With the Old BreedE.B. Sledge

With the Old Breed

5 star

Total 2,021 Ratings

With the Old Breed by E.B. Sledge Book Summary

“Eugene Sledge became more than a legend with his memoir, With The Old Breed. He became a chronicler, a historian, a storyteller who turns the extremes of the war in the Pacific—the terror, the camaraderie, the banal and the extraordinary—into terms we mortals can grasp.”—Tom Hanks


In The Wall Street Journal, Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of the top five books on epic twentieth-century battles. Studs Terkel interviewed the author for his definitive oral history, The Good War. Now E. B. Sledge’s acclaimed first-person account of fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa returns to thrill, edify, and inspire a new generation.

An Alabama boy steeped in American history and enamored of such heroes as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene B. Sledge became part of the war’s famous 1st Marine Division—3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Even after intense training, he was shocked to be thrown into the battle of Peleliu, where “the world was a nightmare of flashes, explosions, and snapping bullets.” By the time Sledge hit the hell of Okinawa, he was a combat vet, still filled with fear but no longer with panic.

Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and searing honesty the experience of a soldier in the fierce Pacific Theater. Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life. Here, too, is the story of how he learned to hate and kill—and came to love—his fellow man.

“In all the literature on the Second World War, there is not a more honest, realistic or moving memoir than Eugene Sledge’s. This is the real deal, the real war: unvarnished, brutal, without a shred of sentimentality or false patriotism, a profound primer on what it actually was like to be in that war. It is a classic that will outlive all the armchair generals’ safe accounts of—not the ‘good war’—but the worst war ever.”—Ken Burns

With the Old Breed (E.B. Sledge) Book Reviews

With the Old BreedFascinating take of the first hand experiences of a true hero. These men did so much. These type of books should be required reading for every American..Score: 4/5

Wonderful bookGreat depiction of the conditions a marine infantryman had to endure during WW II in the Pacific theater..Score: 5/5

Best military bookI've read a lot of military history but this book is top tier and in my top 5. Fully action packed and one of the best personal narratives of war experience out there..Score: 5/5

Powerful narrative of the Pacific War and the limits of EnduranceThis is not a polished work, crafted by a professional writer. It's a straight forward narrative, stripped of all glamour, concepts of glory, and of all similar notions. Full acknowledgement should be given to the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but no one should condemn the decision to drop the bomb without first reading and fully considering the implications of this book. As awful as it was, the bomb might have been a mercy to both sides..Score: 5/5

IncredibleImportant to read is an understatement. Fantastic book..Score: 5/5

A rare accountAs a Marine, I can say its rare to find a veteran who can articulate their story as well as E.B. Sledge, let alone a story this gruesome. What is told in this book is rare, raw, and right. I hope many will read it and realize what our freedom cost, and that one must have the stomach to fight an enemy with matched vigor. Not a book to enjoy, but one that deserves to be read..Score: 5/5

It feels like you were there!I think every American should read this book..Score: 5/5

Great readAfter reading, I now understand how easy it was for Tom Hanks and HBO to team up and create the mini series on the War in the Pacific..Score: 5/5

Easy readThis book, first of all, is at a great price point, especially for its length. I looked into it after watching The Pacific (HBO Series) in which this author is a main character. The book is a simple read. It doesn't get bogged down in too much militaristic detail, and it also doesn't insert the author's political feelings - something that happens far too much. It's just a story from the eyes of a fighting man and gives us a window into a world that most generations (mine included) can never truly know..Score: 5/5

With the Old BreedThe horrible, indelible memories of an intelligent young man serving as a 'lowly' line Marine during the battles for Peleliu and Okinawa are vividly captured in this book for future generations. The memories are poignant, yet matter-of-factual as they convey the depth of madness inherent in the hand-to-hand combat conditions of the Pacific. Sledge describes the psyches and often inexplicable yet somehow understandable behaviors of Marine infantrymen whose senses are hammered jolted and pummeled by the incessant shock of enemy assault and the putrid conditions of Pacific battlefields. A must read..Score: 5/5

