10 books like Surrender and Survival

By E. Bartlett Kerr,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Surrender and Survival. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Ghost Soldiers

By Hampton Sides,

Book cover of Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission

I find Ghost Soldiers to be an excellent account of the rescue of Allied POWs, many held since the outset of the U.S. involvement in World War II, from the infamous Cabanatuan Japanese Prisoner of War Camp in central Luzon in the Philippines. Based upon interviews of those involved, it would be used as one of two true-to-life books to create the 2005 movie The Great Raid. This book has a strong place in my heart since Ed Babler was marched to this POW camp soon after surrendering on the offshore island of Corregidor and would spend at least three months there.

Ghost Soldiers

By Hampton Sides,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Ghost Soldiers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “The greatest World War II story never told” (Esquire)—an enthralling account of the heroic mission to rescue the last survivors of the Bataan Death March.

On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese soldiers elsewhere in the Philippines made the stakes impossibly high and left little time to plan the complex operation.

In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides vividly…


Last Man Out

By Bob Wilbanks,

Book cover of Last Man Out: Glenn McDole, USMC, Survivor of the Palawan Massacre in World War II

Last Man Out is the true account of a U.S. Marine who surrendered to the Japanese on the Philippine Island of Corregidor. I find this book and its account very interesting because Ed Babler was at the very same POW camp on the Island of Palawan during the time that Glenn McDole was and only escaped being murdered by the Japanese with the bulk of the rest of the Marines there due to having been injured and transferred off prior to the massacre. Last Man Out tells the harrowing account of the massacre and how McDole was able to escape, one of the very few to do so.

Last Man Out

By Bob Wilbanks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last Man Out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On December 14, 1944, Japanese soldiers massacred 139 of 150 American POWs. This biography tells the story of Glenn (""Mac"") McDole, one of eleven young men who escaped and the last man out of Palawan Prison Camp 10A. Beginning on December 8, 1941, at the U.S. Navy Yard barracks at Cavite, the story of this young lowan soldier continues through the fighting on Corregidor, the capture and imprisonment by the Japanese Imperial Army in May 1942, Mac's entry into the Palawan prison camp in the Philippines on August 12, 1942, the terrible conditions he and his comrades endured in the…


Hero of Bataan

By Duane P. Schultz,

Book cover of Hero of Bataan: The Story of General Wainwright

The Hero of Bataan is an excellent book that tells the story not of General Douglas MacArthur, but General Jonathan Wainwright, the real hero of Bataan and Corregidor. It covers the battle of the Philippines at the outset of the U.S. involvement in World War II, the fall of the Philippines, and Wainwright’s experiences as a Japanese-held POW for the rest of the war. It describes that even as the senior U.S. POW in Japanese hands, Wainwright was treated as poorly as any other POW, as were other Allied general officers listed in the book. I find this an excellent, interesting, must-read to understand what really occurred in the Philippines during the early stages of the war and to those who survived the battles.

Hero of Bataan

By Duane P. Schultz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hero of Bataan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Presents the story of General Wainwright and his years as a POW


Stalag Wisconsin

By Betty Cowley,

Book cover of Stalag Wisconsin: Inside WWII Prisoner of War Camps

Stalag Wisconsin is an excellent account of World War II POWs housed in Wisconsin. Growing up in Wisconsin, including in a town that had actually contained one of these POW camps, I had never heard of such a thing happening. My parents, aunts, uncles, and even teachers never mentioned the subject. Most interesting, at least to me, is that, as the book states, the local peoples treated the POWs with respect and kindness. This, I found most interesting as a juxtaposition to how both the Japanese and to an extent the Germans were at that very same time treating U.S. POWs held in their ‘care’.

Stalag Wisconsin

By Betty Cowley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stalag Wisconsin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

STALAG WISCONSIN: Inside WW II prisoner-of-war camps is a comprehensive look inside Wisconsin's 38 branch camps that held 20,000 Nazi and Japanese prisoners of war during World War II. Many of these prisoners blended with the local community, drinking at taverns and even dating local girls. Some returned and settled in Wisconsin after their release. Their familiarity with local residents caused resentment by returning soliders who had battled them in Europe and Asia.


Unbroken

By Laura Hillenbrand,

Book cover of Unbroken

The bestselling novel turned motion picture about Louis Zamperini by Laura Hillenbrand. It’s truly a story about the strength of the human will to endure incredible hardship and cruelty. Louis is on a flight mission with several others, and his plane is struck down over the Pacific waters in a firefight. Him and several other survivors drift on a life raft for many days, until they are captured by the Japanese. They face many obstacles in their survival as they are repeatedly beaten and inhumanely starved. Once the war was over, Louis returns home to discover that the wounds of his captivity still remain with him. Laura writes about Louis’ road to finding peace with his dark past, and a newfound faith. Familiar with my own father’s struggles from war-torn Cambodia, it is this section that resonates closely and compassionately with me. Near the conclusion of the book, it ends…

Unbroken

By Laura Hillenbrand,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Unbroken as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of the bestselling and much-loved Seabiscuit, an unforgettable story of one man's journey into extremity. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant's name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood,…


The Railway Man

By Eric Lomax,

Book cover of The Railway Man: A POW's Searing Account of War, Brutality and Forgiveness

This book inspired a movie by the same name. This is an autobiographical book by Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who was sent to a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in 1942, where he was tormented and tortured nearly to the point of death. Decades after the war is over, he is made contact to the Japanese interrogator who harshly mistreated him. The both of them would eventually meet in Thailand near the area where he was a prisoner. Eric finds the man is deeply remorseful for the crimes he committed and asks for forgiveness. Railway Man has a touching ending where the survival was not during the war itself, but dealing with the trauma and psychologically damaged in the aftermath. And remarkably healing comes through the redemptive power of forgiveness.

