With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa

In The Wall Street Journal, Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of the top five books on epic twentieth century battles Studs Terkel interviewed the author for his definitive oral history, The Good War Now E B Sledge s acclaimed first person account of fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa returns to thrill, edify, and inspire a new generation.An Alabama boy steIn The Wall Street Journal, Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of the top five books on epic twentieth century battles Studs Terkel interviewed the author for his definitive oral history, The Good War Now E B Sledge s acclaimed first person account of fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa returns to thrill, edify, and inspire a new generation.An Alabama boy steeped in American history and enad of such heroes as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene B Sledge became part of the war s famous 1st Marine Division 3d Battalion, 5th Marines Even after intense training, he was shocked to be thrown into the battle of Peleliu, where the world was a nightmare of flashes, explosions, and snapping bullets By the time Sledge hit the hell of Okinawa, he was a combat vet, still filled with fear but no longer with panic.Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and searing honesty the experience of a soldier in the fierce Pacific Theater Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life Here, too, is the story of how he learned to hate and kill and came to love his fellow man.
With the Old Breed At Peleliu and Okinawa In The Wall Street Journal Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of the top five books on epic twentieth century battles Studs Terkel interviewed the author for his definitive oral history

  • Title: With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
  • Author: Eugene B. Sledge
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 440
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 1 thought on “With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa”

    1. 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 [...]

    2. 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 wit [...]

    3. 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 [...]

    4. 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 [...]

    5. 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 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 th [...]

    6. 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 tro [...]

    7. 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. [...]

    8. 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 [...]

    9. 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 [...]

    10. Readable! was my initial impression. On my way to the airport I selected ‘With the Old Breed’ from the to-read pile. Knowing history books can be chewy, I had a bit of apprehension till I began reading on the 2 hour flight to Atlanta. I couldn’t put it down. Sledge tells a flowing tale from an enlisted Infantryman’s perspective, a modest, down to earth, or perhaps I should say corral reef, view of the war.I almost immediately took the return flight so I could finish the book, but since m [...]

    11. A wonderful read. I had trouble putting this brutal but heartfelt book down. It hides nothing about the inhumanity of the Pacific conflict that Sledge was part of but in the end his prose shows a retention of his own humanity.

    12. Let's start off by saying that in general, I do no care for low-level personal accounts of the war. They tend to be either poorly written (not surprising since most Infantry in the war were the least intelligent of the Branches.) or they tend to be so stylish that it is easy to tell that they were ghostwritten. For me, this tends to detract from my enjoyment of the book. Another loss for my reading enjoyment is they also have such a close order view of what is going on, that you loose any big pi [...]

    13. This is a great memoir if you want to understand what it was like to fight in the Pacific in WWII. It affected me very much as my reading of Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead did when I first read that. I could feel the pain—the dirt or worse yet on Peleliu the coral one couldn’t dig into—the bad food and dirty water, dirty and wet clothes, the fear. It’s painful to read though and if you won’t want to know the gory details faced by young men barely out of school and inexperienc [...]

    14. This is without doubt one of the best first-hand-accounts i've ever read about the war in the pacific during world war two.A book that you just can't put down. It will stop in your memory long after you have read it. If you want to read about the true horror's of war then this book is a must read.A truly epic read.P.s I don't go into much details about what is contained under it's covers(so-to-speak) as I don't want to give anything away.

    15. The best books I have read have been found through the bibliographies of other writers I have appreciatedis book is no exception. It is a humble story of a Marine and his battle experiences, told without self censure and speaking to the awesome horror that is war.I always look with wonder at the young faces, these virtual boys who struggled in horrid conditions and sacrificed so much. It is with the same amazement I look at my own father's face smiling at the camera from someplace in the Philipp [...]

    16. A great read. Straight forward, not overly sentimental or harsh. Just a man who survived two of the worst battles in the Pacific telling us what happened. As I read it two things struck me. First, the invasion of Japan would have been the most costly battle in the history of mankind. There are problems with dropping the atomic bomb. After Nagasaki and Hiroshima the world was never the same. And as a Christian I am adamantly opposed to civilian deaths. But reading this book one begins to realize [...]

    17. When E.B. Sledge wrote down thoughts, feelings and notes and tucked them in his small copy of The New Testament that he carried, he didn't intend them for the public at large, only for his family. Fortunately for us, this memoir was made public and I found it to be an moving account of one mans journey through his time as a Marine and his experiences of two brutal battles, Peleliu and Okinawa.Just a bit of background, I have read quite a few books on WWII but they have been mostly historical, po [...]

    18. Firsthand account of a Marine in the Pacific during World War II, Sledge's book is devastatingly unflinching in its examination of close quarters combat against a fearless and dedicated enemy. What did I learn from this book? Using nuclear weapons on Japan was not wrong but overdue.

