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18 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Eine nüchterne Beschreibung des Schreckens, 23. Oktober 2010
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa (Taschenbuch)
Der zweite Weltkrieg hat die deutsche Literaturlandschaft insbesondere in den letzten Jahren schwer beschäftigt. Es fällt dabei gleichwohl auf, dass der Pazifikkrieg in Deutschland nur eine sehr geringe Rolle spielt, obwohl die dortigen Ereignisse aus weltgeschichtlicher Bedeutung den Vorgängen in Europa nur wenig nachstehen. Das vorliegende Buch ist ein Klassiker amerikanischer Kriegsliteratur und bietet auch für Europäer einen interessanten und tiefgreifenden Einblick. Die Erlebnisse des Verfassers zeichnen sich durch einen sehr nüchternen, präzisen und realitätsnahen Schreibstil aus. Die Geschichte enthält wenig Pathos, nur geringe Anzeichen von nachträglicher Bewertung oder Moral und auch keine Rechtfertigung. Vielmehr ist sie die detaillierte, authentische und genaue Beschreibung der Geschichte eines einfaches Mannes, der für sein Land in den Kampf zog. Der Autor schreibt sowohl über seine Erlebnisse in zwei Einsätzen, als auch über die Vorbereitung dieser Einsätze. Dabei zeigt er durch viele Details und Anekdoten ein Gesamtbild des Lebens eines amerikanischen Soldaten in dieser Zeit auf.

Die Beschreibungen sind durchzogen von einem tiefen Respekt, den der Autor gegenüber seinen Kameraden und seiner Einheit empfand. Positiv fällt auf, dass der Autor auch die negativen Seiten einzelner amerikanischer Kämpfer nicht verschweigt. Das Buch ist trotz all der gelungenen Beschreibung über Kameradschaft, Professionalität und Zielstrebigkeit der amerikanischen Truppe kein Propagandawerk. Wir erleben wie ein verantwortlicher Offizier der Amerikaner gezielt auf japanische Leichen uriniert, ein Soldat eine hilflose alte Frau tötet und ein anderer Soldat einem noch lebenden Japaner die Goldzähne herausreißt. Auch Streitigkeiten und Missgeschicke in der eigenen Truppe, die bis zum versehentlichen Tode von Soldaten reichen, werden beschrieben. An dieser Stelle sei erwähnt, dass trotz all der Grausamkeit und Brutalität mit der uns der Autor konfrontiert, das Buch sich nicht im Blut verliert oder gar den Horror zelebriert. Der Verfasser bleibt seiner realistisch aber distanzierenden Schreibweise treu und ergötzt sich nicht an der Gewalt. In einer bemerkenswerten Stelle vergleicht er die Eingeweide der Toten mit jenen Eingeweiden sah, die er einst als Kind auf der Jagd sah. Aber auch humorvolle Stellen sind vorhanden. Es fiel mir beispielsweise schwer nicht zu schmunzeln, als der Autor in aller Ausführlichkeit seine Bemühungen beschrieb ein japanisches Fohlen zu retten.

Insgesamt kann ich dieses Buch nur empfehlen und würde mich freuen, wenn dieses in Amerika sehr angesehene Werk auch in Deutschland mehr Leser finden würde. Gerade weil es keine moralische Nachbetrachtung bietet, sondern sich auf eine zeitgenössische Beschreibung konzentriert bildet es ein wertvolles historisches Dokument.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen No W.W.II library is complete without this book., 10. Juni 2000
A sensitive and perceptive young college freshman from south Alabama, Eugene B. Sledge volunteered for Marine Corps officer training school during the middle of W.W. II. However, such was Sledge's desire to join the fighting before the war ended, he purposefully flunked out of school and promptly joined the ranks of the enlisted Marines.
Upon reporting to boot camp in San Diego, Sledge was introduced to his Drill Instructor with this eye-opening greeting: "If any of you idiots think you don't need to follow my orders, just step right out here and I'll beat your @ss right now. Your soul may belong to Jesus, but your @ss belongs to the Marines. You people are recruits. You're not Marines. You may not have what it takes to be Marines."
