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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/10/2005 6:08:47 PM EDT

Seriously, I just finished one of the best personal histories I've ever read, With the Old Breed by E.B. Sledge. He was a Marine on Peleliu and Okinawa, and had a talent for vivid descriptions from foxhole-level. He dwells a lot on two things that most military authors gloss over - the indescribable odor and filth of living and fighting for weeks in mud amidst thousands of corpses in tropical heat, and the visceral hate that brutal battles engender.

There was discussion in a recent thread about how Americans are not as immoral in war as, for example, the Germans were. Sledge's account of what some Marines did to wounded and captured Japanese will dispell that myth.

And you won't want to miss the description of what feet look and smell like when boots are finally removed after a few wet weeks.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 7:19:16 PM EDT
Rodent, I work with a fellow whose wife is becoming an expert on Peleliu and the Marine's little visit there. Her father was a career Marine that was there and she is trying to get more attention paid to the invasion and the hardships the Marines suffered. She has corresponded with survivors and authors and written a couple of very good articles for the local papers. She hasn't had very positive responses for information directly from the Navy, however.

I have an M-102 High Standard her dad won at a match in 1960; its serial number indicates it one of the very last of that model. I still have to go to her mother's to look over his shooting vest and trophies and so on, mostly because I'm interested to find out if he was a Distinguished Marksman.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 7:30:17 PM EDT
Thats a damn good book, I read in in May. Ive read many books on WW2 but no other book I read ever depicted war being that wretched and in-humane. May i recommend Burgetts "Curahee" and "Seven roads to hell" also damn good books.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 4:36:59 AM EDT
Sledge's 5th Marines fought on Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa. On Okinawa alone, eight out of nine of them were killed or wounded.

He also talks about guys who's minds just snapped, who became "living dead" in veteran's homes for the rest of their lives.

Link Posted: 8/11/2005 4:41:41 AM EDT
E.B. Sledge addressed our Mess Night in NCO school. This was back in '87.

I read With The Old Breed immeadiately after that.

I have re-read it several times since.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:05:36 AM EDT
The Germans in WWII always seem to get the blame for being the most brutal. They have nothing on the Russians or Japenese. I've also sen pictures of GI's who cut the heads off Japenese soldiers and put them on top of a stick that was shoved in the ground. IMHO soldiers aren't brutal by nature, war makes them brutal!
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