    19. Prompted to read With the Old Breed by watching HBO's The Pacific, I was unprepared for Sledge's unflinching, simple honesty in reporting and processing his WWII experiences as a Marine infantryman. 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. His descriptions provide insight into these battles, and war in general, that have so far escaped more graphic, visual mediums--including The [...]

    20. An appropriate read for Memorial Day weekend.Since I became interested in World War II history, particularly in the Pacific Theater, largely through WWII wargames, I have been reading and playing a lot of books/games that cover the war from the grand strategic level. Most history books are written at a general's eye level, covering the fleets, the armies, the movement of troops across vast distances, major battles and their outcomes summarized in a few paragraphs. We know, abstractly, that "a fi [...]

    21. I am always drawn to historical accounts of the Marine Corps 5th Regiment from WWI to present. The best writings are usually through first hand accounts. E. B. Sledge served in 3/5 during WWII and managed to survive his entire tour without injury. Like a true Marine, Sledge possessed gifts and talents beyond fighting. Sledge kept a diary of information and when the war was over he put his skills to work and wrote a very fine piece full of emotion and personal endeavor. The book transcends WWII a [...]

    22. One of the all time best war memoirs ever written. I have read this book twice, it is a classic account of one Marines experiences in the Pacific during World War 2. Very personal and moving memoir of the horrors and fighting experienced during the Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns. The narrative presents a very detailed and gripping account. The bitter fighting and suicidal Japenese resistance make these campaigns a couple of the worst during the Pacific campaign. Anyone seeking to learn of the exp [...]

    23. Have y'all seen the HBO miniseries, The Pacific? It's not as great as Band of Brothers but it is good. My favorite parts were Eugene Sledge's stories (I somehow dislike Leckie, but probably because of the actor hehe).This book is his memoir and I loved every single part of it. It is as good as William Manchester's masterpiece Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War. The following may not be a review after all, it's me pouring my thoughts on this book. A professor of biologySometimes we fo [...]

    24. Pacific theater veteran and author E.B. Sledge gives such a wide-eyed and earnest account of his combat experience in two of the worst battles of WWII, that his hyperbolic language almost threatens to undermine the impact of his story. 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.Each time he describes a war-blasted landscape and claims its t [...]

    25. From the introduction by Paul Fussell One cause of this book's distinction is that its author is not an author. Sledge wrote this memoir less for strangers than to tell his own family what his war had been like. It was his wife who persuaded him to submit it to a publisher. The book is devoid of the literary expediencies and suavity's that may occasion skepticism or disgust in more artistically self-conscious war memoirs. Sledge is so little an author in the pejorative sense that his eye seems n [...]

    26. Brutal, raw, and honest. This is a guy with an eye for horrifying details, the little things I found a surprise to read. I like to understand people and this left the door wide open for me to walk through and observe a WW2 Pacific grunt's experience and feelings. There were more than a few scenes leaving a strong impression on me. like a few horrifying images I cannot forget. He talks about battle fatiguewalking that line between "cracking up" and maintaining; his description is apt and fascinat [...]

    27. E.B. Sledge's account of his tour of duty with the 5th Marines in WWII, With The Old Breed is the second account of the Pacific theater that I have read. It is also one of the primary source materials for HBO's compelling miniseries The Pacific. Sledge's account is full of colorful accounts of his experience of WWII, much like John Leckie's book (another primary source for The Pacific) Helmet For My Pillow. I think what sets Sledge's account apart from others like it are his honest and thoughtfu [...]

    28. I recalled some of the eloquent phrases of politicians and newsmen about how "gallant" it is for a man to "shed his blood for his country" and "to give his life's blood as a sacrifice," and so on. The words seemed so ridiculous. Only the flies benefitted.This is a fabulous book. It is about a marine serving in the Pacific during WWII. His description of the life of a marine in wartime is direct, brutal, and honest. You get a glimpse of what life was like in the foxholes, trying to kill and not b [...]

    29. I think the most incredible thing about this book is that it was written at all. The author was a mortarman in K Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division for the battles of Peleliu and Okinawa in the Pacific War. Of the 235 Marines in K Company who invaded Peleliu on September 15, 1944, only 26 remained in active duty at the end of the battle of Okinawa on June 22, 1945. One can only speculate about the possible contributions to art, literature, and the sciences that were [...]

    30. The horror and futility of war can never accurately be conveyed in words. Plenty have tried. Some authors choose to highlight the emotional toll, others the absurdity, some the waste and still others the gore. Those who actually fought in a war obviously come the closest to presenting an accurate appraisal.Still, how can it be conveyed?Eugene Sledge does a masterful job. He dropped out of officer's training school and enlisted as a private in the Marine Corps. Like many young American men his ag [...]

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