Originally published in 1951, this book is a widely regarded classic on US Marine amphibious doctrine and operations employed in the Pacific during the Second World War. The authors describe in detail the development of the theoretical aspects of amphibious assault in the inter-war period, but devote the vast majority of the narrative to the various landings and their core strategies, using Japanese documents “to sketch in the background of military decisions made by the enemy.” A must for those who wish to understand the American war against Japan.
Michael E. Haskew's The Marines in World War II charts the rapid development of this famous fighting force from two brigades, totaling fewer than 20,000 servicemen, to two full corps with six divisions, five air wings, 21 battalions and as many as 475,000 Marines. In addition to chronicling the hard fought battles at places like Midway, Guadalcanal and Guam, the book also addresses the important role played by Navajo code talkers during combat, as well as the changes that took place within the Marines during the war, such as the admission of its first black members and the gradual desegregation of the Corps.
CORAL AND BLOOD
The U.S. Marine Corps’ Pacific Campaign
In only a lifetime, the long United States Marine Corps campaign across the Pacific Island has become the stuff of enduring legend. We are down to just a few Pacific Warriors who lived it and can still tell us about it from their own experiences. Now, in Coral and Blood, the critically acclaimed military historian Eric Hammel, who has specialized in writing about Marines in the Pacific, has compiled a brief but comprehensive history of the Marines’ island war. This book was conceived as a starting point for readers who have not yet read much about the Pacific War, but it is also designed to provide a simple yet complete overview for seasoned Pacific War enthusiasts who have not yet examined the island campaigns as an integrated whole. Perhaps by finding out about battles not yet examined, an experienced Pacific War enthusiast will find inspiration for moving on to new battles and looking for even broader understanding.
Following the general outline of his highly rated single-volume pictorial, Pacific Warriors, Hammel begins with the development of the U.S. Marine Corps’ unique amphibious doctrine, then moves briskly into the Pacific War by enumerating the Marine Corps presence on the eve of war. Thereafter, every significant action involving U.S. Marines during World War II—from Pearl Harbor and Wake Island to Okinawa—is examined, including the role of Marine Air in the Philippines. In many cases, longer and broader discussions are presented in this volume than in Pacific Warriors.
Experienced military history reader or not, you will almost certainly find something new and interesting in Coral and Blood. At the very least, you will find Coral and Blood, which weighs in at a respectable 96,000 words, to be valuable but not overbearing as a one-volume overview of the legendary efforts of Marines in the Pacific War.
Drawing extensively on personal interviews, the Marine Corps History Division’s vast oral history and photographic collection, and many never-before-published sources, this book gives us a new and harrowing vision of what really happened at Peleliu--and what it meant. Working closely with two of the 1st Regiment’s battalion commanders--Ray Davis and Russ Honsowetz--Marine Corps veteran and military historian Dick Camp recreates the battle as it was experienced by the men and their officers. Soldiers who survived the terrible slaughter recall the brutality of combat against an implacable foe; they describe the legendary “Chesty” Puller, leading his decimated regiment against enemy fortifications; they tell of Davis, wounded but refusing evacuation while his men were under fire; and of a division commander who rejects Army reinforcements. Most of all, their richly detailed, deeply moving story is one of desperate combat in the face of almost certain failure, of valor among comrades joined against impossible odds.
McENERY’S RIFLE COMPANY—the legendary K/3/5 of the First Marine Division, made famous by the HBO miniseries The Pacific—fought in some of the most ferocious battles of the war. In searing detail, the author takes us back to Guadalcanal, where American forces first turned the tide against the Japanese; Cape Gloucester, where 1,300 Marines were killed or wounded; and bloody Peleliu, where McEnery assumed command of the company and helped hasten the final defeat of the Japanese garrison after weeks of torturous cave-to-cave fighting.
McEnery’s story is a no-holds-barred, grunt’s-eye view of the sacrifices, suffering, and raw courage of the men in the foxholes, locked in mortal combat with an implacable enemy sworn to fight to the death. From bayonet charges and hand-to-hand combat to midnight banzai attacks and the loss of close buddies, the rifle squad leader spares no details, chronicling his odyssey from boot camp through twenty-eight months of hellish combat until his eventual return home. He has given us an unforgettable portrait of men at war.