Pacific War Memoirs

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B Hellqvist
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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by B Hellqvist » 02 May 2010 12:58

Thanks for posting these reviews - this will be a handy reference when I will go looking for PTO memoirs.

Larso
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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 02 May 2010 13:19

Thanks Bjorn. I've been surprised at how many are around. My wife's not happy about me buying so many books though...

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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 08 May 2010 07:53

‘Great Men Cry, Too’ by Daniel Darnell

Self published. 2002. Paperback 163 pages.

Darnell joined the Marines in 1943 three months before he turned eighteen. He had done some hunting as a lad and did quite well in training. When they asked for volunteers with no family commitments, he stepped forward and found himself in the Raiders. He writes he was assigned to 32nd Raider Bn – except there wasn’t one. Perhaps it’s a typo for 2nd Raider Bn, in any event he and his fellows missed the boat to connect with them. While he was waiting around to see what happened next, there was again a request for a volunteer and again he stepped forward - to this time find himself assigned as a cook with 1st Medical Battalion! It seemed a strange spot to put someone who was Raider material. Anyway, it is with this unit that he went to war with 1st Marine Div.

Darnell joins his battalion on Cape Gloucester where he spends most of his time sitting around, swimming, fishing, cooking and at one point making a lot of moonshine (though it is actually used mainly for medical purposes). They do take their turns manning foxholes on the perimeter and while one of his colleagues surprises everyone with his personal deadliness, Darnell’s stints are non-eventful. On Peleliu however he doubles as a stretcher bearer and at times a medical corpsman. He is often in the front of the line and even ahead of it. He sees a lot of death and deals out a little himself. Most Japanese he sees though are dead, unarmed stragglers or on fire from a flame thrower – he wasn’t feeling too much pity for them either. It’s pretty intense and towards the end he collapses with Dengue fever. He does see some amazing things. Indeed one of his recurring themes is the inexplicable nature of battle, the surprising survival of some and the unbelievable death of others. Some things stay with him. He then goes to Okinawa but mostly sticks to the cooking – though there are very dangerous moments, including one he survives on a premonition. His service ends with burns from an accident of all things (though he recovers well enough to be called back to service in the early 1950s).

This is definitely not a rip-roaring combat account. Darnell is certainly at considerable risk at times but his role mostly kept him feeding or saving people rather than killing them. He is certainly the real thing – a volunteer and a brave man – but one who could also make cottage cheese from the usually unhelpful army powdered milk. So it is an unusual perspective but principally a non-combat one. There are still some interesting stories (like fending off Kamikazes as an AA gunner on his transport) and he makes clear that souvenir hunting could be a fatal game. The cover is perplexing – there are two painted scenes of Pacific battle scenes and inexplicably – a picture of two German soldiers running through barbed wire! The title is a reference to an occasion Darnell witnessed Chesty Puller in tears over his regiment’s casualties. Overall - Of some interest. 2 ¾ stars.

Larso
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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 15 May 2010 02:41

'God Shared my Foxholes' by Joseph Friedman

Medallion Publishing Co. NY, 2007. Paperback, 171 pages.

Friedman enlisted in September 1942 and after training was assigned to the 3rd battalion of the 21st Regimental Combat Team, 3rd Marine Division. He was with the heavy weapons platoon and had quite a variety of interesting experiences in training, at sea and on Bouganville, Guam and Iwo Jima.

Friedman’s first battles took place when the Japanese were still in a position to contest American moves in a regular manner and he is subjected to torpedo plane attacks off both Bouganville and Guam. For the second he secures himself a spot on deck and contributes to the defence with a 50 caliber machine gun. He was a pretty good shot too. On Bouganville itself he participates in patrols and some minor fights. A greater problem was the jungle, snakes and even earthquakes and an active volcano. The lack of supplies for the marines though was almost criminal and some extreme responses took place. Friedman wasn’t afraid to stand up for himself and it seems he was in the bad books of several of his superiors.