Fortunately, Sledge did indeed have what it took to be a Marine, and he has written WITH THE OLD BREED: AT PELELIU AND OKINAWA, an engaging personal chronicle of the horror of war as seen through the eyes of a young Marine grunt. Though this book is a personal account of historical events, it reads like a novel. Sledge is able to transform the course language of a salty Marine and the brutality of war into unembellished passages whose honesty have a lyrical beauty all their own:
"The situation was bad enough, but when the enemy artillery shells exploded in the area, the eruptions of soil and mud uncovered previously buried Japanese dead and scattered chunks of corpses. Like the area around our gun pits, the ridge was a stinking compost pile.
If a Marine slipped and slid down the back slope of the muddy ridge, he was apt to reach the bottom vomiting. I saw more than one man lose his footing and slip and slide all the way to the bottom only to stand up horror-stricken as he watched in disbelief while fat maggots tumbled out of his muddy dungaree pockets, cartridge belt, legging lacings, and the like. Then he and a buddy would shake or scrape them away with a piece of ammo box or a knife blade.
We didn't talk about such things. They were too horrible and obscene for even hardened veterans. The conditions taxed the toughest I knew almost to the point of screaming. Nor do authors normally write about such vileness; unless they have seen it with their own eyes, it is too preposterous to think that men could actually live and fight for days and nights under such terrible conditions and not be driven insane. But I saw much of it there on Okinawa and to the me the war was insanity."
WITH THE OLD BREED does not concern itself with a the strategic and tactical campaign of the Pacific Island hopping campaign. Rather, it is a a fascinating portrait of an ordinary young man's baptism under fire -- a first hand narrative of an ordinary young man's extraordinary bravery on a few remote Islands in the Pacific Ocean. No W.W.II library is complete without this book. Highly recommended.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The best account of Hell on Earth..., 13. Februar 2000
Von 
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.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen This book on combat ranks in the very highest tier., 4. Januar 2000
This account by E.B. Sledge, a Marine PFC who landed on Peleliu and Okinawa, details the violence and brutality of these two battles so realistically that it is a disturbing and haunting book. Peleliu was supposed to last 3 to 4 days, but went on for 2 months and cost the Marines 1,262 dead and 5,274 wounded. The statistics from Okinawa contain a action, and 26,221 neuropsychiatric "non-battle casualties." At Peleliu, Sledge "had tasted the bitterest essence of war, the sight of helpless comrades being slaughtered, and it filled me with disgust." Peleliu was a jagged coral island which caused cuts and tears on contact with human flesh, and there was a lot of such contact. "It was almost impossible to dig a protective foxhole in the rock." Once inland one's senses were overwhelmed by the sight and smell of corpses filled with maggots, human excrement on top of coral everywhere, dysentery, rotting American and Japanese rations, huge flies, knee deep mud, rainstorms, tropical oven heat, snapping bullets, and exploding shells. More than once Sledge saw a Marine slide down a ridge into rotting Japanese corpses to find himself covered with maggots and vomiting from the smell. Peleliu was an "assault into hell;" the landscape "hell's own cesspool." After the landing, with Marines suffering from heat prostration, even the water came from hell --it came in old oil drums, and the oil residue caused the troops to retch in the broiling sun. When Sledge sees his comrades cutting gold teeth from the Japanese--some while they are still alive--he is disgusted and sickened. But war, Sledge notes, made savages of them all, and one day Sledge finds himself bending over a Japanese corpse with a knife to cut out gold teeth. A corpsman tries to dissuade him, first with one argument and then another, finally succeeding by pointing out the threat from germs involved. Relentlessly, Sledge and his comrades move steadily forward, forward into the "meat grinder," losing more and more men to injury and death, the grim "inevitable harvest." The sight of dead Marines who had been tortured and mutilated by the Japanese hardens Sledge and his comrades against the enemy. Sledge tells of the terror of walking across an open field facing Japanese machine gun fire while at the same time receiving friendly fire from the rear from a Marine tank. But there was something "Artillery is hell," and of all the terrors, "the terror and desperation endured under heavy shelling are by far the most unbearable." Sledge learned to steer clear of any and all second lieutenants, who invariably did not know what they were doing and were highly dangerous to the troops. Sledge made two amphibious landings on Peleliu and one on Okinawa. The rule recognized among the troops was that if you