With the Old Breed Download by E.B. Sledge
Click Here to Download the Book 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 E.B. Sledge's memoir of his experience fighting in the South Pacific during World War II so devastatingly powerful is its sheer honest simplicity and compassion. Now 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 1923 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 1943 to 1946 endured the events recorded in this book. In those years, he passed, often painfully, from innocence to experience. Sledge 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 severed. Sledge'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.
Reviews A veterans incredible story and extraordinary journey from small town American boy to WWII veteran. E.B. Sledge, a marine in the 1st marine division, tells his story and shares his horrors of his battles in the Pacific theater of war during WWII. This book takes you on an incredible journey of what it was like fighting in the Pacific and creates vivid and realistic images of the horrors soldiers went through. The story spans Sledges time from the rocky Pacific island of Peleliu in late 1944 all the way to the gruesome rain drenched mud puddles of Okinawa in early 1945. Every moment of every thought, word or expression is demonstrated in a very visceral way. There is no holding back on explaining the sights and horrors. Everything Sledge had the opportunity to see during his time on these islands, you have the privilege of experiencing it first hand with him. This epic story made into a memoir is a story sacrifice, courage, and camaraderie. The quality of this memoir/book is astounding. The book is written in a way that truly helps people of today visualize and see what every soldier had to and still has to go through during war. The book describes every little detail, and the gruesome sequences are recalled and detailed to disturbing degrees of ferocity and brutality. This is what the war was like, written by a soldier for people back home to understand what all
soldiers had to go through. This book was compelling, suspenseful, realistic, incredibly interesting, and was impossible to put down. The vividness of every mental picture created is incredible. The only thing I didn't like about the story is how It didn't include Sledges entire war experience. After watching the Pacific miniseries, I was kind of disappointed that the story didn't include Sledges introduction to WWII or his life after the war ended. I believe that the audience for this book would be any historian, anybody who enjoys reading of war, or anybody who likes history, particularly WWII like me. This book has enough fact, vivid pictures, chilling experiences, daring attempts, and heroic sacrifices to make anybody with any fascination of this topic be completely blown away by the sheer incredible content of this book. This book is one of the most true and realistic portrayals of war in literature. This is war, war is hell.
Of all the books about the ground war in the Pacific, this is the closest to masterpiece”-The New York Times Review of Books. With The Old Breed by Eugene B Sledge is about Sledge’s experience in the Pacific fighting the Japanese. He took notes in a copy of the New Testament. In the beginning Eugene talked about getting into the U.S. Marine Corps. Then he talked about going through basic training and infantry training from which he could chose the part of infantry he wanted join which was 60mm. mortars. Sledge then talked about being shipped to Pavuvu which was an island in the Pacific were the 1st Marine Division was stationed. While on Pavuvu Sledge and his platoon would go on work details which involved making roads to picking up rotten coconuts. Sledge’s first taste of combat was on a lobster claw shaped corral island called Peleliu. Sledge said from the time he landed on the island to the time he left it was hell. During the day you watch out for bullets and artillery, and during the you had to look out for Japanese infiltrators trying to slit your throat. After Peleliu Sledge and the rest of the 1st Marine Division were shipped off to fight on the island of Okinawa. Unlike Peleliu, when the Marines landed on Okinawa the Japanese were not shelling and shooting at the Marines. As they moved inland the fighting become more and more intense. It also started to pouring rain almost every day. Sledge said that the dead stayed were they were killed, supplies had a hard time getting through and the wounded couldn’t always be taken to the field hospitals right away because of all the mud. After they took the Japanese stronghold of Shuri the fighting got easier but there were still casualties. Shortly after the battle of Okinawa ended. Things that I really liked about this book was the great detail Sledge went into. For example when they were issued their Ka-Bar fighting knives he went into detail about the weight, lengths and things the Drill Instructors said they were used for. I also liked how it was told, I thought it was easy to read and easy to understand. There were notes at the bottom of pages were there things that had a star next to them which I liked because it gave you background knowledge on the battle or other things that you should know. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good World War II book. The characters were guys in Sledge’s mortar squad. His best friend was Merriel “Snafu” Shelton. Snafu taught Sledge some things that probably kept him alive. Another big character was his platoon’s Captian, Andy “Ack Ack” Haldane. Sledge and the rest of the platoon liked Haldane a lot because he was like a father figure to them. Sledge said the worst thing that happen to him in the war was when Haldane was killed on Peleliu. Eugene Sledge was the main character because the book was based he took. With the Old Breed was used for notes in the making of The Pacific which is a 10 part series that follows Sledge and two other Marines through the terrors of the war in the Pacific during World War II.
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