Strong Men Armed: The United States Marines Against Japanby Robert Leckie
Written by Robert Leckie, whose wartime exploits will be featured this spring in the upcoming Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg HBO miniseries The Pacific, Strong Men Armed has been a perennial bestselling classic account of the Pacific theater in World War II. As scout and machine-gunner for the First Marine Division, Leckie fought in all its engagements/i>/i>… See more details below
Written by Robert Leckie, whose wartime exploits will be featured this spring in the upcoming Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg HBO miniseries The Pacific, Strong Men Armed has been a perennial bestselling classic account of the Pacific theater in World War II. As scout and machine-gunner for the First Marine Division, Leckie fought in all its engagements until his wounding at Peleliu. Here he uses firsthand experience and impeccable research to re-create the nightmarish battles of the Pacific campaign.
- Da Capo Press
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- Media tie-in
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- 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.70(d)
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Meet the Author
Robert Leckie (1920-2001) was a decorated World War II marine, prominent journalist, and the author of more than forty books, including his bestselling wartime memoir, Helmet for My Pillow.
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Having lost a family member in the Pacific Campaign during WW2 my interest in the war is more than academic. There is an invisible chord that connects me to such writers as Mr. Leckie who somehow has the magic ability through words to span the years since then and allows me to emotionally connect with my uncle who died so many years ago. The fact that Mr. Leckie lived through those terrible ordeals and also had the talent to convey the essence of those days moved me immensely. His writing about war is quick, lucid, descriptive, sensitive (but sometimes candid when speaking of mortal wounds), and thoroughly engaging. One has a difficult time putting the book down to get some sleep at the end of the day. But not wanting to sleep further draws one into the situation, experiencing to a small degree the sleep deprivation the Marines suffered and still being required to fight for their lives. Descriptions of the close fighting, the tactics, the geography, the climate, all come together to fill one's heart with thanks that such men (many of whom were actually boys) could muster the courage to do their duty and ultimately triumph over huge adversity. One also has a chance to look into the mind of the Japanese soldiers and puzzle at the decisions they made both as a unit and individually. Rather than fight to the death they chose suicide. One interesting event the author relates to the reader is when a Japanese soldier was captured and asked why he didn't commit suicide (hara-kiri). He said his commander said to fight to the last man. As he was the last man, he surrendered, feeling he did his duty as instructed. This book is a gem and could only have been written by one with great skill plus the luck to have survived the carnage of the battles. One ends the book with a heartache that so many people had to fight and die. And yet, one can be proud of the deep courage and tenacity of the Marines as the slowly moved from one island to another wondering if this would be their last battle. The book truly contrasted our society with the Japanese of those days through the type of soldiers put upon the battlefield.
This book is beautifully written. Bob Leckie manages to combine the strategic overview of the war with firsthand hand accounts of Marines in combat. By far the best book about history I've read.
great history about how war is so terrible.