Following the Japanese invasion of the islands in 1942, North Luzon was the staging area for several Filipino-American guerrilla bands who sought to gather intelligence and to destroy enemy military installations or supplies. Bernard Norling focuses on the Cagayan-Apayao Forces, or CAF, commanded by Maj. Ralph Praeger. Their bravery was unquestionable, but by September 1943 all but one member of Troop C had been claimed by combat, enemy capture, or disease. The only survivor, Capt. Thomas S. Jones, remembered, "Defeat is a terrible thing.... It brings down with it the whole structure about which a nation or an army has been built. It subjects men to the most severe of moral tests at a time when they are physically least able to meet them."
Based primarily upon unpublished sources, The Intrepid Guerrillas of North Luzon includes the diary of Praeger's executive officer, Jones, and draws on transcripts of radio communications between Praeger and General MacArthur's headquarters in Australia. The struggles of the men of the CAF tell a harrowing tale of valor, determination, and occasional successes mixed with the wildcat schemes, rivalries, mistrust, and betrayals that characterized the intramural relations of guerrilla forces all over the Pacific islands.
"Important and timely in that it again draws attention to the small group of stalwart American soldiers who refused to surrender at Bataan or Corregidor and to their intrepid Filipino allies who for years harassed and fought the Japanese invaders." -- Army History
"The dramatic story of American officers and enlisted men caught behind enemy lines who, together with Filipino guerrillas, tried to upset the Japanese timetable for the conquest of the Philippine Islands." -- Choice
"A detailed view of the confused and chaotic background from which emerged later Luzon guerrillas. It was a most horrible, hopeless time for these boys, and this book provides a lesson in the real meaning of patriotism." -- Frank Mathias
"Norling has proved adept at negotiating this treacherous historical terrain.... An excellent job of portraying the grim realities of guerrilla warfare." -- Indiana Magazine of History
"Definitive in its own right... powerful essays." -- Journal of American Culture
"Evidences some truly remarkable insights into guerrilla warfare in general and into the specifics of the Philippine campaign." -- Journal of American History
"With the publication of this volume, our knowledge of military history has been broadened and our understanding of guerrilla warfare in a Third World setting has been sharpened." -- Journal of Developing Areas
"A harrowing tale of valor, determination, and occasional successes mixed with the wildcat schemes, rivalries, mistrust, and betrayals that characterized the intramural relations of guerrilla forces all over the Pacific islands." -- McCormick (SC) Messenger
"The stuff of which legends and military history are made." -- Midwest Book Review
"Preserves the legacy of many who did not survive the war to tell their story, and who have as a result been generally overlooked.... A gripping tale of struggle in the face of overwhelming odds." -- Military History of the West
"A model military history -- well-written and breaking new ground." -- Paper Wars
"Rich with historical detail, this is an impressive volume on irregular warfare during World War II in the Philippine Islands. Norling's insightful and smoothly written accounts of American military and civilian guerrilla leaders reveal a crucible of courageous determination, costly mistakes, and often desperation." -- Ralph E. Weber
"An outstanding book of guerrilla-warfare history." -- Special Warfare
"Norling combines rigorous research with an appealing writing style to present a story of dogged persistence in the face of hopeless odds." -- Military Trader