An account of the World War II Battle of Manila, describing the 29 days of systematic rape, pillage, plunder, and murder committed by Japanese troops against innocent Filipino men, women, and children as American forces fought to liberate a city that was once called the Pearl of the Orient.
It is powerful narrative history, one almost too painful to read in places but impossible to put down ... Although some of those stories are familiar, he adds a heart-rending portrayal of the brutal life they endured. But Scott breaks new ground by mining war crimes records, after-action military reports and other primary sources for the agonizing testimony of Philippine survivors and witnesses of more than two dozen major Japanese atrocities during the battle—and the ferocious American response ... Those still fascinated by World War II will find much new to ponder in Rampage.
Battles in World War II’s Pacific Theater tended to be more savage than those in Western Europe. The struggle for Manila was the cruelest of them all ... A month after Pearl Harbor, Japanese troops swarmed down Manila’s boulevards, bayonets fixed. Gen. Douglas MacArthur quickly abandoned the city, then the archipelago, vowing to return. For three grim years, Manila’s citizens endured starvation, disease, humiliation, rape and repression as they waited for MacArthur to fulfill his promise ... Mr. Scott does one of the finest jobs in recent memory of cutting out the middleman and letting the participants—hundreds of them—tell their harrowing bits of a kaleidoscopic wartime tragedy. The result is an eloquent testament to a doomed city and its people. Rampage is a moving, passionate monument to one of humanity’s darkest moments.
The atrocities committed by Japanese troops during WWII have been well documented, especially the mistreatment of American POWs during the Bataan Death March and the slaughter of Chinese civilians during the Rape of Nanking. Less well known but just as detestable was the behavior of some Japanese troops during the American effort to regain control of Manila ... Scott graphically describes the savagery of urban warfare and asserts that the slaughter of civilians was a Japanese strategy rather than a spontaneous reaction ... Scott provides insights into MacArthur and his counterparts in this riveting, often-shocking, and defining account of the Battle of Manila.