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“Neiman’s memoir is a fantastic education about development and use of armor in World War II, and a gritty accounting of some of the most horrific fighting of the war.”--Dan Danbom
After the capture of Guadalcanal, Neiman endured Japanese bombardments there to gather information for his assignment as operations officer of a new tank school being formed in California. He eventually led his own tank company through four island battles culminating in the cauldron of Iwo Jima. Later, he finished the war as executive officer and commanding officer of the 1st Tank Battalion on occupation and security duty in North China in 194546.
Neiman and Estes take the reader from prewar training at Quantico and in North Carolina through the delights of a New Zealand bereft of men, the horrors of Saipan and Iwo, the peculiar situation in China after the war, and then the trip back to the States for Neiman’s successful postwar career as a lumber retailer.
Through it all, Estes translates Neiman’s eye for the interesting and the human into a multifaceted tale of a young Marine going to war. This is an adventure story with many novel turns that will attract the interest of military experts, military history aficionados, Marine Corps members in general, and veterans of armored fighting vehicle units. Neiman is not a USMC icon, just one of the unheralded thousands of officers who did the real fighting. This is their story, as much as it is his.
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|List of Maps|
|1||The Early Days: 1918-39||3|
|2||Joining Up, but with Whom?||16|
|3||First Organizations: Preparing for War||23|
|4||Early Tests in the Southwest Pacific||38|
|6||Gearing Up for the Central Pacific: Roi-Namur||64|
|7||Breaking the Japanese Barriers: Saipan and Tinian||89|
|9||Okinawa: The Last Battle||142|
|10||A China Fling: 1945-46||156|
|App. 1||Tanks in Marine Corps Service, 1940-45||183|
|App. 2||Selected Documents||189|
|App. 3: Robert M. Neiman Chronology||195|