American Guerrilla: The Forgotten Heroics Of Russell W. Volckmann

The Man Who Escaped from Bataan, Raised a Filipino Army against the Japanese, and became “Father” of Special Forces

Mike Guardia

With his parting words "I shall return,” General MacArthur sealed the fate of the last American forces on Bataan. Yet one young Army Captain, Russell Volckmann, refused to surrender. He disappeared into the jungles of north Luzon and raised a Filipino army of over 22,000 men.
Publication date:
March 2012
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Illustration :
16-pg photo section, maps
Format Available     Quantity Price
Paperback
ISBN : 9781612000893
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+
£14.99
Hardback
ISBN : 9781935149224
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+
£25.00
Unfortunately, due to sales rights restrictions, we cannot offer American Guerrilla: The Forgotten Heroics Of Russell W. Volckmann for sale in your country.

Overview
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• A new approach reveals a forgotten hero of the Pacific campaign

With his parting words “I shall return,” General MacArthur sealed the fate of the last American forces on Bataan. Yet one young Army Captain, Russell Volckmann, refused to surrender. He disappeared into the jungles of north Luzon and raised a Filipino army of over 22,000 men. For the next three years he led a guerrilla war killing over 50,000 Japanese enemy soldiers. At the same time he established radio contact with MacArthur’s HQ in Australia and directed Allied forces to key enemy positions. When General Yamashita finally surrendered, he made his initial overtures not to MacArthur, but to Volckmann.

This book establishes how Volckmann’s leadership was critical to the outcome of the war in the Philippines. His ability to synthesise the realities and potential of guerrilla warfare led to a campaign that rendered Yamashita’s forces incapable of repelling the Allied invasion. Had it not been for Volckmann, the Americans would have gone in “blind” during their counter-invasion, resulting in much greater loss of life and potentially stalling the entire Pacific campaign.

American Guerilla also establishes Volckmann as the progenitor of modern counterinsurgency and the true “Father” of Army Special Forces. In 1950, Volckmann wrote two field manuals that became the Army’s first handbooks outlining the precepts for both special warfare and counter-guerrilla operations. At a time when U.S. military doctrine was conventional in outlook, he marketed the ideas of guerrilla warfare as a critical force multiplier for any future conflict, ultimately securing the establishment of the Army’s first special operations unit.

Volckmann himself remains a shadowy figure in modern military history, and in much of the Special Forces literature. This long overdue book not only chronicles his dramatic military exploits, but analyses how his leadership paved the way for modern special warfare doctrine.

REVIEWS

For military history buffs and students of guerrilla warfare it's a must read.
Gun Week Magazine

This long overdue book not only chronicles the dramatic military exploits of Russell Volckmann, but analyzes how his leadership paved the way for modern special warfare doctrine
Small Wars Jourrnal

Sadly, historians of the Philippine campaign have largely ignored Volckmann, focusing instead on conventional forces under MacArthur. Fortunately for Mr. Guardia, a serving Army officer, Volckmann kept a rudimentary diary for much of the period, describing how he managed to put together his "private army," one that waged arguably the most successful guerrilla campaign of the entire war. . . . Mr. Guardia argues, convincingly, that Volckmann deserves the title of 'father' of Special Forces.
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In American Guerrilla, Mike Guardia, a young armor officer with a master's degree in history . . . has based his work largely on Volckmann's memoir and diary, the written and oral testimony of those who served with him, and official records in the archives. He has succeeded very largely in his mission. . . . Guardia calls him ‘the progenitor of modern counterinsurgency doctrine and the true father of Army Special forces.' Volckmann . . . laid down the operational concepts for Army Special Forces and worked energetically to spread the doctrine. His efforts led to the establishment of the Army's first special operations unit, the 10th Special Forces Group.
Local Historian

This is a book anyone wanting to learn more about the guerrilla warfare in the Philippines during World War II Japanese occupation should find interesting. For military history buffs and students of guerilla warfare, it's a must read.
Officer Commanding Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Squadron Leader Ian Smith MBE

…an interesting, thought provoking and well written read…
Defenceweb