Red Blood, Black Sand: Fighting Alongside John Basilone from Boot Camp to Iwo Jima

( 15 )

Overview

In 1944, the U.S. Marines were building the 5th Marine Division—also known as “The Spearhead”—in preparation for the invasion of the small, Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima….

When Charlie Tatum entered Camp Pendleton to begin Marine boot camp, he was just a smart-aleck teenager eager to serve his country. Little did he know that he would be training under the watchful eyes of a living legend of the Corps—Congressional Medal of Honor recipient John Basilone, who had ...

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Red Blood, Black Sand: Fighting Alongside John Basilone from Boot Camp to Iwo Jima

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Overview

In 1944, the U.S. Marines were building the 5th Marine Division—also known as “The Spearhead”—in preparation for the invasion of the small, Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima….

When Charlie Tatum entered Camp Pendleton to begin Marine boot camp, he was just a smart-aleck teenager eager to serve his country. Little did he know that he would be training under the watchful eyes of a living legend of the Corps—Congressional Medal of Honor recipient John Basilone, who had almost-single-handedly fought off a Japanese force of three-thousand on Guadalcanal, and survived.

It was from Basilone and other "Old Breed" sergeants that Tatum would learn how to fight like a Marine and act like a man, as he went through the hell of boot camp to the raucous port of Pearl Harbor with its gambling, gals, and tattoos, to the island of death itself, where he hit the black sand of Iwo Jima with thirty thousand other Marines in the climactic battle of the Pacific Theater.

It was on that godforsaken strip of land that Tatum and Basilone would meet again under a hellish rain of bullets and bombs—and where Tatum would make his own mark, carrying ammo for the machine gun carried by Basilone. Together they would lead the breakout off the beach, driving through and destroying a swath of enemy soldiers in the first man-to-man combat on Iwo Jima.

Red Blood, Black Sand is the story of Chuck’s two weeks in hell, where he would watch his hero, Basilone, fall, where the enemy stalked the night, where snipers haunted the day, and where Chuck would see his friends whittled away in an eardrum-shattering, earth-shaking, meat grinder of a battle.

Before the end, Chuck would find himself, like Basilone, standing alone, blind with rage, firing a machine gun from the hip, in a personal battle to kill a relentless foe he had come to hate. This is the island, the heroes, and the tragedy of Iwo Jima, through the eyes of the battle’s greatest living storyteller, Chuck Tatum.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In my judgment no combat veteran's memoir is better . . . and only a handful are equal." —-Stephen E. Ambrose
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425257425
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 257,231
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Chuck Tatum is a WWII Marine who trained under legendary Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone and fought with him on Iwo Jima. There, Chuck received the Bronze Star for firing a machine gun from the hip while single-handedly covering the retrieval of two wounded comrades. Red Blood, Black Sand is one of four credited sources upon which the HBO mini-series The Pacific is based. Now eighty-three years old, Chuck sees this book as his final act of service, so readers will never forget the heroes he watched fight, live, and die on “the island that God forgot and gave to the Devil.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 10, 2012

    A very good read for anyone into USMC history. If you have seen

    A very good read for anyone into USMC history. If you have seen the series Pacific Chuck Tatum shows up in the 8th episode fighting beside John Basilone and later saw him and some of the men around go down. Great insight into the fighting through the eyes of teenage Marine. Well written. At the end meet the actor who played Tatum in Pacific.
    Like most first person accounts this one spends a bit of time telling of his youth just before getting the OK from his Mom to join. Picks up speed after that. Like I said, good read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2012

    Okay

    Not as tightly organized as I would have liked. For a first person account there seemed to be less of the person and more of the event.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Tori

    Here

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2014

    Iwo

    My dad fought on Iwo and never uttered a word about it. As I read more abpout what he went through I can undeerstand why. Good detailed account.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Pikapower

    Lies down in her cave

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Darkheart

    A nearby vole was sniffing right outside its den, snuffling for seeds. Darkheart nodded to Aspen, and pulledhimself forward, to where the vole was.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Brokdn

    Nods

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Striking

    Ok. He padded to the moor in the second res from this.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Aspen

    Pounced on the bird before it could make any noise

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    The mountains/the dirtplace

    The hills give way to mountains and huge cliffs. All of the mountains are black and forbidding and very tall. They are easy to climb up,but next to impossible to go down. No cats go here except to use the dirtplace:a small hollow where a rock used to be serves that purpose well.

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews

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