With the Old Breed

by willard ~ September 2nd, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized.

With The Old Breed is a collection of memoirs written by Eugene Sledge about his time as a mortar man in the Pacific campaign of World War II. With The Old Breed is widely considered one of the best first hand accounts of life in the Pacific from a soldier’s perspective. Eugene Sledge is from Mobile, Alabama and operated a 60mm mortar for the 1st marine division in some of the most heated and bloody battles of the Pacific campaign, including Okinawa and Peleliu. He began writing his memoirs down on scraps of paper and kept them in a pocket bible as the war raged on around him. He continued to write down his experiences after he returned from war in 1946, and provides insight into a post-war life for soldiers and the difficulties they had adjusting to it. It first published in 1981, 35 years after the war ended. This source will be perfect for my research paper, as it gives an accurate account of what life was like for the soldiers on the ground, and not just the X’s and O’s of the battles. Not only does Sledge describe his life during the war, but in hindsight he gives details many of the regrets and pain he dealt with through much of the rest of his life. This book will be great for a detailed first hand account the war, but is limited in its scope by only covering the battles in which Sledge fought. However there are many other sources out there detailing other aspects of the Pacific campaign, so I’m not too worried.

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