This image is the cover for the book Thunder on Bataan

Thunder on Bataan

“An incisive, readable account of a group of National Guard tankers who fought in the Philippines in the opening phase of America’s war in the Pacific.” —Robert S. Cameron, Ph.D., military historian and author of Mobility, Shock, and Firepower: The Emergence of the U.S. Army’s Armor Branch, 1917-1945

The American Provisional Tank Group had been in the Philippines only three weeks when the Japanese attacked the islands hours after the raid on Pearl Harbor. Sent north to meet the Japanese landings in Lingayen Gulf, the men of the PTG found themselves thrust into a critical role when the Philippine Army could not hold back the Japanese. When General MacArthur ordered the retreat to Bataan, the PTG proved itself indispensable.
During early months of 1942, the light tanks of the PTG patrolled Bataan’s beaches, encircling and destroying Japanese penetrations and small amphibious landings. By April 1942, the situation had become untenable, and 15,000 Americans, along with 60,000 Filipinos, surrendered in one of the worst defeats in U.S. military history. The Provisional Tank Group ceased to exist, and its men endured the Bataan Death March, the torture and starvation of POW camps, the hell ships that took them to Japan and Manchuria for slave labor, and the Palawan massacre. 
In an evocatively written book, Donald L. Caldwell reveals the largely ignored role of tanks in the Philippine campaign. Conducting impressive primary research to bring to life the combat history of the PTG, Caldwell has dug deeper to tell the stories of soldiers from each of the group’s six companies, recounting their service from enlistment, training, and combat to imprisonment, liberation, and return home. 

“Remarkable . . . [A] well-told history . . . highly recommended.” —Jay A. Stout, LtCol (Ret), USMC, author of Air Apaches

Donald L Caldwell

Donald L. Caldwell has been researching World War II for more than thirty years. He has written widely on the German Luftwaffe. His first book, JG 26: Top Guns of the Luftwaffe (Crown, 1991) sold 70,000 copies across all editions, and the two volumes of his JG 26 War Diary (Grub Street, 1996, 1998) are considered the best English-language history of a German fighter unit. He lives near Houston, Texas.