Guam is the scene of his most extensive combat. He participates in the beach assault and saves his own life with shrewd decisions while under heavy fire. He recognized dangerous situations, moved and lived. He then is the first on this thread to write with some clarity about being on the receiving end of a Bonzai attack. It could still have been more detailed though. He does write more fully about killing at other times. He disliked the Japanese but perversely spared several unarmed ones despite explicit orders to kill them. He has some reasonable stories about his time on Iwo Jima but this is shorter than might be expected. He conveys the danger of combat but not the horror of it that others above have achieved.

This is a straightforward story. Friedman writes of combat and killing but doesn’t expand upon the basic details. There’s enough to know what has happened but it is not delivered in a gripping way. He writes relatively little of his fellow marines too, few are mentioned by name, so his story is not very involving in terms of what happens to them. There is the occasional error – a repeated passage or a mis-captioned picture but overall the presentation is fine. A unique addition is quite a few poems that he wrote about some of his experiences. It is a fairly quick read but in its favour is the account of combat on Guam, a campaign that is hardly ever covered by others. Friedman is the real thing. He fought in the front-line, and what he did is worth reading. Recommended 3 ½ stars

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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 29 May 2010 08:19

‘Once a Marine’ by Jack O’Rourke

Vantage Press, NY, 2007. Paperback, 142 pages.

O’Rourke entered the Marines through the V12 program, where the Navy kept promising men in college with a view to taking them into full time service (as officers) at a later time. For O’Rourke this happened in July 1943. He did well in training, so well that he was selected for Anti-Aircraft school and it was in this branch that he served in WW2 and later in Korea. He comments on the luck of such things. Several of his fellow graduates went to infantry divisions and were killed. He went to the big base on Peleliu to command a battery of the 12th AA Battalion and saw no hostile action at all.

As a war memoir then, this book has little to offer. O’Rourke writes instead, rather extensively (at least as far as a 142 page book allows) of his training, friends he made and his interesting aspects of his service. It is fairly clean cut but he does mention things like unit run brothels in Korea and wonders about the extent of homosexuality with pre-war China marines! He names a name or two as well. He also writes of such diverse things as his love of oysters and how bullfights work.

O’Rourke served his country well and there is detail here that is of interest. Chapters are short and are broken down further into many sub-topics, often of only a page or so. It is quite readable but given his war-time role it is limited in scope. So if it’s combat stories you want, look elsewhere. Of some interest in terms of officer training.

Note - The grandson of the author of my previous review 'God Shared my Foxholes', has contacted me to advise that the edition concerned was published without his grandfathers consent. I'm not sure what happened but the family was quite upset about what occurred. He advises that there are errors in terms of what his grandfather actually wrote and what has appeared in print. The quality too was less than ideal, with editing problems and bland photos. The elder Friedman still hopes to publish his story, with his actual photos and appropriate corrections. They asked me to remove my review from Amazon and as I have a soft spot for old soldiers, I have done this. I also said I would put a qualifying note regarding my review here.

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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 30 Jul 2010 12:43

'Above the Cry of Battle' by Chuck Holsinger

ACW Press, Phoenix, 2001. Paperback, 233 pages.

Holsinger served with K Co of the 25th Divisions 35th Infantry Regt. He saw a little action on Guadalcanal and Vella LaVella but the combat he writes of here is wholly concerned with events on Luzon in 1945. His first role is that of squad scout and he writes reasonably interestingly of this dangerous job. He is lucky to survive on a few occasions and his stories of what happened to less fortunate scouts and squads emphasize this. He is involved in quite a few battles and there is quite a bit of variety in his stories. He encountered Japanese tanks, suicide attackers and strongly held defensive positions. Several times he mentions that of the men who landed with his company, 35 were killed. This is a graphic reminder that the fighting for the Philippines was quite costly. His confrontations with the Japanese, in addition to what he sees of their treatment of the local people, leaves him with a lot of hatred towards them.

