This book should be on everybody's list. He was in the infantry but wasn't a rifleman, he was a support weapon team member. And as a Christian I am adamantly opposed to civilian deaths. I think sometimes that as civilians we always keep in mind images of war that come from film, that romanticized view of battle, where rather clean and always handsome men in their late 20s or 30s who play young soldiers or Marines in sterile battlefields with no suffering from the silent wounded, made war look like an awesome adventure. His description of the life of a marine in wartime is direct, brutal, and honest. Average American citizens left veterens feeling quite at a loss upon their return home.
This is an honest, at times sad and occassionaly funny, look at the life of a combat Marine during the final battles in the Pacific. I had hoped that by sharing his pain a healing could take place. His posture was erect, and his bearing reflected military precision. My heart pounded, and I broke out in a cold sweat. During his service, Sledge kept notes of what happened in his pocket sized. But, as he also tellingly reveals, the bonds of friendship formed then will never be severed. Very personal and moving memoir of the horrors and fighting experienced during the Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns.
A column of men approached us on the other side of the road — They were the army infantry from the 106th Regiment, 27th Infantry Division that we were relieving. He only realizes afterwards that the corpsman wasn't really worried about disease - he recognized that Sledge was about to cross a moral threshold, and talked him out of it. Some became violent and many turned to drugs and alcohol. On those Pacific islands no one had ever heard of before the war, there was malaria and vicious biting insects and no facilities at all, and he describes beaches that have become open cesspools, in which the Marines had to sleep and fight, with little cover. It's not as great as Band of Brothers but it is good. This is why war should be avoided at all costs, and this is why no one man should ever be given the authority, with a flourish of his signature, to risk the lives of young men and women. He said he admired our spirit for wanting to get into the war.
The overcast sky was as black as the dripping mangroves that walled us in. The noise and concussion pressed in on my ears like a vise… It seemed impossible that any of us would make it across… To be shelled by massed artillery and mortars is absolutely terrifying, but to be shelled in the open is terror compounded beyond the belief of anyone who hasn't experienced it. Many gave their lives, many their health, and some their sanity. However, he deliberately failed to become a Marine assigned to infantry in the Pacific. As I passed a shallow foxhole where Robert B. Belongs on the permanent war history shelf. For example, one of the bloodiest, The Battle of Peleliu, has been suggested to have been superfluous since MacArthur was able to take the Philippines without that support from the western flank in some people's opinions.
But then a funny thing happens: you realize that there is so much respect and honesty in his memories, that hyperbolic though it may be, it all probably happened and felt exactly the way he records it. We were told this momentous news, but considering our own peril and misery, no one cared much. Sledge enlisted out of patriotism, idealism, and youthful courage, but once he landed on the beach at Peleliu, it was purely a struggle for survival. Sledge discusses not only the battles of Peleliu and Okinawa, but the transition from being a sensitive young man to becoming a hardened, battle-weary veteran. Archived from on November 20, 2007. Of Mud and Maggots ; 13. Etiam pulvinar, mi et molestie vestibulum, neque tellus pulvinar massa, vel varius nulla tellus at tortor.
Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life. Oswalt had been dug in, I asked a man nearby if the word were true about Oswalt being killed. Read as sobering history or as high adventure, With the Old Breed is a moving chronicle of action and courage. The bitter fighting and suicidal Japenese resistance make these campaigns a couple of the worst during the Pacific campaign. My dad fought on Okinawa, receiving a citation from the office of the president for his participation in the taking of Shuri Ridge.
In the post-war years, the U. The memoir is based on notes Sledge kept tucked away in a pocket-sized Bible he carried with him during battles he fought at Peleliu and Okinawa. At first glance, the dead Japanese machine gunner appeared about to fire his deadly weapon. Each time he claims a battle drive him closer to insanity than anything else in the entire war, you accept it, because at no point does Sledge appear to be glorifying or manipulating in his descriptions. These are men — mostly teenagers - that literally live for months on end, wet and dirty, in filth and gore surrounded by the smell, sight, and sometimes feel of rotting, maggot infested corpses of both friend and foe. For me, this tends to detract from my enjoyment of the book.
I asked why such a question. Integer elementum tempor libero sit amet iaculis. John Keegan referred to it in The Second World War as one of the most arresting documents in war literature. The situation was more than many of us could stand. I almost immediately took the return flight so I could finish the book, but since my sist Readable! Oops, getting more sentimental here, let's continue. Indeed - this apparently cathartic retelling is at times almost weirdly, disconcertingly devoid of the larger, bigger picture.