With the Old Breed Kindle Fire 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 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 and occasionally funny, look at the life of a combat Marine during the final battles in the Pacific. This book cannot be recommended highly enough! This has to be one of the best first-hand accounts of the fighting in the Pacific during WW2. Anyone serious about military history should have a copy in their library. Well done to these brave men who fought and served, may they never be forgotten.
I've read a few personal accounts of battles from different wars, but E. B. "Sledgehammer" Sledge's account of
his experiences on Peleliu and Okinawa was one of my favorites. Originally written just for his family, Sledge's story is told with a brutal honesty that gives the reader a real sense of seeing the carnage of war through the eyes of a patriotic and duty-bound, yet initially naive, young soldier. As I read, I felt that the author's recounting was an effort to help his family understand a series of events that had rooted themselves in his soul and formed an important part of his development, all while knowing that war is something that can only be truly understood by those that have lived it. Even at the end of the book, with the last battle fought, and the war over, the author simply ends the book, with no sense of fanfare or artificial elaboration. This honesty, this sense that the author just wants to be understood, not congratulated, make the book a moving, and even haunting account, that will at once fill you with wonder at the bravery and honor of the soldiers who fought, and disgust at the brutality and utter wastefulness of war. If you are interested in a WWII account that goes beyond summaries of battles and tactics, and especially if you have a family member that participated in the pacific campaign (my grandfather was on Okinawa), you'll probably enjoy is book.
With the old breed by Eugene B. Sledge is about his experience in world war two. Eugene chose to join the Marines because he thought it would be heroic and he wanted to do it for his country but when he got off the boat at Peleliu it was different, everything he learned had to be put to the test and now everything that the higher ranks told him came into perspective. He now had two objectives; to complete his mission and to survive. No matter where he went he did not feel safe and he could have been killed at any given moment. The way he reacted reminded me of all the 18 year old kids who join the Marines thinking it will be fun and they can fight side by side with their friend but this particular part in the memoir gives me the feeling that as soon as those kids get to the battle and see bullets whizzing over their heads and see their friends die right beside them, they will realize its no longer a game and everything is actually happening, you don't get a second chance. E.B. Sledge also points out how itâ€™s not just the fighting he remembers but every single soldier and how they became to be like brothers. I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy historical battles and if you would like to see the perspective on the battle field. It is a little long and wordy but if you take your time to read it its worth it.
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