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With The Old Breed: At Peleliu And Okinawa txt With The Old Breed: At Peleliu And Okinawa, text ebook With The Old Breed: At Peleliu And Okinawa, adobe reader With The Old Breed: At Peleliu And Okinawa, chapter 2 With The Old Breed: At Peleliu And Okinawa, With The Old Breed: At Peleliu And Okinawa 6968fe In His Own Book, Wartime, Paul Fussell Called With The Old Breed One Of The Finest Memoirs To Emerge From Any War John Keegan Referred To It In The Second World War As One Of The Most Arresting Documents In War Literature And Studs Terkel Was So Fascinated With The Story He Interviewed Its Author For His Book, The Good War What Has Made EB Sledge S Memoir Of His Experience Fighting In The South Pacific During World War II So Devastatingly Powerful Is Its Sheer Honest Simplicity And CompassionNow Including A New Introduction By Paul Fussell, With The Old Breed Presents A Stirring, Personal Account Of The Vitality And Bravery Of The Marines In The Battles At Peleliu And Okinawa Born In Mobile, Alabama In And Raised On Riding, Hunting, Fishing, And A Respect For History And Legendary Heroes Such As George Washington And Daniel Boone, Eugene Bondurant Sledge Later Called Sledgehammer By His Marine Corps Buddies Joined The Marines The Year After The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor And From To Endured The Events Recorded In This Book In Those Years, He Passed, Often Painfully, From Innocence To ExperienceSledge Enlisted Out Of Patriotism, Idealism, And Youthful Courage, But Once He Landed On The Beach At Peleliu, It Was Purely A Struggle For Survival Based On The Notes He Kept On Slips Of Paper Tucked Secretly Away In His New Testament, He Simply And Directly Recalls Those Long Months, Mincing No Words And Sparing No Pain The Reality Of Battle Meant Unbearable Heat, Deafening Gunfire, Unimaginable Brutality And Cruelty, The Stench Of Death, And, Above All, Constant Fear Sledge Still Has Nightmares About The Bloody, Muddy Month Of May On Okinawa But, As He Also Tellingly Reveals, The Bonds Of Friendship Formed Then Will Never Be SeveredSledge S Honesty And Compassion For The Other Marines, Even Complete Strangers, Sets Him Apart As A Memoirist Of War Read As Sobering History Or As High Adventure, With The Old Breed Is A Moving Chronicle Of Action And Courage

About the Author: Eugene B. Sledge

Eugene Bondurant Sledge November 4, 1923 March 3, 2001 was a United States Marine, university professor, and author His 1981 memoir With the Old Breed At Peleliu and Okinawa chronicled his combat experiences during World War II and was subsequently used as source material for Ken Burns s PBS documentary, The War, as well as the HBO miniseries The Pacific, in which he is portrayed by Joseph M

10 thoughts on “With The Old Breed: At Peleliu And Okinawa

  1. says:

    With the Old Breed should be required reading in our classrooms, for this is the brutal reality of war at its most horrific No sensationalism here E B Sledge merely tells it the way it was There is no glory in war, in the shedding of another man s blood in digging a foxhole in a torrential downpour only to uncover the badly decomposing body of a Japanese soldier crawling with maggots in watching helplessly as four of your comrades retrieve, on a stretcher, a wounded Marine amid machinegun fire If it were me out there, Sledge recounts, I would want to know I wouldn t be left behind in enduring a night while being shelled by enemy artillery in stumbling upon fellow Marines that have been tortured, decapitated and butchered in the worst way imaginable in suffering sleep deprivation, from malaria and jungle rot, and from hunger, thirst, and, alternately, heat and cold 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 My dad fought on Okinawa, receiving a citation from the office of the president for his participation in the taking of Shuri Ridge I never knew my dad as a Marine, as he retired from the Corps before getting married and starting a family I asked him once, when I was a boy, to tell me about his service, but he refused I asked him again, about six and a half years ago, during the final year of his life, and he again refused I had hoped that by sharing his pain a healing could take place Unfortunately, what he saw, what he endured, died with him Sledge, in this memoir of his service on Peleliu and Okinawa, told me everything my dad withheld from me This incredible account, told with frank detachment, is hailed as the best World War II memoir of an enlisted man, and with good reason Part adventure, part history, Sledgehammer not only relates many of the clich s every Hollywood movie depicted on the subject, but also everything they left out Thanks, Sledgehammer, for sharing your story, and my dad s, with me He perhaps felt I couldn t understand what he endured Perhaps no civilian can Yet after having read With the Old Breed, I understand a little better why he was the way he was Your generation is truly the greatest generation.

