For anyone who enjoys reading the history of World War II *raises hand*, then you have to check out the latest great piece of work by Kevin Maurer, “Rock Force: The American Paratroopers Who Took Back Corregidor and Exacted MacArthur’s Revenge on Japan.” It is available in physical and digital formats. 

Maurer is a very experienced author. He spent time embedded with Special Forces operators in Afghanistan and with the 82nd Airborne. He also co-wrote the book “No Easy Day” with Navy SEAL Mark Owen that recounts the raid that took out Osama bin Laden. So, he knows how to tell a military story. 

Corregidor, as known as “The Rock” or the “Gibraltar of the East” was the scene of one of the worst defeats in American military history. Corregidor was the largest of four fortified islands protecting the mouth of Manila Bay. It had been fortified prior to World War I with powerful coastal artillery. It was relatively small, just 3.5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide at its head, and only two miles from Bataan. Its widest elevated area, known as Topside, held most of the fort’s 56 coastal artillery pieces and installations. A labyrinth of tunnels connected the gun emplacements that housed 1,000 troops and a hospital. 

After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and invaded the Philippines, Corregidor came under siege from December 29, 1941, through April 1942. After the fall of Bataan, the Japanese landed troops on Corregidor. The bloody fighting continued until May when General Jonathan Wainwright, who commanded the American and Filippino forces after General MacArthur’s evacuation, surrendered.