does a great job of balancing background history for prisoners/soldiers and action chapters on the rescue. Great read for those mildly interested WWII and a great uplifting story from the war or for those looking for more in depth information on the Pacific side of the war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arlene | 1/25/2014

    " Amazing account of one of World War II's greatest rescue missions. Hampton Sides weaves the story of both Cabanatuan prisoners and rescuing Army Rangers into a harrowing and taut narrative. The author chronologically follows the events leading up to the great raid by switching perspectives between the two groups, and accompanying it with experiences from other essential individuals such as, Philippine guerilla fighters, underground resistance agents, and even the often unimaginably cruel Japanese captors. This is an essential read for anyone interested in heroic accounts of World War II. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charity U | 1/23/2014

    " Such a sad book...review coming soon on Austenitis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simon | 1/10/2014

    " A rather harrowing account of the trials of the soldiers who endured the Bataan Death March and the three years of captivity under the Japanese in the Philippines. Cohesively written with much autobiographical detail the reader will be confronted with experiences bordering on the unimaginable, the oppressive weather, the cruelty of their captors and the ravages of disease along with the effects of chronic malnutrition. I found interesting the differences the prisoners found after three years of captivity in the men and matriel of their own armed forces at the time of their rescue. The bravery of the 6th Ranger Battalion with it's 2 supporting groups of Phillipino guerillas in the rescue of 500 P.O.W.s is certainly a story well worth the telling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susie | 1/10/2014

    " Such an amazing story, both horrifying and wonderful. I also appreciate the ability to picture my grandfather walking among the parade of soldiers mentioned in this books conclusion. I feel like I now know the smallest something of his experience in the war. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laina | 1/8/2014

    " This book was okay. It didn't suck me in as much as I expected it would, but once again it is interesting to hear about the Japanese portion of WWII as it is often forgotten. I think there are better WWII books out there though... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James Coats | 10/3/2013

    " Riveting real-life story. Amazing the evil and heroism war brings forth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liam | 8/30/2013

    " Great book. The exquisite detail really drew me into this story of unthinkable heroism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cohan | 5/15/2013

    " Fascinating book adapted into a forgettable film (The Great Raid). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Devowasright | 4/10/2013

    " fantastically well researched and written. the movie 'the great raid' was based on this.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karynda23 | 1/31/2013

    " I' loved this bOok. One of my top 5's "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 12/21/2012

    " I can't even say how much I loved this book. I'd heard about the Bataan Death March but not about the POW camp and the rescue. So much bravery and devotion while enduring such hardship and deprivation, you can't help but be moved and proud. It truly was the greatest generation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pete Aldin | 11/5/2012

    " Ghost Soldiers reached inside me and ripped my guts out. Makes you both ashamed and proud of the feats and the atrocities that human beings are capable of. The book covered an unknown (to me) aspect of WW2 which I found fascinating. A story that had to be told. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanne | 7/8/2012

    " True story - very tough story of POWs. Shows human capacity for hope - unforgettable book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryan Bentley | 6/29/2012

    " Very well written, horrifying treatment of American Soldiers in the Philippines by the Japanese Army "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kyle | 6/7/2012

    " If you like old history, this is a must read. Tragic, but interesting. Makes you think. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick Cowsill | 11/5/2011

    " Read it twice. I couldn't put it down the first time. Luckily, I was sick, so I could rest in bed all day without distractions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeffery | 10/23/2011

    " Thoroughly engrossing. So real you will want to keep quinine and a canteen of fresh water nearby. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Still | 9/24/2011

    " I think I liked this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 8/18/2011

    " This is an excellent accounting of the real drama of a POW rescue from a prison camp in The Phillipines near the close of WWII. Amazing survival story. Real life heroes!!! I recommend this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh | 4/19/2011

    " This was a good read. I couldn't put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roger | 4/11/2011

    " Terrific account of the Bataan Death March, and the rescue mission to save the survivors. After reading this, there is no misconception - there is nothing romantic or glamorous about war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kiminy | 4/10/2011

    " Unbelievable. I am outraged that the hippies who taught me history failed me so miserably. They taught us about Pearl Harbor and the dropping of the A bomb. We should have been taught about so much more in this war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaime | 4/6/2011

    " This book was chosen by my book club and I was honestly not excited to read it. However, I'm glad I did because I absolutely loved it! I'm definitely going to recommend this book to all the readers I know! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen | 3/31/2011

    " Very well written. I knew about Cabanatuan Camp but no in this detail. My high school biology teacher, Clarence Bower, was one of the prisoners there. But he was a good biology teacher at West High School in Columbus Ohio. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kendar88 | 3/27/2011

    " Very well done. Didn't even notice it was abridged. Narrator was good and story was focused. Gave perspective of the prisoners and the rescuers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monica | 3/21/2011

    " I read this book a few years ago & it still haunts me. I was reminded of it by reading the Poisonwood Bible & Nathan's experience in the Phillipines. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tess | 3/17/2011

    " I love this book. It is a very true and sad account of what happened to the American soldiers and the Filipinos that aided them during the Death March in Bataan. Your goes out to these brave individuals that had to endure so much physical and psychological torture. It is worth the read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 3/16/2011

    " One of my favorite books. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelly | 3/8/2011

    " The only interesting chapter was the last one and epilogue "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie | 3/5/2011

    " amazing book and amazing story of the survivors and the ones who perished before help arrived. definitely a book everybody should read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valynn | 3/1/2011

    " It's been quite a while since I read this book, and I don't remember much of the details, but I remember that I really appreciated reading it. I seem to have inherited at least a few of the WWII-history-buff genes that are swirling around in my family! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 2/16/2011

    " Very well-written story about a remarkable feat in our history. Man's inhumanity to man never ceases to amaze me, nor does what people really can endure, and overcome.
    "

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About the Author
Author Hampton Sides

Hampton Sides, a native of Memphis, is an award-winning editor of Outside and the author of the bestselling histories Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers. He lives in New Mexico with his wife and their three sons.

About the Narrator

James Naughton is an actor and director. He first came to prominence in the television series adaptation of the Planet of the Apes movie series of the same name. Since then, he has starred in dozens television shows and appeared in numerous Broadway plays. He is a two-time Tony Award winner, one for his performance as Sam Spade in City of Angels and the other portraying Billy Flynn in the 1997 revival of Chicago.