  2. says:

    You smug faced crowds with kindling eyeWho cheer when soldier lads march by,Sneak home and pray you ll never knowThe hell where youth and laughter go Sigrfried Sassoon William Tecumseh Sherman said it War is hell As a veteran of the Mexican War and the Civil War, he should know.What is it about war which makes us glorify it Little boys tear around with swords and guns fighting off imaginary enemies.Larger boys now sit glued before gaming devices doing essentially the same thing, complete with pixellated blood and gore.I will admit to holding a longstanding fascination with The Greatest Generation I ve always said if I could time travel back to a specific era, the 1940 s would be at the top of the list The patriotism, the sense the country pulling together, the neighborhoods where people still knew one another, the clothes, the cars, the musicEugene Sledge s book didn t lessen my love for that time period, nor my awe and gratitude for the men who served but, by God, did it slap me in the face.As graphic and as detailed as some recent movies focusing on WWII have gotten, there always still seemed to be gaps at least in my mind I always wondered about goofy specifics of battlefront life and fox hole warfare Sledge s memoir hit every one of those questions and then some The horrific sights, the deafening noises, the putrid odors, the physical maladies running from annoying to disabling All encircled by the overarching twist of fear which never quite left their guts while they were on their missions I won t even try and relay so much of what he saw and experienced because without it being in the context of the rest of his thoughts, it would come off as a gratuitous and b unbelievable Trust me if you read it, you ll never again take for granted things like eating out of the rain, regular sized house flies, running water, a bed, a change of clothes, dry socks and shoes, warm food, letters from loved ones, clean water, fresh air.Eugene Sledge takes you with him every step of the way From basic training, to the pre launch nervous intestinal visits to the head, to landing in the fray of battle and wondering which bullet was going to kill you.Along the way, he interposes his deeper thoughts His wonderings at how men can be so cruel and can become animalistic so quickly within the confines of a battlefield.But he laments for those whose core runs toward tenderness and sensitivity As I crawled out of the abyss of combat and over the rail of the Sea Runner, I realized that compassion for the suffering of others is a burden to those who have it As Wilfred Owen s poem Insensibility puts it so well, those who feel most for others suffer most in war.As horrific as his experiences were, as often as he had to watch his friends and comrades die, he summed up his thoughts thusly War is brutish, inglorious, and a terrible waste Combat leaves an endelible mark on those who are forced to endure it The only redeeming factors were my comrades incredible bravery and their devotion to each other.Until the millenium arrives and countries cease trying to enslave others, it will be necessary to accept one s responsibilities and to be willing to make sacrifices for one s country as my comrades did As the troops used to say, If the country is good enough to live in, it s good enough to fight for With privilege goes responsibility.To Eugene Sledge, and to the many others who have fought and many who have died to preserve for us so many things we take for granted thank you seems so not enough.

  3. says:

    Eugene Sledge would seem an unlikely author of what I consider the most powerful memoir of war in the Pacific theater The son of a Mobile, Alabama, doctor, Eugene began his military career as a candidate in an academic college program that would have made him an officer However, he deliberately failed to become a Marine assigned to infantry in the Pacific Sledge s account is told in frank, straight forward and understated language The Pacific war was a fierce world of barbaric conduct by troops on both sides Sledge understood the ease with which a man could lose his sense of humanity and recognized how close he came to that outcome.Sledge quietly states the futility of war and the unnecessary sacrifice of life in the Peleliu campaign The battle had no strategic effect on the outcome of the war The island could have easily been hopped over as other pockets of Japanese resistance were He wrote, To the non combatants and those on the periphery of action, the war meant only boredom or occasional excitement, but to those who entered the meat grinder itself the war was a netherworld of horror from which escape seemed less and less likely as casualties mounted and the fighting dragged on and on Time had no meaning, life had no meaning The fierce struggle for survival in the abyss of Peleliu had eroded the veneer of civilization and made savages of us all Sledge adjusted to his return to civilian life with great difficulty He wrote With the Old Breed over a number of years, originally intending it to be a memoir to be read by his family Following the war he became a professor of botany and zoology at the University of Montevallo in Alabama His students would have been hard pressed to understand the horrific memories that lay beneath his gentle exterior as he led them on field trips identifying native botanical plants.Sledge s story was published in 1981 His story was later central to Ken Burns series, The War His memoir later served as one of the key sources for Spielberg and Hanks HBO series, The Pacific Eugene Sledge died in 2001 after a lengthy battle with cancer His memoir of men at war should be read throughout the coming generations by anyone ever inclined to take the matter of war with an attitude of indifference.Do not think that Sledge should ever be considered a pacifist He should not Nor should his work ever be considered a polemic against any war These are his concluding words Until the millennium arrives and countries cease trying to enslave others, it will be necessary to accept one s responsibilities and be willing to make sacrifices for one s country as my comrades did As the troops used to say, If the country is good enough to live in, it s good enough to fight for With privilege goes responsibility.

