Eugene B. Sledge

My bride of 28 years gave me as a Christmas present the HBO series The Pacific.  I have been watching it over the past week.  Mostly I like it.  I could have done without the few sex scenes and the frequent use of the F word, both tossed in I suppose to remind people that they were watching HBO.  I do believe the series accurately captured the desperate fighting that occurred on little specks of land across the Pacific that almost all Americans were happily ignorant of until World War II:  places with names like Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

The film follows a few marines through the war in the Pacific:  John Basilone, Robert Leckie and Eugene B. Sledge.

Decades after the War, Sledge wrote a best selling memoir of his experiences in the War:  With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa.  The Old Breed was the nickname of the First Marine Division that Sledge served with.  Sledge was a mortarman in K Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines.  His fellow Marines called him Sledgehammer, a play on his name and a tribute to the inner toughness of this bookish and slender Marine.   He had a rough war.  Peleliu and Okinawa witnessed some of the harshest fighting of World War II, and Sledge was haunted with nightmares for a quarter century after the War. (more…)

Published in: on January 2, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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