Customer Reviews for

With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

28 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

The Old Breed Got it Done

Sledge carried his war experiences around with him for decades before he was able to rehash his experiences, assisted by notes he wrote in the pages of his Bible. He wrote With the Old Breed as a sort of explanation to his family of what he went through. Luckily for the...
Sledge carried his war experiences around with him for decades before he was able to rehash his experiences, assisted by notes he wrote in the pages of his Bible. He wrote With the Old Breed as a sort of explanation to his family of what he went through. Luckily for the rest of us, it got published--all the grit, blood, death and fear of the battles for Peleliu and Okinawa. It wasn't uncommon for young men of his generation to volunteer for service the day after Pearl Harbor (not that many waited to be drafted, and almost nobody dodged the draft in those days), or as soon as they came of age. Sledge waited a year before enlisting, went through training as a mortarman and arrived just in time for the battle of Peleliu. Sledge witnessed a whole lot, none of it glorious. In short, he saw combat bring out the best and worst of human nature, and you'll see it, too, through his eyes. Some war veterans tend to gloss over the horrific gore of combat, particularly veterans of WWII, but Eugene Sledge holds nothing back. Perhaps that's why many reviewers consider this the best war memoir written. I highly recommend this book.

posted by MachineTrooper on April 25, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Must read

When you hear of the war crimes in our battles, this book should be required reading for any juror. The shear savagery of this account from both sides woyld require tribunals to infinity. Interesting after all the war stories I have read, how Sledge puts you in hi...
When you hear of the war crimes in our battles, this book should be required reading for any juror. The shear savagery of this account from both sides woyld require tribunals to infinity. Interesting after all the war stories I have read, how Sledge puts you in his mind effortlessly as you see the insanity of war.

posted by cardo on March 15, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Old Breed Got it Done

    Sledge carried his war experiences around with him for decades before he was able to rehash his experiences, assisted by notes he wrote in the pages of his Bible. He wrote With the Old Breed as a sort of explanation to his family of what he went through. Luckily for the rest of us, it got published--all the grit, blood, death and fear of the battles for Peleliu and Okinawa. It wasn't uncommon for young men of his generation to volunteer for service the day after Pearl Harbor (not that many waited to be drafted, and almost nobody dodged the draft in those days), or as soon as they came of age. Sledge waited a year before enlisting, went through training as a mortarman and arrived just in time for the battle of Peleliu. Sledge witnessed a whole lot, none of it glorious. In short, he saw combat bring out the best and worst of human nature, and you'll see it, too, through his eyes. Some war veterans tend to gloss over the horrific gore of combat, particularly veterans of WWII, but Eugene Sledge holds nothing back. Perhaps that's why many reviewers consider this the best war memoir written. I highly recommend this book.

    28 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 3, 2010

    When There Were Men...

    This is the best first person book on the Pacific war in World War Two that I have ever read. To be fair, I have many more books on the ETO, but this book stands out as a moving account of the miseries of the common soldier who fought eyeball to eyeball with his Japanese counterparts in the steamy jungles.

    Eugene Sledge is an example of American manhood that I fear is lost. A young man from a good family who was anxious to defend his country, he and his fellow Marines willingly suffered for their country in a way I doubt many young people today would. I hope I'm wrong.

    I've found the most moving stories of WWII don't come from historians, but from the common fighting man. This is one of the best.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    For everyone.

    No doubt the greatest book I have ever read. Leaving no emotion untouched, Sledge strips away any notion of glory in battle. I understand war is brutal and senseless, but I now have a new outlook that reinforces that opinion. Should be read by students and anyone who wants to join the military. Praise those who were forced to endure battle. No one can fully grasp the experience, without being there. I do know that I would be very reluctant to.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Be prepared for a book that will show you the true horrors of war

    Sledgehammer describes the two Sosuth Pacific battles he was part of as a Marine in the First Marine Division during World War II. Since I am a Marine who served in the Vietnam War, I am fully aware of how puny our efforts were when compared to the men who served in the Pacific and those who were at the Cosen Reservoir during the Korean War. I had a first hand experience in combat during my two and one-half years with the Frst Marine Division but after reading this book I am left with the understanding of what a real war is like and of what supremen the Marines of those days were. I am very conservative concerning the use of the descriptive noun "hero" and will not use it here. Certainly there were heroes aplenty in that effort just as there were in Korea and Vietnam. What most of you don't seem to understand is that very few of us who served were not heroes. Most of us did nothing heroic. We just did what at the officers told us to do. That is the way this book unfolds. Sledge and his buddies in third battalion of the Fifth Marine Regiment were just ground pounders doing their duty. The unique perspective Sledge uses in this book will put you in a place you will not likely enjoy occupying. I hope you do not have a weak stomach and you have not eaten recently when he describes
    digging in during the assaults around Shuri on Okinawa. I have had people ask me what combat was like in Vietnam. I have never been able to explain it. I don't suppose I ever will. Since I cannot do it, I can point those curious souls to is book. That is more than enough. As a fellow Marine, I am very glad that EB Sledge took and kept all those notes. If you want to understand there are nor has there ever been any John Waynes or Rambos in combat just give this book a read.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2010

    At Last, a book about Island hopping in WWII that puts you there.