  4. says:

    I would give it six stars if I could This was gripping I have been reading military history all my life but I have never read anything quite like PVT Sledge s first hand account of his war experience as a member of a front line infantry unit in the 3rd battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division I couldn t believe what I was listening to It was an audio book This book is considered by many as the best first hand account, battlefield memoir ever written and I cannot disagree.If you have ever wondered what it was like to be a member of a rifle platoon in the Marines or Army, fighting the Japanese in the Pacific theatre, you need to read this book If you ever wondered why the men of the greatest generation the survivors of the Pacific theater are going to their graves with a deep seated hatred in their hearts for all things that are Japanese, you need to read this book The Old Breed is full of stories about Nippon infiltration in the pitch black of night, routing out a fanatical cave dwelling enemy, being fired at by hidden snipers and machine guns, the accidental killing of fellow Marines, incompetent replacement officers that deserve to be fragged, the frustration of dealing with rear echelon troops that do not deserve the same accolades as the sleep deprived, malnourished men of the front line rifle platoons 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.All hail the men of the Marine Corp and Army infantry that fought that ghastly campaign O hail, o hail, o infantry, the queen of battle.

  5. says:

    Not much can be added to the previous reviews of this excellent book I have read many fine books covering the Pacific campaign during WW2 and so many referred to this book that I had to find a copy for myself It was well worth the time and effort I have since bought a copy for a friend here in Australia and he also ranks it in his top 10 military history books The author offers an insight into what its like to be in combat rarely found in most books nowadays 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 This book cannot be recommended highly enough This has to be one of the best first hand accounts of the fighting in the Pacific during WW2 Anyone serious about military history should have a copy in their library Well done to these brave men who fought and served, may they never be forgotten.

  6. says:

    A memoir of a soldier of one of the finest and most famous elite fighting divisions of the second World War, the Marine 1st Division, during the Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns They forged a bond that time would never erase They were brothers.I don t need to add anything to the other reviews of my fellow Goodreads members This book should be on everybody s list.Instead, I want to highlight a few sentences from the book that in my mind capture the book as a whole On the chances of survival and knowing that you would probably not survice the war Soldiers like me, who never got hit, can claim with justification, that we survived the abyss of war as fugitives of the law of averages.And on hearing of the surrender of Japan and the ending of the war Sitting in stunned silence, we remembered our death So many death So many maimed So many bright futures consigned to the ashes of the past So many dreams lost in the madness that had engulfed us Trying to comprehend a world without war.And on war as a whole War is brutish, inglorious and a terrible waste

  7. says:

