Book Review: With the Old Breed

With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and OkinawaWith the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene B. Sledge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great read. Straight forward, not overly sentimental or harsh. Just a man who survived two of the worst battles in the Pacific telling us what happened. As I read it two things struck me. First, the invasion of Japan would have been the most costly battle in the history of mankind. There are problems with dropping the atomic bomb. After Nagasaki and Hiroshima the world was never the same. And as a Christian I am adamantly opposed to civilian deaths. But reading this book one begins to realize that the Japanese had no intention of surrending. The toll on American soldiers, Japanese soldiers and Japanese civilians would have been astronomic if America had been forced to invade. So all the armchair generals who think we messed up by dropping the A-Bomb need to read this book and remember that it took more than 80 days and over 110,000 dead Japanese to get a six mile island named Okinawa. Second, I realized that if our generation (I am thirty-three)was called upon to do what these men had to do there is little doubt we would fail. As a culture we do not have the backbone or courage to fight like these men did.

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