With the Old Breed

With the Old Breed

At Peleliu and Okinawa

Book - 1991
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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.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 1991, c1981
ISBN: 9780195067149
Branch Call Number: ANF 940.542522 SLE 1991
Characteristics: xxiv, 326 p. : ill., maps ; 21 cm


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Jul 12, 2017

This is the best book I have ever ready about a solider in the Pacific theater hands down.

From boot camp to a small island in the Pacific that even today hardly anyone has heard of this book bring insight into what it was like to go day in and day out of the harsh battle against the Japanese. Highly recommended book and reads like a thriller almost you won't be disappointed.

Jan 04, 2017

Excellent first person account of fighting that took place in the Pacific by the marines. Easily the best description of some of the sights and especially the smells that the soldiers lived through day after day during battle. Recommended reading.

Aug 26, 2016

This is by far one of the best first person war books you will ever read. Sledge writes with a clarity that you don't find in many other memoirs. It's also one of the few books that I have read that really get down to the basic inhumanity of men at war. You always hear about atrocities committed by the other side, but never your own. People whom have gone to war know it is not a one-way street.

Besides enjoying this book just for the personal narrative, I would also recommend it to anyone who views war as all Hollywood.

Feb 25, 2016

luuuuuvv it!!!!!!!!1


Jan 02, 2016

I loved how Eugene writes in depth about his experience as a Marine during WW2 in the Pacific Theatre. He opens up about everything, such as how he bonded with his comrades, the harsh environment, the feeling of pride being a Marine and the horrors of the war.

We all knew that WW2 was bad, but this book took it to a whole new level. I felt like I was actually there, witnessing the battles. It's a very easy read, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Jan 07, 2014

For a long time, I've wanted to read about the military from an ordinary soldier's point of view. Eugene Sledge clearly and succinctly recorded his time in the Marines in this book. Well worth it.

Mar 16, 2013

A classic war book from the Pacific war against the Japanese and Eugene Sledge did a fantastic job of describing the horrors of war during the United States island hopping campaign. Highly recommended!!

Jun 07, 2012

This is a great book. It is engrossing, engaging and informative. it is not a book for the faint of heart. The scenes are written very vividly. E. B. Sledge relates his experiences with clarity .passion. empathy and understanding. The book unfolds as a personal narrative, but movingly tells a larger story of humans perservering under inhuman condiions. Other comments list this book as a "must read" and I wholeheartedly agree. I was moved and informed; and the meaning of the book felt very true. "With the Old Breed" is a valuable place to learn about onew of the most important chapters in our history, WWII in the Pacific.

Feb 13, 2012

Excellent. Heart-breaking and real. It is a must-read memoir for anyone.

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