Holsinger certainly kills, though he never writes of it too specifically, but he was very much at the forefront of the action. This was particularly the case when he won the Silver Star for singlehandedly holding of a night attack that wiped out all the men around him. So yes this is an account of combat, if not of a grisly nature. It is also very much an account of how his religious faith fortified him on a daily basis. He frequently thanks God for his survival and after the war he returns to The Philippines to serve as a missionary. The last third of the book covers his experiences here, though he ties in some more war recollections to illustrate how he believed he was preserved for this mission.

This is in my reading a fairly unique war memoir. Many veterans were religious but Holsinger has a very strong focus on his faith. I suspect readers with a strong Christian faith will find it inspiring but those that don’t may find this aspect jarring. With that said, there is a lot to enjoy about Holsinger’s book. He was proud to be a liberator (and the ongoing gratitude of the Filipinoes is very evident) and through his faith was eventually able to overcome his wartime anger. I thought it was a good message. My recommendation in terms of combat though - 'of some interest'.

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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 25 Sep 2010 01:27

‘Tanker: Boys, Men and Cowards’ by Edward C. Luzinas

Athena Press London, 2004. Paperback, 145 pages.

Luzinas was a gunner in a Sherman tank with the 710th Tank Battalion which was attached to the 81st Infantry division. He fought on Angaur and Peleliu in the Palau island operations but was fortunate to be in a reserve role during later campaigns.

This is a short read and of that, only about a third covers the author’s time in combat zones. There is a reasonable amount on training, operations of the Sherman and context prior to the battle, but also the filling in time while they waited for the invasion of Japan. The fighting Luzinas experienced was mainly firing his gun into cave mouths and since each night the Japanese reoccupied them, it was an ongoing job. At times the Japanese come out but his exposure to them is not as extensive as most of the authors on my list. He was certainly at risk and had a number of close calls. Quite a number of tanks in his unit are disabled but casualties are not to the same extent as in other accounts from this theatre.

A key focus is on the men the author served with. While there were also many excellent soldiers, a surprising number, including officers, were inadequate in some way and Luzinas is free with the details. Luzinas is generally not shy about speaking his mind and I think this provides some interesting material on the tensions that war creates. He also made himself a bit of a target with superiors and finds himself getting picked on for extra, unpleasant duties.

The writing is of a reasonable quality but the tone is a bit hyperbolic at times. Luzinas has some interesting things to say, particularly in the sense that not all units were a ‘Band of Brothers’. He writes of combat but I would rank it under the other Pacific theatre tanker memoirs in terms of its overall ability to engage a reader in the typical themes of this genre. 2 3/4 stars

So of the five tanker accounts I found ‘Okinawa Odyssey’ to be the most interesting. With ‘Cutthroats’, ‘Tanks on the Beaches’ and ‘Fragments of War’ all having interesting things to say or an interesting perspective. There is a 6th memoir by a tanker, ‘I Remember’ by Lloyd Wagnon, half of which apparently covers his time with the marines in four operations but I’m not sure if I’ll get it.

Larso
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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 16 Oct 2010 02:43

‘Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Beyond’ by William W. Rogal

McFarland & Company, Inc. Jefferson. 2010. Paperback, 208 pages.

Rogal was from a Depression hit family and chose a military job as a means of fending for himself. A friend from church (Rogal is the first fellow Lutheran I’ve come across in my memoir reading) convinces him the marines are the best choice and he duly processes through the system finding himself in the 5th Marines when war breaks out. His battalion is then redesignated as the 1st Raider and he undergoes appropriate training under Edson. His company is then transferred to 2nd Raider but following a bizarre interview with Carlson he is reassigned to the 2nd Marine Division. It is then with A Co, 1st Battalion of the 2nd Marines that he sees combat on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian.

Rogal’s unit is attached to the 1st Marine Division for the Guadalcanal operation and is deployed initially on Tulagai. Following a stint doing little more than starve and guard a mangrove swamp he is switched across to Guadalcanal and is very much involved in the fighting and he several times comes literally face to face with the enemy. The first instance is particularly confronting too. He writes in detail on the events and how his deeds and his Christianity collide, leaving him numb. It was an extroadinary passage. At other times he is ambushed, bombed and shelled – including by battleships. The point he makes is that while the 1st Division gained the glory (and deservedly so he emphasizes) the 2nd Division also fought hard. Indeed his unit served longer on the ‘Canal’ longer than did those of the 1st. He also reminds the reader that the navy lost more men than the marines.

