E.B. Sledge has written a first hand account of the island hopping campaign against Japan with the flair of a historian and the brutal reality of one who was there. This theater differed so much from the battle against Germany, and Sledge does a wonderful job of relating the hellish aspects of these battles, while showing the day to day operations of Marines against not only a fierce and deadly-cunning enemy, but also how the tropics, with it's intense heat, disease and lack of cover contributed considerable casualties themselves. This book graphically recalls the almost inhumane suffering of the Marines against a completely committed and suicidal enemy, and the enormous sacrifices these men had to make, without ever once straying into a patriotic and flag waving history lesson. His descriptions are vivid and unforgettable, such as when he trudged up a hill and saw what remained of a dead Japanese machine-gunner. "He sat bolt upright in the firing position behind the breech of his machine gun. Even in death his eyes stared widely along the gun sights. Despite the vacant look of his dilated pupils, I couldn't believe he was dead. Cold chills ran along my spine. Gooseflesh tickled my back. It seemed as though he was looking through me to all eternity, that at any instant he would raise his hands, which rested in a relaxed manner on his thighs, grip the handles on the breech, and press the thumb trigger. But he would rot, and the brass slugs would corrode. Neither he nor his ammo could do any more for the emporer." This is but one of many excellent descriptions of battlefield hell. Maggot covered corpses bloating in the sun, hand to hand fighting with special night infiltration squads, even a column of soldiers who charge at port arms across 300 yards of open field in a suicidal display of bravery, it's all here. This book will not disappoint.