    "With the Old Breed" is one of the best books that I have read about WWII. Mr. Sledge put you in the foxhole with him. He even takes time to describe the weapons being used. After reading this book, one has to wonder how a human could do what they did. Being a former Marine, I know about the Marine Corps training and I am sure that it had something to do with what happened on those islands.

    Semper Fi,
    Mr. Sledge, Bravo!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    After watching Ken Burns 'The War' and the accounts attributed to E. B. Sledge, I had to read his book. What an amazing story that everyone should read. Concise, well-written, and heart breaking in the sorrow our troops go through in war. Bless everyone in uniform.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    Great Personal Emotional of War from a soldiers POV

    The book gives you a personal insight of the Pacific war front from a soldier who lived a breathed all the experiences that impacted his life. The experience and emotion is passed on to the reader in a way that helps you better understand how difficult life was for these heros.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2007

    Marines do their DUTY

    These marines did what they had to do. I also had no compassion for the Japanese for what they did to our soldiers during WW II. What these Marines did was retribution for the sadistic way the Japanese treated our wounded and prisoners of WAR Way to go MARINE Eugene Sledge

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    Easy Reading

    Most of these war stories are hard to understand unless you are of a military mind. This is one that is easy to read and to understand whether a veteran of combat like myself or not. Knowing that he is one of the characters portrayed in the HBO series 'Pacific" adds to the feeling of being at home with him and a friend of his throughout this book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2010

    Love Marines!

    If you love the USMC, then you'll love this book. It's a gripping and compelling memoir of a Marine and his life on Peleliu and Okinawa. As a fellow Marine, I definitely have a new respect after reading this non fiction for the pacific theater and the Marines that went through the war. Love this book, and highly recommend if you are a WWII buff or a Marine lover.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    If you want the photos buy the paperback

    Great book! Well written, easy to follow. After I finished reading the book, I flipped through a paperback version in a bookstore. There were lots of photos that were not in the ebook. I contactd BN and the publisher. The publisher doesnt have the electronic rights to the photos, so they are not in the ebook. BN blames the publisher. I blame them both, had I known I would have bought the paperback. There was no warning, however when an ebook is enhanced they are quick to point that out.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2002

    What war is all about

    I am a veteran of World War II having served as an infantry rifleman in the 328th Infantry Regiment in the European theatre. I am proud of my service in combat against the German Army but after reading this book, I am convinced that what I experienced was child's play compared to the suffering and horrors descibed by the author of this book. His descriptions of the filth and stench of battle are authentic but at the same time beyond belief. This is unquestionably the best anti-war book you could possibly read. Bravo to Sledgehammer and the Marines!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    Oustanding!

    I saw "The Pacific" before reading this book. I loved the mini-series and thought I was moved, then I read Sledge's book. It was real, from a real marine's viewpoint and real feelings and fears. I thank him for passing on his story to me. I will always cherish it as part of my library.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    EXCELLENT BOOK!

    A great recounting of on man’s experiences detailing what he documented during his time in U. S. Marines in the Pacific campaign in WWII.

    Excellent reading. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    A must read for military history buffs

    This was a well written first hand account of some of the most historic battles in our nations history. Sledge did not glamorize war, but vividly described it as he saw it. This was a great read, and a chance to see these epic battles through a veterans eyes.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2012

    As a young man, Eugene Sledge joined the US Marines "to do

    As a young man, Eugene Sledge joined the US Marines "to do his bit" in World War II and because of his choice of the Marine Corps, he was sent to fight in the Pacific War against the Japanese. "With the Old Breed" describes his experiences in two of the nastier campaigns in that theatre, Pelelieu and Okinawa. There was nothing civilized about the Pacific war. Lives were thrown away on both sides for possession of tiny islands with a reckless abandon that matches the waste of the Great War. It was fought with a savagery and hate that beggars belief and Sledge pulls no punches in describing the horror. There are notes at the end of each chapter that add a little context, but Sledge wrote the account from the point of view of a young Marine, working from a battle diary that he kept in his pocket bible. He had little or no idea of the big picture and in most cases he had no idea of what was going on. His perspective comes from over the sights of his rifle; all he can see is the wall of his foxhole, the bodies of friends and foe scattered around him. All he can hear is the rattle of rifle fire, the screech and crash of artillery and the screams of the dying. Sledge fully understood his position in all of this. He also understood the horror and waste of what was happening around him and he conveys the brutality and futility very well.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I have been looking for this book for a long time. It is a well

    I have been looking for this book for a long time. It is a well written diary of a regular guy and his mates during the two battles in the title. Any one who has served in a combat unit will recognize people from their unit, and perhaps even themselves. I highly recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2012

    Must read

    When you hear of the war crimes in our battles, this book should be required reading for any juror. The shear savagery of this account from both sides woyld require tribunals to infinity. Interesting after all the war stories I have read, how Sledge puts you in his mind effortlessly as you see the insanity of war.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 28, 2012

    Highly Recommended - a must read

    Everyone should read this book - you will be enlightened by what our brave men and women go thru to protect us - Highly Recommended - a must read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Random

    Perfect for 10+ great book i loved it

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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