The author’s next assignment sees him landing under fire on Betio (Tarawa) and crossing its infamous seawall. He catches some of the flying metal and is forced to evacuate. This operation was very costly and controversial. He gives his opinion on this and it is an interesting perspective. He is fit in time for Saipan, arriving there on D + 1, again under heavy fire. He managed to avoid being on the receiving end of the big Japanese attacks but was involved in the ‘clean-up’ and saw some terrible things. Tinian is also a tough time, he had several extremely close calls and was involved in the cave clearances. By the final fight he has had a long combat journey. After being posted back to the states, he marries and signs on for a little longer, even doing a stint in China. There were some interesting events here too.

Rogal has a straightforward, no nonsense approach. He is observant and very prepared to share what he saw and did. You are left with a very clear picture of what war did to people. The story is his but a few times he includes interesting experiences of others that compliment his own. I learned some new things and his observations on the Japanese, particularly on Guadalcanal, were revealing. I’d describe it as an enjoyable book, except it’s not the best term for a book on war. It is though a very impressive war memoir. Sledge sets the bar so high, it is hard for other strong books to compete but this book in many ways is worthy of high praise. If you’re interested in the Pacific theatre but looking for something a little bit different from the recent TV show and associated material, this book would be a great choice!

Very Highly Recommended. 4 ½ stars.

Larso
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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 14 Nov 2010 06:57

‘God Shared my Foxholes’ by Joseph Friedman

Subtitled : The Authorised Memoirs of a WW2 Combat Marine on Bouganville, Guam & Iwo Jima
(for the unauthorised accout, see me May review)
iUniverse, Inc. NY. 2010. Hardcover, 175 pages.

Friedman enlisted in September 1942 and after training was assigned to the 3rd battalion of the 21st Regimental Combat Team, 3rd Marine Division. He was with the heavy weapons platoon and had quite a variety of interesting experiences in training, at sea and in combat on Bouganville, Guam and Iwo Jima.

Friedman’s first battles took place when the Japanese were still in a position to contest American moves in a regular manner and he is subjected to torpedo plane attacks off both Bouganville and Guam. For the second he secures himself a spot on deck and contributes to the defence with a 50 caliber machine gun! He was a pretty good shot too. On Bouganville itself he participates in patrols and some minor fights. A greater problem was the jungle, snakes and even earthquakes and an active volcano. The lack of supplies for the marines though was almost criminal and some extreme responses took place. Friedman wasn’t afraid to stand up for himself and it seems he was in the bad books of several of his superiors.

Guam is the scene of his most extensive combat. He participates in the beach assault and saves his own life with shrewd decisions while under heavy fire. He recognized dangerous situations, moved and lived. He then is the first on this thread to write with some clarity about being on the receiving end of a Banzai attack. It could still have been more detailed though. He does write more fully about killing at other times. He disliked the Japanese but perversely, spared several unarmed ones despite explicit orders to kill them. He has some reasonable stories about his time on Iwo Jima but this is shorter than might be expected. He conveys the danger certainly but not the horror that some others on my list have achieved.

This is the second version of this story that I have read. This edition is free of the errors in the earlier ‘unauthorized’ paperback one. Some passages have also been amended to more accurately reflect Mr. Friedman’s actual experiences. It is also far more polished, includes the author’s photos and is very handsomely presented. I thank Mr. Friedman and his family for making the copy I reviewed available.

This is a straightforward but well told story. Friedman writes of combat and killing, and while I wanted more details on some events, most of the author’s experiences are well described. A unique element is the inclusion of quite a few poems that he wrote about his time as a soldier. The highlight to me was the account of combat on Guam, a campaign that is hardly ever covered by others. Friedman is the real thing. He fought in the front-line, and what he did is worth reading. 4 stars

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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 14 Nov 2010 07:00

Someone who has been following my reviews on Amazon has notified me of the following additional memoirs from this theatre -

Braun's Battlin' Bastards by Harold Brau (1/158RCT (Ind): NG, Luzon) P290, 2005.

