Sven Hassel - in the Pacific

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Andy_S, Feb 23, 2009.

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  1. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    Am just reading EB Sledge's "With the Old Breed" about the USMC and the Pacific fighting on Peleilu and Okinawa.

    All the Sven-isms are here:
    - Gold teeth being extracted from enemy corpses (and in one case, a live Jap);
    -Hand-to-hand fighting in foxholes with knives;
    -The terror of close-range artillery fire;
    -The horrific effect of bullets, artillery, blast, flamethrowers, etc, on human bodies;
    -Officers brave, and officers stupid
    -Looting and high-jinks while off-duty.

    There are two key areas where Sledge is differentiated from Hassel:
    - Sledge is a good writer
    - "With The Old Breed" it a true story.

    Read this and you will come out with a tremendous respect for the USMC in the Pacific. Recommended.
  2. I had a Next door neighbor who had been in the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal until contracting Malaria. 16 year old BAR man, he later served on Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa, Yokosuka Japan, and finally China in late 1945-46. In 1950 he was part of the 1st Marine Brigade at Pusan, then onto Inchon and the retreat(His words) from Chosen Reservoir.

    Nice old Gent who when in his cups would tell you some very horrific tales of bloodshed. Very friendly to any Japanese under his age, hated those old enough to serve, didnt hate Koreans though. IIRC he told me what it was like after a Banzai in the morning to look at the top of a Japs head and see the back of his teeth, or how their(living Jap & US) skin rotted from the jungle after a time.
  3. A very good read about Guadalcanal, is by a Brit, Martin Clemens, who was the coastwatcher his book "Alone on Guadalcanal" is most certainly worth a read
  4. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    Cheers Tropper, just had a look at "Alone" and wish-listed it.

    If you are not aware of it, beg, buy or steal a copy of Martin Russ' "Breakout:" The best account I know of the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir. Gripping stuff, written by a marine who was there.
  5. I didn't know that the word "COASTWATCHER" was a banned word

    try again c,o,a,s,t, w.a.t. c.h.e.r.
  6. Tropper:
    'I didn't know that the word "****" was a banned word

    try again c,o,a,s,t, w.a.t. c.h.e.r.'

    There are some bizarre banned words - I live on the South Coast and have found that someone in arrse doesn't like the town of W0rthing. Whilst I realise that W0rthing has its faults and is firmly within the Costa Geriatrica, it's not THAT bad as to need to be banned!

    To get back onto topic:
    'Read this and you will come out with a tremendous respect for the USMC in the Pacific.' - I started to read a lot more about the Pacific campaign a few years ago and was amazed at the level of fighting and the achievements of the American forces out there. The 'Corps' series of novels about the USMC by WEB Griffin take a number of characters from China in the 1930's up to Korea in 1950 and are particularly good.

    Considering that the US Marines expanded from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of troops in about a year (i.e. turning civilians into guys that could fight the Japanese on their own terms and beat them), the achievements are all the greater.
  7. I had forgotten WEB Griffin, all his books are very good, but I didn't like the police series. but the "Corps" and "Brothers in Arms" are very good. In one of Tom Clancy's books he flys his restored Boeing Stearman around the US, and goes to meet Griffin at his home. I found it very good but for the life of me can't remember the title
  8. Griffin must be getting on a bit - he certainly seems to write from experience in his books. According to the biography in his books he lived in Argentina for a long time. The gripe I have with him (although I find his books rivetting), is the amount of recapping he does harking back to previous books in the series.
  9. Dropped a goo;y there . It was Steven Coonts book "The Cannibal Queen"
  10. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I suggest that the expletive checker did not like your use of the word twat.

    How did I get Arrse to let the word twat through? Click on quote and see what I did.