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Download Hotel Tacloban epub

by Douglas Valentine

The author reveals the brutality, torture, mutiny, and murder he witnessed in the nightmarish Japanese POW camp known as The Hotel Tacloban, a place the U.S. miltary claims never existed
Download Hotel Tacloban epub
ISBN: 0380700956
ISBN13: 978-0380700950
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: Ethnic & National
Author: Douglas Valentine
Language: English
Publisher: Avon Books (May 1, 1986)
ePUB size: 1930 kb
FB2 size: 1809 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 682
Other Formats: lrf azw lrf lit

Until recently, I thought that this book could be safely ignored as a pathetic, misleading blot on the broad canvas of POW history.

As other reviewers have noted, the Publisher (Angus & Robertson) has added a disclaimer that, " has not been possible to prove that the events did occur". Actually, A&R only added this inadequate note (in small type) after an eminent Australian history professor warned them that the book was packed with historical errors and was undoubtedly fiction.

However, right now in 2008, one can see many Internet sites where Douglas Valentine is still presenting his Tacloban fiction as if it was history. Even more worryingly, these websites are being used to vilify the record of a genuine Prisoner of War, presidential candidate John McCain. In response, I'd like Amazon readers to be clear on how much of "Hotel Tacloban" they should accept as historical truth. The answer is ZERO percent.

I'm an Australian. I've worked in the Philippines and personally hiked in the battlefields of New Guinea that Valentine purports to describe. I've researched extensively on POW history and I've also had an academic article published in the USA describing the detection of historical fraud. I'm very familiar with the archival material that can be used to check works such as "Hotel Tacloban".

Other reviewers are correct that this book "reads well". - Yes, exactly like polished fictional prose, not oral history! The landscapes described in Northern Papua are quite wrong. The grassy and swampy coastal plains are portrayed as "mountains" with "rainforest". The vicious siege of the Japanese at Buna in November 1942 is described as some sort of minor patrol action. Valentine obviously didn't bother to properly read the history books that he lists in his bibliography, which accurately describe this country and these battles, where the Australian Army and the US Army fought and died. Valentine's laxity is disrespectful in itself.

Valentine describes his father walking for "days" after captivity (but the Japanese pocket was only a few hundred yards deep!) and then being calmly loaded into a Japanese freighter. No Japanese freighters were anywhere near the Buna siege area in November 1942. The Allies dominated the sky. So every aspect of the purported capture and evacuation of Valentine's father is quite impossible.

It just doesn't ring true that Valentine or his father have ever set foot in Papua. (At one point Valentine lets slip that his father's record says he was in the 375th Harbor Craft Company. This unit actually departed the USA in 1944 and briefly transited through Hollandia in Dutch New Guinea before moving to - surprise, surprise - Tacloban in the Philippines, after the US Leyte landings. In 1944, Valentine Snr. would have been at the legal enlistment age of 18, rather than Valentine's implausible "16" in 1942. (The photo of Valentine's dad on the paperback cover of "Hotel Tacloban" shows him in front of a 1944-pattern US tent, but looking fit and still in possession of the front teeth that the Japanese had supposedly knocked out!)

More dire narrative problems emerge when the book re-locates to the purported Tacloban POW camp in the Philippines and its "interesting" Australian occupants. Unfortunately for Valentine, The Australian War Memorial clearly states that no Australian POWs were held in the Philippines! The names of Valentine's key characters *cannot* be found in Australia's Veterans Affairs database. The US NARA database also shows no released US POW named "Douglas VALENTINE", and no US military POWs liberated anywhere on the island of Leyte. There is no evidence that Valentine Snr. ever experienced captivity in the hands of the Japanese at all.

The depictions of the Australians in the POW camp are laughably divorced from reality. Valentine certainly has never lived with any Australians. Instead we get ridiculous sheep-shagging caricatures! The dialogue sounds wrong. The nicknames sound wrong. The descriptions of life in Australia sound dead wrong.

There is no "Major R. L. Cumyns" (Valentine's murder victim) buried in any Commonwealth war grave anywhere in the world, let alone the Philippines. If Valentine was going to make up a key character name like this, then he shouldn't have chosen one that's so easy to disprove! (And Cumyns sounds like a caricature straight out of the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai".)

Valentine's description of the POW camp itself is also hokey - the local geography sounds wrong; he gets the wet season five months out in timing; and the buildings are too small, with the wrong construction for a former Philippine Army camp. Also, in contrast to every other POW memoir that I've ever read, "Hotel Tacloban" almost ignores the captors, the Japanese. There is no mention of Japanese-language commands or essential camp procedures such as bowing, which were life-and-death matters for POWs. It's pathetic that Valentine couldn't make a better job of creating a fictional POW camp, when his bibliography lists six excellent POW memoirs. He simply can't have read them..

And don't get me started on "The Enforcer" and his devilish five-minute torture sessions! (On the positive side, the wild inaccuracies of this book at least show that Valentine is not a plagiarist!)

Finally, some choice quotes from Douglas Valentine himself:

"... when I write, it is too hard to write the truth..." Frontispiece quotation page xv.

" ...Fooling an audience into believing the most preposterous, the most blatant of fictions, through an elaborate fabrication of plausible half-truths and downright deceptions, was a Digger's highest level of achievement..." p39.

"... at the risk of being called anti-Asiatic or racist by enlightened people, I must confess that for many years I secretly wished that more bombs had been dropped on Japan..." p69.
I read this paperback some while ago. I've also read the Aussies comments on this book and I agree with them. Had this camp really existed, upon release, those Australian POWs would really be raising hell to their government re their treatment by the Japanese. Also, do you really believe that the author's father, Doug Valentine Sr., wouldn't be raising all kinds of hell with the U.S. Government re his back pay, his treatment by the Japanese, etc.? Of course he would, just as any reader of this book would. The Hotel T ..... Is a good book of fiction but there are many better non-fiction stories on the same subject, including "Tears In The Darkness". It's an excellent true story.
The Hotel Tacloban is a book I came to read after unknowingly reading some of Valentine's previous articles on the web, and then knowingly being exposed to an interview with him on Black Op Radio, not long after this government unveiled Operation TIPS as a Homeland Security agency program, that would help helpful U.S. residents turn in their neighbors.
His appearance on the internet radio show pointed out the similiarity of TIPS to HIPS, the
"other way of saying" abbreviation for the genocidal program from the 60's and 70's, in Viet Nam, called overall, Operation Phoenix, a program executed by the cia to root out Civilian dissenters, so that they could be interrogated, i.e. tortured & hideously executed under the umbrella consolidation of 25 or more intellegence agencies called Phoenix.
The suggestion that Phoenix is a grandfather/mentor to Homeland Security, and a harbinger of things to come for the american citizen is more than a possibility with a high probability .
"You have relatives in the homeland?"
The Hotel Tacloban is the beginning, a visit to the innocence of an underage soldier in ww2, (Valentine's father) and his encounter of the forces of respect for military rank and where the beginnings of real evil takes us.
A story that will stay with me for the rest of my conscious life. Honest and shocking.
An emotional timebomb ... an appropriate introduction to Douglas Valentines thoughts & writings.