Frankel-y Speaking by Stanley. A. Frankel (37th Div: NG, P/P) 231p, 1992.

Indestructible by Jack Lucas (5th Marine Div: Iwo) 240p, 2007.

The Hawk and the Dove by Roland Glenn (7th Div: Okinawa) P234, 2009.

The Last Souvenir: Okinawa - 1945 by Jack Caroll (1st Marine Div?: Okinawa) P446p, 2009.

Larso
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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 06 Dec 2010 04:49

Stories from the Pacific by Lawrence F. Kirby

Subtitled : The Island War 1942 – 1945

Published 2004 by the author. First published 1995. Paperback, 253 pages.

Every once in a while you pick up a special book and for me, this was one of them. The author served with the 3rd Marine Division on Bouganville, Guam and for all but two days of the campaign on Iwo Jima. This is not a standard linear memoir, rather it is a collection of rememberances about various events and experiences, explored as it suits the author. He himself writes that ‘My stories are not chronological… Instead, they are a series of verbal snapshots”. It is no haphazard compilation though. The stories take the reader on the typical journey of a young marine and do so with rare power.

Kirby later notes that to protect the privacy of people he used fictitious names and even hid the exact identity of regiments and companies. He explains, “These stories are not fiction nor are they biography.” But for what it’s worth, he writes that he served as an observer with the 12th Marines on Bouganville and as a scout with the 9th on Guam and Iwo. Prior to that he takes us on a particularly eye-opening journey of the marine training program. Boot camp was harsh! Kirby is very observant and gives some remarkable insights. He also rebelled against it in his own way, revealing a paradoxical love-hate relationship with the Corps. There are also some fascinating stories about his fellow trainees. Some passages about the rites of passage involved are just deliciously delivered!

Several of the chapters specifically concern the author’s experiences in battle. These include the Guam beach landing, killing for the first time, being on the line at night and being subjected to decimation on an Iwo Jiman hill. Few of these stories though would assist a researcher of these actions, as Kirby writes from an extremely personal perspective. He admits that some days are a blank. The stories vary in the amount of detail provided but all are very vivid accounts of combat in their particular way. Interestingly for me, where normally I would’ve wanted much more on this (he faced the Guam Banzai attack & numerous events on Iwo; he was one of only 13 left in his company from the original 234 men that landed), I was satisfied with what is here, due to its incredible intensity.

Surprisingly Kirby retains no animosity towards the Japanese. Also surprising, aside from one bizarre episode, he never spoke to any of his wartime comrades ever again (though this may have changed after publication of his book). He moved on from the war but as many found, the memories stayed with him. So he chose to “portray the essence of extraordinary happenings in which carefree boys were suddenly and tragically transformed into grown men”, using, “memories, old in years but as new as today.”

This is an exceedingly well written book, the author’s style is reminiscent of William Manchester’s in the powerful way he uses language. It also has extraordinary emotional depth. It may disappoint those who wish he’d used his skills to give a blow by blow account of battle on Guam and in particular Iwo Jima but there is just so much else to like. In a sense it is almost a love letter to his fellow matines. I was left utterly intrigued by this author and his story. There are things that will stay with me. One of the five best books from this theatre. Very Highly Recommended. 4½ stars

More Pacific Memoirs
The Assault by Allen R. Matthews (4th Marine Div: Iwo) P234p, 1980 (1st 1947?)
Thunder in Morning by Homer H. Grantham (1st Marine Div: Peleliu, Okinawa) P152p, 2004.

Larso
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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 27 Dec 2010 00:17

Through these Portals by Wayne C. MacGregor Jr.

Subtitled : A Pacific War Saga
Washington State Uni Press, 2002. Paperback, 243 pages.

