This is a discussion on With the Old Breed within the Marines forums, part of the Armed Services category; I just finished reading "With the Old Breed, at Peleliu and Okinawa" by Eugene Sledge for the third time, and if anybody on here hasn't ...
I just finished reading "With the Old Breed, at Peleliu and Okinawa" by Eugene Sledge for the third time, and if anybody on here hasn't read this book you really need to! I can't imagine a finer military book being written. I can only imagine the pride one would feel being a Marine and knowing you descend from this tradition.
I was talked out of enlisting in the Marines and it remains, and probably will remain the biggest regret of my life. This book only accentuates that regret. Not because his experiences sounded enjoyable, but because of the immense pride he felt in serving. It really stands out in his writing.
I met Dr. Sid Phillips (Sledges Marine Corps best friend) and his family a couple of years ago .Sid also wrote a book "You'll be sorry" Also Phillips and Sledge grew up in the same town and were best friends before both joining the Corps.
Last edited by Nordlander; January 29th, 2013 at 08:05 AM.
"Helmet for My Pillow"--well, I read a quarter of it and was turend off by Lecke's constant dry humor. Maybe it's a generational thing, as I myself love dry humor, but I couldn't stand Lecke's.
Another good book to read came out less than a year ago: "Battleground Pacific" by Sterling Mace. He was in K/3/5 just like Sledge. However (and according to him) Sledge was mortarman while he was a rifleman, so Mace saw a lot more frontline action. Mace is active on Facebook, and I've actually chatted with him on there.
Sledge's book smokes "Helmet for my Pillow". You can't put "With the Old Breed" down. Not too many good books concerning the Pacific Theater. If you want great reads move to German and Soviet WWII memoires concerning the Eastern Front. Chuikov, Yeremenko, Konev, Rokossovsky, Zhukov, Werth, Raus, Sayer, von Mellenthin, etc. In general these books are just much better than Western accounts.
You want any advice on good reads concerning a WWII subject let me know. Odds are I've read it...often twice. I try and stick with first person accounts.
I re-read both after seeing "The Pacific". Sterling Mace requested admittance to a 5th Marines forum I belong to with this statement: "My name is Sterling Mace. I was a Rifleman with K 3/5 from '42 until '46. I used to kill japs then look at their dead bodies." He was admitted, my copy of "Battleground Pacific" is signed by him with a very nice personal inscription. BTW, the working title was "Killing is Easy: The Memoirs of a Marine Rifleman in World War II". He was still writing it when we first became aquainted.
I'll have to try Battleground Pacific. I've read "You'll be Soreee" and found that to be about the lighter side of the Pacific. A good companion read to With the Old Breed is Islands of the Damned. It was written by R.V. Burgin who you will recall was in Sledge's mortar platoon. It is a fast read and he tells a lot of the same accounts, but with a different perspective.
Reading "With The Old Breed" gives you a new perspective about what you had imagined war was like. Eye opening. "You'll Be Sorr-ee" shows that Jarheads keep their twisted sense of humor through it all.
Thank you for the link to 'Fix Bayonets'. I'm bookmarking that. I found that book in the unit library years back and enjoyed reading it.