    This might be the best memoir I ve ever read I wouldn t recommend it to everyone, because war is very, very ugly, and Sledge doesn t sugarcoat it The book follows him through training, then to the Pacific outpost of Pavuvu, then into the battlefields of Peleliu and Okinawa Warning this review includes some spoilers But it s a first hand account, so obviously Sledge survived, or he wouldn t have written the book The review is also long because the book gave me lots to think about.Imagine yourself stuck in a foxhole It s been raining for weeks, so there s a puddle at the bottom, and you can t remember the last time your feet were dry You might get a warm cup of coffee or bullion, if you heat it yourself, but you ll have to hunch over while you re heating it so the rain doesn t put the sterno can out Everything smells awful, because maggot infested corpses are everywhere If you sleep, it s by the light of the flares the navy keeps sending up so you ll see the enemy if they try to infiltrate When you have to get out of your foxhole to haul up ammunition or to get food, you ll be shelled and shot at You ll also be shot at if you re carrying someone on a stretcher If you re the one who s wounded, and the Japanese get you, they ll torture you And if you get killed, and if the Japanese end up with your body, they will mutilate it Welcome to Okinawa Peleliu isn t much different only it s dry and hot and covered in flies, and there aren t many foxholes, because the coral is too hard to dig into.On one hand, With the Old Breed is a gritty account of island warfare Sledge nicknamed Sledgehammer by his fellow Marines is completely honest He admits he was scared, he doesn t hide that fact that Marines often field stripped the enemy dead and the enemy almost dead trust me Marines ripping out gold teeth is mild compared to what the Japanese did to Marine dead , and shows both hatred for the enemy and love for his fellow Marines and their navy corpsmen with one exception.But With the Old Breed is than a brutally honest account of Pacific warfare It s also the story of one man s struggle to keep his humanity and his sanity in the face of horrible circumstances Sledge is a Southern, Christian boy He doesn t smoke until he arrives in combat, and he s the only person I ve read who says SNAFU stands for situation normal, all fouled up On some level, he realizes he s being trained to be cannon fodder, but the shock of combat is still a difficult burden for him to bear the horrible conditions, the slaughter, the constant fear I was touched by one scene, when Sledge is about to pull a few gold teeth out of a Japanese corpse something he had seen others do, but hadn t done himself A corpsman tries to talk him out of it First he suggests that Sledge s parents wouldn t like it When that doesn t work, the corpsman says Think of the germs Yeah, germs on a battlefield laughable But it s enough to make Sledge reconsider, and keep a little of his humanity.It s not all dark and depressing There were funny moments as well the men reminding their green lieutenant of his earlier pledge to charge the Japanese with his knife and pistol and turn the tide of war all by himself, as said lieutenant is frantically digging a really deep foxhole after his first taste of combat Or the part when Sledge decides to take a nap on a stretcher while the graves crews are working, and pulls his poncho over his head to keep the rain off Not surprisingly, the graves crew almost carts him off with the corpses I totally saw that coming, but I ve been sleeping in a dry, warm bed instead of a wet foxhole, and my sleep isn t interrupted by shells and threats of Japanese paratroopers Sledge sums up the book best in his own words War is brutish, inglorious, and a terrible waste Combat leaves an indelible mark on those who are forced to endure it The only redeeming factors were my comrades incredible bravery and their devotion to each other Marine Corps training taught us to kill efficiently and to try to survive But it also taught us loyalty to each other and love That esprit de corps sustained us.A remarkable book, and a vivid reminder that even those who are not killed or wounded in combat pay a terrible price update February 2018 Just read it for the second time It s one of those books that is worth reading than once, and I still consider it a favorite.

  8. says:

    You ve read the other reviews, so you already know how good this is Written by a young Marine, this is a straight forward, no nonsense, gritty account of life and frequently death on the front line in the Pacific in WW2 It s well written, with plenty of insights into military life the friendships, the stink grime, the horror occasional humour But what really sets this apart are the author s honest descriptions of how he felt and his motivations in combat comradeship, bravery, anger, fear.

  9. says:

    Probably not right place to begin, but, than anything, this book was the perfect companion to Leckie s equally graphic, disturbing, compelling, shocking, gut wrenching, and poignant, Helmet For My Pillow These days many years after they were published , I can t imagine that many military history readers consume one without the other and, in retrospect, I wish I had read them closer together Among other things, what s so remarkable is how different Leckie and Sledge were as individuals, as observers, as survivors, as reporters and how successful in incredibly different ways they both became after the war Ultimately, I liked or, I dunno, related to or sympathized with Sledge than Leckie, but that s neither here nor there Both books are well worth reading even if I probably enjoyed, and would recommend, this one .For better or worse, this is a micro, not a macro, view of one Marine s combat experience on the Pacific islands during WWII It s a lousy analogy, but, at times, it felt like watching Pixar s Bug s Life Frankly, it s almost unnerving how little perspective and context inform the tale This is Sledge s experience, Sledge s observation, Sledge s community, Sledge s reality, and basically not much Indeed this apparently cathartic retelling is at times almost weirdly, disconcertingly devoid of the larger, bigger picture For me as a former military officer , one of the most jaw dropping and unnerving passages minor spoiler here was Sledge s depiction of a single, unique, memorable moment when a leader officer actually explained and showed Sledge s company what their role was in the larger military exercise Alas, Sledge was so tired, he concedes he couldn t take it in but he remembered that it happened Sledge s story is what he saw, with his own eyes, what he experienced, describing months of vicious, costly, horrific fighting within an incredibly small sphere.This is raw stuff entirely appropriate for the subject matter Sledge is an astute observer, and his discipline shines through he s not glorifying, but simply describing It s this largely surprisingly dispassionate, unvarnished recollection often spun out in painstaking detail that makes this book a classic that has deservedly stood the test of time.

  10. says:

    If you only read 1 book on fighting in the Pacific Theatre in WWII, this should be the one With the Old Breed At Peleliu and Okinawa is the classic story of modern ground combat and amphibious warfare It is so good because E.B Sledge does not go in for drama, he tells a straightforward story of tragedy and bravery He explains clearly where he knows what is going on and also explains what he was thinking when it was SNAFU He covers his first campaign at Peleliu and then his second campaign in Okinawa If you saw the mini series The Pacific you will recognize some scenes Belongs on the permanent war history shelf.

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