MacGregor served in the Recon/intelligence platoon with 1/306th of the 77th Division. He fought on Guam, Leyte and Okinawa and was in line for the invasion of Japan, so he had a long combat stint. The opening two chapters of his book however deal with growing up in The Depression. His father was absent and life was hard. He had to work hard from a young age and it was fascinating to read of the measures people went to, to survive. As others have done, MacGregor credits the process to toughening him for the trials of combat.

MacGregor sees a lot of combat. He points out that as a Recon man his duties were different to that of a stock standard infantryman but there were many occasions where he encountered the enemy. For the most part he writes of these events in terms of what his company of battalion achieved. He does write of his personal actions at times but given the scope of what he participated in, he was in a position to have delivered an extraordinary account of combat had he chose.

As for what he does reveal, on Guam, where he lands a few days after the Marines, there are patrols and ambushes. On Leyte the 77th is audaciously launched behind enemy lines to capture the Ormoc Port. What is surprising here is the extent to which the Japanese are able to launch ship and air operations. Okinawa is hellish. The 77th spends a lot of time in the line and suffers heavy casualties. Again MacGregor writes mostly in general terms but one particular passage where he escorts a Graves unit to recover US dead is horrendous. He does not sanitize what being killed meant. He provides an after battle account of what occurred in this position and the scope of the fighting is incredible.

Throughout the book, MacGregor includes ‘sidebars’ where he explores various issues, like killing, but also newspaper articles that his mother collected. It all adds to what MacGregor is saying. There is context and reflection. One of MacGregor’s themes is the general lack of knowledge regarding the army’s contribution to the fighting. He holds great respect for the Marines but is a little hurt that they seem to get all the publicity. His recounting of the achievements of his own division does a good job in setting the record straight but it is still very much his story. His personal antidotes are fascinating and left me wanting more, especially given the things he would’ve experienced but there is enough to do him credit. MacGregor lived in interesting times and his book is a very interesting read.

More Pacific Memoirs
GI in the Pacific War Memoirs by Nicholas A. Russiello (34RCT, 24th Div) P164p, 2005.
My War Years by Paul W. Smith (?Marines: Guam, Okinawa) P185p. 2009.
Praise the Lord and Pass the Penicillin by Dean W. Andersen (Medic: NG) P236p, 2003.
The Assault by Allen R. Matthews (4th Marine Div: Iwo) P234p, 1980 (1st 1947?)
The Wonder of it all by Clarence Sheffield (Army?? P/P) P224p, 2005.
Three War Marine by Francis Fox Parry (?Artillery: Guadalcanal, Okinawa) P312p, 1999.
Thunder in Morning by Homer H. Grantham (1st Marine Div: Peleliu, Okinawa) P152p, 2004.

Also there is a student's interview with Lawrence Kirby here -
http://www2.needham.k12.ma.us/nhs/cur/w ... -wwii.html

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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 22 Jan 2011 00:11

On Valor’s Side by T. Grady Gallant

Subtitled : A Marine’s Own Story of Parris Island and Guadalcanal

Zebra Books, Kensington Publishing Corp, NY, 1980 (First published 1963). Paperback, 364 pages.

Gallant enlisted in the Marines in September 1941 at the age of 21. The bulk of his book concerns h
is training at Parris Island and the various postings thereafter before the journey to the South Seas and war on Guadalcanal with the 11th Marines, the artillery regiment of the 1st Marine Division.

Boot camp is a topic touched on by many veterans but few have done it as comprehensively as Gallant. He shows how excruciating it could be in terms of the laborious training and petty rules. Gallant is adept at highlighting the ridiculous drills and punishments and the impact of the larger than life Drill Instructors. He includes a lot of dialogue and this creates a very readable story of how life in marine training was lived. There are some fascinating personalities and associated antics. There is also some wry, gently delivered humour. While it was a torturous process, Gallant perceives (perhaps more in hindsight) that it was vital to the creation of marines, tough enough to prevail against the extremely determined Japanese forces that they were soon to fight.

