Battle of Peleliu

Battle of Peleliu – Palau – WW II – Pacific Theater
September 15, 1944

Video below is from HBO’s The Pacific, of the Marines wresting control of the Peleliu Airstrip in Palau.  The death and carnage of the Battle of Peleliu are beyond words.  The video does an amazing job of capturing the accuracy of the historical images below the Battle of Peleliu.  The Marines, after taking possession of Peleliu beach head, were order to take control of the Peleliu airfield.  The Japanese were well fortified into hardened,  secured bunkers.  The Japanese by now realized the strategy Lieutenant Colonel Naoyuki Kuzume employed at the island of Biak, the war of attrition, fight to the death, was the most effective at discouraging the American advancement.   The movie The Pacific brings to life the humanity and cost of World War II.

Interview with Eugene (“Sledgehammer”) Sledge
From Awesome Stories

Eugene Bondurant Sledge – also known as Sledgehammer and/or E.B. Sledge – narrates this video of historical battle footage compiled from the U.S. National Archives, the U.S. Marine Corps History Division, the National Park Service and the Marine Corps University Archives.

Sledge joined the Marines during World War II as an enlisted man (despite the opposition of his parents).  Serving on a mortar team – with K Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (K/3/5) – he saw action at both Peleliu (part of the Palau Islands, located east of the Philippines and north of New Guinea) and Okinawa.

Before his death in 2001, Sledge wrote about the war and often gave interviews about his experiences with K/3/5.  This is one of those interviews in which he describes the horrors of Peleliu.

His book – With the Old Breed – tells the story of an enlisted man’s experience in the Pacific theater of World War II.  When it was published, decades after the war was over, the Navy Times called it “the best World War II memoir of an enlisted man,” while the New York Review of Books declared:

Of all the books about the ground war in the Pacific, [this] is the closest to a masterpiece.

Why did Sledge write his book so many years after the war was over?  Why did he use such descriptive language as he wrote about what he, and others, endured?

Read more at Awesome Stories…

5-part Video Biography of Eugene (Sledgehammer) Sledge

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This entry was posted and tagged Eugene (Sledgehammer) Sledge, Battle of Peleliu, Peliliu, Palau, high casualities,  WW II, Pacific Theater, Lieutenant Colonel Naoyuki Kuzume, Battle of Biak,  scuba diving, snorkeling, Palau, pelagics, grey tip reef sharks, black tip reef  sharks