Semper FiSemper Fi.Score: 5/5

With The Old BreedShort and simple my answer is. This book is my favorite book ever it made me laugh,cry, I was disbelieved by all the things at one point I HATED Japanese but learned this was 60 years ago. This book taught me so much and also how back then America's leaders weren't the smartest. I've read this book at least 20 times and will still read it over again. I've always wanted to go back In time and serve in ww2 but I know i can't do that's why I am being a Marine when I'm older. Thanks Eugene Sledge an god bless..Score: 5/5

WowI have read a lot of book on war. This is the first one to take you into the real world of combat. The blood, guts and maggots, for once what it is really like in a fight..Score: 5/5

Must read!Great book, every page interesting. If you have watched the series "Pacific", you must read this book..Score: 5/5

With The Old BreedThis book is by far the best war memoir ever written. To read and try to understand the brutal hellish conditions these Marines faced on a day to day basis in combat on Peleliu and Okinawa is something that should be remembered and shared for generations to come. For, they are the greatest generation. Semper FI!.Score: 5/5

All that served.I served in submarines for twenty years. I know the brotherhood of which he wrote. He is correct today as then training is everything. We are the best military in the world because of our military training. This book is a fantastic read. I only wish I could have shaken the author’s hand. Semper Fi my bother. We are all brothers..Score: 5/5

WITH THE OLD BREEDThe world would probably be a safer place if everyone alive would read this book. The simple savagery. The waste of lives. The countless toll that this war took on all sides is put on paper with this book. Excellent read..Score: 5/5

InsightfulHaving read many books set in this time period, found the s a refreshing, first-hand micro level story. Rather than highlighting large pieces on the chessboard, focused on one brave Marine's experience..Score: 4/5

WAR BOOKGod Bless these men, if you like this, you will love BRAVE MEN by Ernie Pyle the greatest war correspondent ever..Score: 4/5

A honest look at fear and espritIs was a compelling and disturbing view of combat through the eyes of a Marine Corps private in the battles of Peleliu and Okinawa..Score: 5/5

Old BreedGreat book-glad I was not part of the action- this book is why they describe the marines and other veterans as the Greatest Generation. I doubt that the current crop of teenagers could even come close to what they endured and accomplished in the war and then came home and started a new life. I saw the series “Pacific” and still don’t know how they made thru and were still sane. ..Score: 5/5

Must readThis book provides a vivid and shocking account of combat in the Pacific theater. This is a page turner that immerses you in the blood and guts with K/3/5 Marines. Best first hand account of combat I've ever read..Score: 5/5

With the Old BreedVery interesting and detailed..Score: 5/5

AwesomeMakes you feel like you're there was very well written. Outstanding book a must read in my opinion. God bless those guys they went through hell and then some. One of the very best war books I read..Score: 5/5

Excellent readE. B. Sledge gives us a truly unvarnished first hand view of his combat experience in the PTO in WWII with the Marines. This book exposes combat, warts and all, for what it is. Hell..Score: 5/5

SoberingI read this memoir cover to cover in a time frame of about 24 hours. Extremely well-written, this detailed account of one Marine’s experiences in the Pacific give great insight to the triumphs and tragedies associated with heavy combat..Score: 5/5

With the Old BreedIn this spare and gripping memoir, EB Sledge was as fine a writer as he was a patriot and hero..Score: 5/5

Great read so read it alreadyIve read many many books about the pacific theater and there are none that described the privations of the marines like this one. Amazing book, well written and tells An eye opening story about the war.Score: 5/5

Forever proud and humbled by all our veteransRaw, Riveting, and Reality at its best. Thank you veterans - for your service and personal sacrifice. We are a grateful nation..Score: 5/5

Haven't read anything betterThis book is by far one of the best I have read on the Pacific Theatre of War. The viewpoint of the down and dirty Marine from the trenches is what makes this book so incredible. The other books I have read show a broad range view of the war from an officer or rear echelon over view. This book made me feel like I was in the coral reefs of Peleliu and the mud of Okinawa with the Marines. I felt the losses as friends became casualties. Many thanks to "Sledgehammer" for this book and reliving his nightmares to share this with the world. Thanks to all veterans of any war or peace time for the freedom the best country in the world has. Freedom never has been and will probably never be free. Thanks..Score: 5/5

Great bookExcellent read - one of the more detailed/graphic books I have read about military conflicts !!! If you have seen The Pacific and want information about Sledge and the battles he fought it in - this is a definate read !!.Score: 5/5