The Railway Man

By Eric Lomax,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Railway Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING COLIN FIRTH, NICOLE KIDMAN AND JEREMY IRVINE

During the second world war Eric Lomax was forced to work on the notorious Burma-Siam Railway and was tortured by the Japanese for making a crude radio.

Left emotionally scarred and unable to form normal relationships Lomax suffered for years until, with the help of his wife Patti and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, he came to terms with what had happened and, fifty years after the terrible events, was able to meet one of his tormentors.

The Railway Man is an…


Island Encounters

By Geoffrey M. White, Lamont Lindstrom,

Book cover of Island Encounters: Black and White Memories of the Pacific War

Anyone interested in the War in the Pacific will find this collection of 175 photographs showing the variety of interactions of Islanders and foreign servicemen interesting. It goes beyond official military photos (though there are plenty of those) to include photos from Japanese sources and veterans’ personal photographs. The text gives insight into the conditions of war and how Islanders and foreign fighters perceived and dealt with each other. A beautifully produced book.

Island Encounters

By Geoffrey M. White, Lamont Lindstrom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Island Encounters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explores the massive and sudden contact between powerful military forces and Pacific islanders, blending oral histories recorded in the islands after WWII with some 175 photographs gleaned from Japanese newspaper morgues, the private albums of US veterans, and Allied military archives. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.


MacArthur at War

By Walter R. Borneman,

Book cover of MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific

In view of the numerous controversies and varied views of General MacArthur’s actions and policies in the Pacific War, it is great to have a balanced and very carefully researched and presented account of a commander who was in it from Japan’s attack on the United States to Japan’s surrender. While dealing fairly with some of the criticisms of the general, Borneman does note his repeated announcements of battles being ended when they were not as well as the hopeless incompetence of his intelligence chief.

MacArthur at War

By Walter R. Borneman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked MacArthur at War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

World War II changed the course of history. Douglas MacArthur changed the course of World War II. MACARTHUR AT WAR will go deeper into this transformative period of his life than previous biographies, drilling into the military strategy that Walter R. Borneman is so skilled at conveying, and exploring how personality and ego translate into military successes and failures.

Architect of stunning triumphs and inexplicable defeats, General MacArthur is the most intriguing military leader of the twentieth century. There was never any middle ground with MacArthur. This in-depth study of the most critical period of his career shows how MacArthur's…


Implacable Foes

By Waldo Heinrichs, Marc Gallicchio,

Book cover of Implacable Foes: War in the Pacific, 1944-1945

This is simply one of the finest books to be written on the final critical two years of the Pacific War, with extensive detail on the Japanese side of the conflict and plenty of new insights into the better-known American story. It is a big book, but this was a large conflict both in terms of space, time, and the resources deployed. It was also chiefly a story of amphibious naval warfare, an original and significant development in modern warfare that too often gets understated. By the end of the conflict, the American armed forces had created the shape that they were to employ for the next half-century in projecting power overseas.

Implacable Foes

By Waldo Heinrichs, Marc Gallicchio,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Implacable Foes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

May 8, 1945, Victory in Europe Day-shortened to "V.E. Day"-brought with it the demise of Nazi Germany. But for the Allies, the war was only half-won. Exhausted but exuberant American soldiers, ready to return home, were sent to join the fighting in the Pacific, which by the spring and summer of 1945 had turned into a grueling campaign of bloody attrition against an enemy determined to fight to the last man. Germany had surrendered unconditionally. The Japanese
would clearly make the conditions of victory extraordinarily high.

Following V-E Day, American citizens understandably clamored for their young men to be shipped…


Twilight of the Gods

By Ian W. Toll,

Book cover of Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945

The third and final book of the epic Pacific War Trilogy, Twilight of the Gods is the story of the crushing of the once venerable Japanese Empire. At just under 800 pages the book describes in the great detail the coming apocalypse for the Japanese war machine. While 1943 was pivotal with the war in the Pacific having essentially been won by the Allies, it was 1944 and 1945 where the real murder of empire happened. In these two years of horrendous fighting, hundreds of thousands died for what was clearly a lost cause. The Japanese tried one last time at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, but were massacred by the incredible might of the U.S. Navy and combined forces. Toll brings the reader into the little details of the war, and how they affected everything.

Twilight of the Gods

By Ian W. Toll,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Twilight of the Gods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In June 1944, the United States launched a crushing assault on the Japanese navy in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The capture of the Mariana Islands and the accompanying ruin of Japanese carrier airpower marked a pivotal moment in the Pacific War. No tactical masterstroke or blunder could reverse the increasingly lopsided balance of power between the two combatants. The War in the Pacific had entered its endgame.

Beginning with the Honolulu Conference, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met with his Pacific theater commanders to plan the last phase of the campaign against Japan, Twilight of the Gods brings…


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