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With the Old Breed
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With the Old Breed (original 1981; edition 1990)

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1,288406,082 (4.39)46
Member:Ronrose1
Title:With the Old Breed
Authors:
Info:Oxford Univ Pr (Trade) (1990), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:war, World War II, Marines

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With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge (Author) (1981)

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English (39)  Italian (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
The strength of this memoir rests on three pillars. One, Eugene Sledge's memory for detail is so vivid that I wonder if he had that rare condition known as autobiographical memory. Two, he had a masterful ability to put his detailed memories into words. Three, he experienced actual hell and lived to tell about it.

The mud was knee deep in some places, probably deeper in others if one dared venture there. For several feet around every corpse, maggots crawled around in the muck and then were washed away by the runoff of the rain. There wasn't a tree or bush left. All was open country. Shells had torn up the turf so completely that ground cover was nonexistent. The rain poured down on us as evening approached. The scene was nothing but mud; shell fire; flooded craters with their silent, pathetic, rotting occupants; knocked-out tanks and amtracs; and discarded equipment--utter desolation. The stench of death was overpowering. The only way I could bear the monstrous horror of it all was to look upward away from the earthly reality surrounding us, watch the leaden gray clouds go scudding over, and repeat over and over to myself that the situation was unreal--just a nightmare--that I would soon awake and find myself somewhere else. But the ever-present smell of death saturated my nostrils. It was there with every breath I took. I existed from moment to moment, sometimes thinking death would have been preferable. During the fighting around the Umurbrogol Pocket on Peleliu, I had been depressed by the wastage of human lives. But in the mud and driving rain before Shuri, we were surrounded by maggots and decay. Men struggled and fought and bled in an environment so degrading I believed we had been flung into hell's own cesspool. ( )
  read.to.live | Dec 30, 2015 |
Loyalty to each other and to country in the face of certain death, miserable conditions, constant adjustment to miscues from command and control - the true heroes are on the front lines. ( )
  mielniczuk | Apr 13, 2015 |
Sledge is a US Marine from a well-off background who was originally in training to become a Marine officer but chose to go instead as a private. The book covers his training, both in the USA and on Pavuvu awaiting his first campaign, and then the two campaigns he fought make up the bulk of the text: first Peleliu in late 1944 and then Okinawa in mid 1945. There is no detail on anything else: it ends shortly after the surrender and "mop-up" on Okinawa.

It's the first war memoir I've read, so I'm not sure how it fits into the genre. He talks openly about his (and other Marines') interactions with the Japanese, and what it was like to live on the battlefield. There is memorable discussion of the heat, thirst, mud, rain, and the smell. I read it shortly after watching the HBO series "The Pacific" and found that the show had elaborated or changed several scenes, which I was disappointed in! But that merely serves as an endorsement for this book. ( )
  seabear | Feb 6, 2015 |
What can I say? .. I hope that every politician or other invested person who finds themselves in the position of deciding whether to commit their fellow citizens to war or not reads this book first.

I salute Sledgehammer for all his sacrifices, and more for his courage and selfless insight in bringing this story to generations who can scarcely imagine what true kill-or-be-killed war entails.

And I note the lack of appeal to a higher power that Sledge exhibits in these pages. For me, it represented a stark contrast to the god-fueled righteousness that permeates so much of more recent war diaries (such as Thunder Run http://www.bookjetty.com/books/1402596405/thunder-run ). It really makes me worry that the insane religious bigots of all faiths have so much to answer for in the cause of war - and things are getting worse, not better. And that this trend is in such stark contrast to the generally positive evolution of humankind (see The Better Angels of Our Nature - http://www.bookjetty.com/books/1455839566/angels-nature-violence-declined ) ( )
  pratalife | Feb 9, 2014 |
What can I say? .. I hope that every politician or other invested person who finds themselves in the position of deciding whether to commit their fellow citizens to war or not reads this book first.

I salute Sledgehammer for all his sacrifices, and more for his courage and selfless insight in bringing this story to generations who can scarcely imagine what true kill-or-be-killed war entails.

And I note the lack of appeal to a higher power that Sledge exhibits in these pages. For me, it represented a stark contrast to the god-fueled righteousness that permeates so much of more recent war diaries (such as Thunder Run http://www.bookjetty.com/books/1402596405/thunder-run ). It really makes me worry that the insane religious bigots of all faiths have so much to answer for in the cause of war - and things are getting worse, not better. And that this trend is in such stark contrast to the generally positive evolution of humankind (see The Better Angels of Our Nature - http://www.bookjetty.com/books/1455839566/angels-nature-violence-declined ) ( )
  pratalife | Feb 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sledge, E.B.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexander, Joseph H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ødegaard, RogerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crown, John A.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fussell, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hanks, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hanson, Victor DavisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mazzello, JoeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McIlhenny, Walter S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vietor, MarcNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The deaths ye died I have watched beside
and the lives ye led were mine

- Rudyard Kipling
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In memory of Capt. Andrew A. Haldane, beloved company commander of K/3/5, and to the Old Breed
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I enlisted in the Marine Corps on 3 December 1942 at Marion, Alabama.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0891419063, Paperback)

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 steeped in American history and enamored 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:53 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A former member of the First Marine Division gives a front line description of two World War II Pacific campaigns.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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