With the Old BreedHands down one of the best WWII books I have ever read. I highly recommend it..Score: 5/5

Descriptive like you were there!This book is like starring out the window of your house watching this unfold. So descriptive to the point to make you realize how painful it is..Score: 5/5

AwesomeOf all the ww2 books I've read, this one has given me the clearest view of what the combat soldiers of World War II endured to secure, for Americans and the whole world, everything we have today..Score: 5/5

AmazingAs a Marine that served with 2/4 (attached to 5th Marines) I know its history very well. I’m a Iraq/Afghanistan veteran and I’m a huge WW2 history buff I have read many book about the Pacific Campaigns but this is by far one of the best. In my opinion personal accounts are always better then historical event books. It’s more graphical and less blurred for the average reader. Sledge did a outstanding job making you feel like you where next to him. Thank you to all Marines of WW2 and Semper Fi Marines.Score: 5/5

Unaltered truth about warThis book is a must read for anyone with interest in the Pacific. It is such a well written explanation of E.B. Sledge's firsthand combat experience that I simply could not put it down. I was saddened when I reached the last page..Score: 5/5

An incredible accountI found this to be one of the most heartfelt, well written books I've ever read. Eugene Sledge invites us to share in the cruelty of war. His writing is exquisite and brings you into the hell of Peleliu and Okinawa. You feel their suffering, their pain and their privations of an infantryman. You see and smell every corpse while feeling the anxiety of all the missiles of death around you, Japanese night infiltration and fighting hand to hand in their fox holes. It gives you an appreciation of what these men endured for the sake of our nation and for the world. As an American, it is a privilege to live in a democracy. With privilege, comes responsibility..Score: 5/5

With the Old BreedThe HBO series did a great job depicting the events that transpired from this book. I was very pleased with how it was written and certainly have gained more appreciation for the individual's that served in this theater..Score: 5/5

A gritty must with "The Pacific" or WW II studies.After reading & watching The Pacific along with other non-fiction novels concerning the Pacific war and war in general where E.B. Sledge is mentioned, I had to read his book. This book puts the reader on the battlefield with total empathy for any combatant in any such conflict. Being an experienced professor in his post-war years, Sledge's vocabulary and descriptive abilities are incredible..Score: 5/5

Semper Fi!Best firsthand account of WWII combat by the storied First Marine Division. Those who seek knowledge past the history books it is a must read..Score: 5/5

Best book everThis is truly one of the best books I have EVER read in my life. I felt as if I was right there with them through it all..Score: 5/5

Absolutely amazing.A masterpiece. Should be required reading..Score: 5/5

With the old breedGreat book for history fans. I loved it. Showed real emotion and the grusum mess of war..Score: 5/5

One of the bestThis is one of the best, maybe thee best personal account of war that i've read. An honest account, the writer has none of the ego or machismo that comes through in so many other personal accounts of war..Score: 5/5

Outstanding!!It must have been a tremendous ordeal to put all of these memories on paper. So glad Mr. Sledge was able to do it. I will never think about war in the same way again..Score: 5/5

.Outstanding book. Couldn't put it down once I started reading it..Score: 5/5

USMC 0351 Vietnam 67/68Expressed my fears, and love for my friends, alive and dead who served.Never forget! 3/1/1.Score: 5/5

Great ReadShows the real was minus the supposed glory. Great read..Score: 5/5

With the Old BreedA fantastic first person account of Marine bravery, tenacity and esprit de Corps. A must read for anyone who would like to understand what the greatest generation would like to forget..Score: 5/5

Great readIt's nice to read about the military experiences from the individuals that fought the battles..Score: 5/5

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Best war memoir I have read so farAmazing and poignant book, it pulls no punches, describes the most mundane things marines had to endure in the pacific to the most terrible gut wrenching things..Score: 5/5

An Incredible RecordThis novel tells the tale of one man’s war. It details the recollections of a Marine mortar man in the island campaigns of WWII. It details the horrors and tribulations of war as experienced first hand..Score: 5/5

Pacific war well describedIt is not often that we get such a good first person description of events. A must read..Score: 5/5

With The Old Breed....This book, and it's nearest brother "Helmet For My Pillow" paint the clearest and most compelling picture of lives and moments in history that demand reflection. The say this book is a spectacular read, it's far short of the mark. I highly recommend both books..Score: 5/5

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