In The Wall Street Journal, Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of Now E. B. Sledge’s acclaimed first-person account of fighting at Peleliu and. 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. WITH THE OLD BREED At Peleliu and Okinawa By E.B. Sledge Illustrated. pages. Ballantine Books. $ Eugene Bondurant Sledge.
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Or imagine that you have to chase land crabs who would got into your shoes, boxes, bags, cots and whatnots.
Knowing history books can be chewy, I had a bit of apprehension till I began reading on the 2 hour flight to Atlanta. Logistikens grunder Kent Lumsden kr. Dec 14, A.
With the Old Breed
This was the final rolling up of the Empire of Japan – by now, the war was clearly lost for Japan, and yet the miserable, bloody fighting continued. All in all, I would consider this a must read for anyone that is into the first person revelation of the war and for those how are interested in combat in the Pacific. So many dreams lost in the madness that had engulfed us. He talks about battle fatigue. Even if he describes another landscape the exact same way a few dozen pages later.
The author offers an insight into what its like to be in combat rarely found in most books nowadays. EB Sledge is one of ten men in his regiment who survived Peleliu and Okinawa without ever being wounded. Sledge brings us to the brutal reality of the grime of war that no one speaks of. Men tumble to the bottom of ravines and have to climb out, covered with maggots because the bottom of the ravine was filled with rotting corpses.
Losing Your Humanity Savagery was evident on both sides, though far more so on the Japanese. A corpsman tries to talk him out of it.
He doesn’t talk much about his own nightmares or PTSD, if he had any, only about the horrible loss he felt when his friends died, the horrible waste of life he perceived all around him, the regret that any of this had to happen at all. We follow his path through Bloody Nose Ridge in Peleliu to the Shuri Line in Okinawa; from the oppressive degree heat and coral rock on Peleliu to the almost constant rain and mud of Okinawa.
It hides nothing about the inhumanity of the Pacific conflict that Sledge was part of but in the end his prose shows a bdeed of his own humanity.
With the Old Breed – Wikipedia
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 beeed words and sparing no pain.
How hard it was to take a bath, for example. One of them was Haney, a gunnery sergeant, who was very Asiatic apparently with his antics won’t spoil them here – you have to read it yourself! Eugene Sledge’s book didn’t lessen my love for that time period, nor my awe and sledfe for the men who served He details the process and mechanisms that slowly strip away a soldier’s humanity and compassion, making the thought process accessible to those who have never served in combat.
It brings the reader into the island hoppingthe jungle heat and rain, the filth and malaise, the fear of sledhe ” banzai attacks ,” and the hopelessness and loss of humanity that so uniquely characterized the campaign in the Pacific. His style is like window glass – you don’t bered to notice it, you look through it to the actuality it discloses.
With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene B. Sledge
Few books really convey how hellish war is like this one, and even in his years-later narration, EB Sledge can’t really convey to his readers the visceral horror he felt, and still remembers. 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 With the Old Breed should be required reading in our classrooms, for this is the brutal reality of war at its most horrific.
I asked him again, about six and a half years ago, during the final year of his life, and he again refused. 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. Sledge enlisted out of patriotism and youthful courage but once he landed on the beach at Peleliu, it was purely a struggle for survival.
Sledge that he left us with this chronicle of his preparation for war, and his memories of the Battle at Peleliu and Okinawa.
Our commanders knew that if we were bree win and survive, we must be trained realistically for it whether we brred it or not. You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you’ll never know The hell where youth and laughter go.
Thus giving a good insight into the life of the lowest level of a combat soldier in the war. 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. They tend to be either poorly written rb surprising since most Infantry in the war were slede least intelligent of the Branches.
Use your imagination, but add “hungry, tired, exhausted to the limits of your endurance, need to shit and there is no toilet or TP or privacy or even a trench anywhere and several thousand men are all crowded together in the same situation and also you’re under heavy shelling and your buddies are getting blown to bits right and left.
He does not analyze the causes of the war or why they were fighting, or evaluate the competence or planning of the general and admirals. 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. But the admiral in charge thought, based on previous experience, and overconfidence, that after softening the island up with heavy shelling in fact, the Navy poured ordnance on Peleliu until they ran out of targets the Marines could clear out the Japanese in a couple of days.
Sledge’s account is told in frank, straight forward and understated language. Is it gonna keep them guys from gettin’ hit? Sledge sums up the book best in his own words: As the troops used to say, “If the country is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to fight for.
Eugene Sledge who became Sledgehammer to his buddies had had one year of college when he joined up—as did most of his generation few in fact staying to finish college which is one reason why we needed the GI Bill. Appendix A Roll of Honor. But he also shows great disdain for fellow Marines who don’t show respect for the dead Japanese they come across, or his military superiors who make questionable ethical or strategic decisions.
This is raw stuff Views Read Edit View history. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,– My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: The island could have easily been hopped over as other pockets of Japanese resistance were.
Read as sobering history or as high adventure, this is a moving chronicle of action and courage. 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. Putting their lives at risk at a time when in Europe the war was over at least for the second half of the book in Okinawa. It will stop in your memory long after you have read it.
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. The technology that developed the rifle barrel, the machine gun and high explosive shells has turned war into prolonged, subhuman slaughter.