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Posted February 8, 2003
If there is any one book to be read on the Pacific war this is it. It tells the true story of New York's own 27th Division during one of the most important battles of WWII. For too long have Historians and the US Armed Forces blindly accepted The USMC's version of events. The 27th Infantry Division (NYNG) was one of the Army's Finest Divisions composed of 3 Infantry Regiments - the 105th (Old 2nd NY, the 106th (old 10th NY) and the 165th (The Legendary Fighting 69th) - with distinguished Histories going back to the War of independence. They were the unsung heroes who did the hardest of the fighting on Saipan which the Marine Corps had no qualms taking credit for. To reward them they were branded cowards by the Marine Corps and their Division commander Gen ralph Smith was relieved of command mid-battle. No official refutation of the Charges, which were published in the National press, were allowed in the name of interservice rivalry. This book sets the record straight and rightly vindicates the slandered heroes of the 27th Division. Battling for Saipan is based on solid original research including hundreds of interviews with survivors of the battle as well as extensive use of Archival records. O'Brien is to be praised for his work. The Narrative is excellent and rivetting. You can almost hear the Bullets whizz by and the Banzai screams of the Fanatical and demented foe. You can see American soldiers at their bravest fighting desperately against overwhelming odds. If you are going to read any book on the War in the Pacific - This is the one to Read.
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