Gallant writes of being in the 4th Battalion, M Battery but I’m not quite sure if this was still the case on Guadalcanal. There he was a corporal in charge of a 37mm gun which was positioned where the Matanikau River enters the Sea. He sees the naval night fights, and is subjected to shelling and bombing but the fighting does not seem to have occurred in his area. He does offer some interesting observations on Japanese dead, but this seems to be the extent of his battlefield revelations – for this campaign at least. Much of what he writes then, and the Guadalcanal phase covers the last quarter of the book, is about the conditions and his men.

The author writes that he chose to tone down the ‘soldier’ language but this hasn’t affected the books authenticity and is probably more a nod to the time of initial publication in the early 1960s. I have no criticism of its tone or construction, it reads very well. It is not without edge though, Gallant writes of the atrocities that the Japanese committed and on the way to Guadalcanal chillingly observes that now the raping would be done by US marines with their bayonets. (This is written metaphorically, the bayonet training course at Parris had left him determined to use his rifle instead!) Several times he notes that the Japanese were trained to die for their Emperor and as the Marines were trained to kill, it was only sensible that the two forces get together and aid each other to reach their goals.

Gallant chose to write his account because there were few first person memoirs written by participants in these events. The 50 years since has seen this addressed much more fully of course but it seems his book was one of the first. His entry, though short on direct combat, is a very readable account of being in the marines.

More Pacific Memoirs
They Just Fade Away by Robert Lee Dodge (?Army: N/Guinea, Philippines) P273p, 2001.
Dear Harriet by G.F. Jerry Walsh (2nd Div 1/29th: G/Canal, Tarawa, Saipan) P224p, 1995.
Train of Thought by John B. Minnick (Marine: Iwo) P164p, 2008.
A Marine In World War II by Robert E. Smith (1st Marine Div: ) P???p, 1993.
Marine Paratrooper by D Davenport (3rdMarine Para: New Georgia, B/ville)P189p, 1992.
D plus Forever by D Davenport (5th Mar Div: Iwo).H302p, 1994.

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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by paustin110 » 23 Jan 2011 16:26

I just want to thank Larso for the great lists and reviews. I'm a newbie so I won't be posting here much in order to not display my ignorance and bog you good folks down. I have a lot to learn. I have previously read a couple of the books on Larso's list - Eugene Sledge's With the Old Breed and China Marine. I also read Helmet for My Pillow and a couple of others from the list. Flags of Our Fathers, obviously. Right now I'm into Hugh Ambrose's The Pacific and I have the Sid Phillips book, You'll Be Sor-ree sitting by.

As a newbie to this, it's overwhelming to me, the amount of material. My main interest in this point is the personal memoir, as Eugene's book was, which is how I ended up on this site. I did a Google search for Pacific War Memoirs.

At any rate, I just created this account to thank Larso for his great reviews and thank him. I've printed the lists out and see I have much to learn! I'll check back and plan to use this overall site as a resource as well.

Thanks, Larso, and congrats on that new baby!

Larso
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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Larso » 26 Jan 2011 01:19

Thank you very much Paustin! Reading these books has been a pleasure and It's a bonus that people appreciate my reviews. I've been posting them on Amazon too (edited a bit) and the list feature there allows an updateable ranking. So if anyone's interested in a quick view of which ones I think are best, you could click here -

http://www.amazon.com/US-Marine-amp-Arm ... title_full

I've now found so many that I've done a supplimentary list of the ones I'm unlikely to get too here -

http://www.amazon.com/Supplementary-US- ... tle_fullUS Pacific Theatre Memoirs

I've got 'You'll be Sorree' on this second one at this time. There's quite a few reviews for it already, so I thought I'd concentrate on more obscure one. I'd really like to hear your thoughts on it once you've read it though. Could you post them on this thread for the benefit of all? I'd be particularly interested in how it compares to Sledge and Leckie.

Thank-you too about the baby. He's almost 10 months now and a gorgeous little boy! He's pretty good with his habits, though some teething of late has thrown his 44 year old father into a bit of a spin...... I'm looking forward to when I can play toy soldiers with him (he won't be allowed to go to any real wars!).

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