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Includes over 220 photos, maps and plans following Robert “Lucky” Leckie’s Pacific War with the 1st Marine Division “Here is one of the most riveting first-person accounts ever to come out of World War II. Robert Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1942, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In Helmet for My Pillow we follow his odyssey, from basic training on Parris Island, South Carolina, all the way to the raging battles in the Pacific, where some of the war’s fiercest fighting took place. Recounting his service with the 1st Marine Division and the brutal action on Guadalcanal, New Britain, and Peleliu, Leckie spares no detail of the horrors and sacrifices of war, painting an unvarnished portrait of how real warriors are made, fight, and often die in the defense of their country. From the live-for-today rowdiness of marines on leave to the terrors of jungle warfare against an enemy determined to fight to the last man, Leckie describes what war is really like when victory can only be measured inch by bloody inch. Woven throughout are Leckie’s hard-won, eloquent, and thoroughly unsentimental meditations on the meaning of war and why we fight. Unparalleled in its immediacy and accuracy, Helmet for My Pillow will leave no reader untouched. This is a book that brings you as close to the mud, the blood, and the experience of war as it is safe to come.”-Print Ed.
Here is one of the most riveting first-person accounts ever to come out of World War II. Robert Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1942, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In Helmet for My Pillow we follow his odyssey, from basic training on Parris Island, South Carolina, all the way to the raging battles in the Pacific, where some of the war’s fiercest fighting took place. Recounting his service with the 1st Marine Division and the brutal action on Guadalcanal, New Britain, and Peleliu, Leckie spares no detail of the horrors and sacrifices of war, painting an unvarnished portrait of how real warriors are made, fight, and often die in the defense of their country. From the live-for-today rowdiness of marines on leave to the terrors of jungle warfare against an enemy determined to fight to the last man, Leckie describes what war is really like when victory can only be measured inch by bloody inch. Woven throughout are Leckie’s hard-won, eloquent, and thoroughly unsentimental meditations on the meaning of war and why we fight. Unparalleled in its immediacy and accuracy, Helmet for My Pillow will leave no reader untouched. This is a book that brings you as close to the mud, the blood, and the experience of war as it is safe to come. Now producers Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Gary Goetzman, the men behind Band of Brothers, have adapted material from Helmet for My Pillow for HBO’s epic miniseries The Pacific, which will thrill and edify a whole new generation. From the Trade Paperback edition.
After Japan's surrender in 1945, Sledge and his company were sent to China to maintain order and to calm the seething cauldron of political and ideological unrest created by opposing factions. His regiment was the first Marine unit to return to the ancient city of Peiping (now Beijing) where they witnessed the last of old China and the rise of the Communist state. Sledge also recounts the difficulty of returning to his hometown of Mobile, Alabama, and resuming civilian life while haunted by shadows of close combat. Through the discipline of writing and the study of biology, Sledge shows how he came to terms with the terrifying memories that had plagued him for years
Based on notes he kept on slips of paper tucked secretly away in his Bible, Eugene Sledge has written a devastingly powerful memoir of his experience fighting in the South Pacific during WWII. John Keegan describes this stirring account of the vitality and bravery of the Marines as "one of the most arresting doceuments in war literature".
Strong Men Armed relates the U.S. Marines' unprecedented, relentless drive across the Pacific during World War II, from Guadalcanal to Okinawa, detailing their struggle to dislodge from heavily fortified islands an entrenched enemy who had vowed to fight to extinction-and did. (All but three of the Marines' victories required the complete annihilation of the Japanese defending force.) As scout and machine-gunner for the First Marine Division, the author fought in all its engagements till his wounding at Peleliu. Here he uses firsthand experience and impeccable research to re-create the nightmarish battles. The result is both an exciting chronicle and a moving tribute to the thousands of men who died in reeking jungles and on palm-studded beaches, thousands of miles from home and fifty years before their time, of whom Admiral Chester W. Nimitz once said, "Uncommon valor was a common virtue." Strong Men Armed includes over a dozen maps, a chronology of the war in the Pacific, the Marine Medal of Honor Winners in World War II, and Marine Corps aces in World War II.
The official companion book to the HBO® miniseries available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Hugh Ambrose’s bestseller follows the struggles and triumphs of four US Marines and a US Navy carrier pilot fighting in the Pacific region during World War II. Built on hundreds of hours of testimony, as well as diaries, letters and memoirs, The Pacific tells the true stories of men who put their lives on the line for the Allied forces; men who were dispatched to the other side of the world to fight an enemy who preferred suicide to surrender; men who suffered hardship and humiliation in POW camps; men who witnessed casualties among soldiers and civilians alike; and men whose medals came at a shocking price—a price paid in full. The Pacific is an HBO® miniseries presentation, in association with Sky Movies, of a Playtone and Dreamworks Production executive produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman, the producing team behind the Emmy® Award-winning and Golden Globe®-winning 2001 HBO® miniseries Band of Brothers. The epic ten-part miniseries tracks the intertwined journeys of three US Marines—Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) and John Basilone (Jon Seda)—from their first battle with the Japanese on Guadalcanal, through the rainforests of Cape Gloucester and the strongholds of Pelelieu, across the bloody sands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and fi nally to their triumphant but uneasy return home after V-J Day.
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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