In his book, Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn—Guerilla Leader and Special Forces Hero, Mike Guardia traces the life and career of a man who played pivotal roles in both World War Two and the Vietnam War. Stationed in the Philippines during the Japanese invasion, Blackburn and his fellow soldiers escaped into the jungle before being captured at the fall of Bataan. Not content to remain on the defensive, this future General was able to form organized resistance against the enemy. He, his colleagues, and what remained of the Philippine army created havoc for the Japanese invaders while avoiding capture throughout the war. Blackburn’s distinguished career would continue in Vietnam and culminate in the Sontay P.O.W. raid.
Shadow Commander is a well-written account and relies heavily on Blackburn’s own diary entries during his time in the Philippines. It is a concise, accessible volume which details the personal struggles of this military hero. A fast-paced read with a narrow focus, Shadow Commander does not have a broad view of World War Two as a whole, so it is helpful to have some prior knowledge of the subject matter. An occasional map would aid the reader regarding Blackburn’s movements. This does not take away from the narrow escapes and the heart-pounding raids that are seen throughout the book.
Shadow Commander is the fascinating story of an American hero whose military exploits deserve to be told.
I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review