made more than two landings you had used up your luck. Even so, Sledge was one of less than 10 in his company of 235 men to escape alive and unwounded--thereby beating the "mathematics of death." ("Statistically," Sledge tells us, "the infantry units had suffered l50 per cent casualties in the two campaigns.") Dr. "War is brutish, inglorious and a terrible waste. Combat leaves an indelible mark on those who are forced to endure it. The only redeeming factors were my comrades' incredible bravery and their devotion to each other." From Sledge's viewpoint, Peleliu and Okinawa were very close battles. His experience showed him that the success of the Marines was grounded on their discipline, esprit de corps, tough training, the ability to depend on one's comrades, and boot camp, which developed an expectation to excel, even under stress. Of all the books on combat, this ranks in the very highest tier. Reading it is an experience--a new and terrible experience--of what Marine infantrymen went through during and after an amphibious landing in the Pacific in World War II. Without Marines like Dr. Sledge, who put their arms and legs and lives on the line in these savage battles, history would have taken a far different course. I, for one, am profoundly grateful for what he and his comrades did, and want to thank him for what he endured. We owe him and his comrades more than we realize.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen What have we learned?, 16. Mai 1997
Von Ein Kunde
Sledge's memoir is clear, stark and poignant, driven by the plainness of oral history -- and made tragic by the author's inability, after years of what must have been living nightmares, to understand the why of what happened to him. To be fair, we shouldn't force our warriors to try to be the final word on why they went to war. The job of Sledge and his countrymen -- including my own father, a Marine almost killed at Peleliu -- was to fight, and fight they did. He hides almost nothing of the Marine combat experience, drawing from notes almost obscene in their lack of sentiment (one chapter is titled "Mud and Maggots"). When time stretches in the hellish foxholes of Okinawa, Sledge's is the hollow wandering thoughts of every young man prepared to die under orders.
And he never knows why -- other than knowing that any Marine would be willing to die for his buddies. In combat, that's certainly enough. But it's clear his abiding anger against the war, against Japanese ("Japs" even today, to him), against futility and horror, has never been able to rest. If this was indeed "The Good War," in Studs Terkel's phrase, why are men like Sledge still fighting it?
I highly recommend the book, and so does my Dad. (Curiously, it has one false note, and it's one shared by most of the Marine memoirs: They can speak in endless detail about corpses, but they can't bring themselves to swear. Marines in Sledge's book will shout, "Get back, you fool!" Why memoirists avoid cussing while sparing no details on maggots eating dead soldiers is a mystery.)
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Grossartiges Buch, 13. November 2012
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa (Taschenbuch)
Schade gibt es das Buch nicht auf Deutsch.
Ein grossartiges Buch, schonungslos beschreibt E. Sledge die Schrecken des Krieges!
Man fängt an und kann das Buch kaum aus der Hand legen.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Klasse! (Kindle Version), 24. Juli 2011
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Zum Inhalt brauche ich nicht viel sagen, nach der Presse eines der besten Bücher zu den Schlachten im Pazifik zwischen den Amerikanern und Japanern im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Ich kann das nur bestätigen, es ist fesselnd geschrieben, aber auch distanziert, neutral und ehrlich. Der ganze unpathetische und unromantische Teil des Krieges wird ausführlich beschrieben (Notdurftprobleme, wunde Füsse, immer wieder Dreck, stinkende, wurmüberquillende Kadaver überall usw.). Zu interessanten Personen und Ereignissen (Gefechte usw.) und Material (Waffen und Fahrzeuge) werden in Fußnoten Erklärungen gegeben. Sledge schreibt vor allem glaubwürdig, man nimmt ihm das alles sofort ab.

Ich habe die Kindle-Version gelesen. Der Text war - soweit ich das gesehen habe - fast fehlerfrei. Es sind einige strategische Karten der Kiegsschauplätze auf den beiden Inseln (Peleliu und Okinawa) dabei. Mit der Zoom-Funktion sind diese auch gut anzusehen. Da ich eigentlich sehr selten Bücher auf Englisch lese, kam mir das integrierte 'The New Oxford American Dictionary' des Kindles sehr entgegen: Wenn mir was unbekannt war, konnte ich schnell nachsehen, ohne den Reader aus der Hand zu nehmen. Das Englisch ist im übrigen leicht verständlich geschrieben, etwas umgangssprachlicher Militärjargon ist dabei, aber die Bedeutungen - soweit unbekannt - erschließen sich oft aus dem Kontext. Die zahlreichen Fußnoten können in ähnlicher Weise schnell angeklickt werden.

Der tolle Preis der Kindle-Version ist auch ein Argument.
Ich werde mir auf Grund des Buches auch die Mini-Serie "The Pacific (Tin-Box) [6 DVDs]" ansehen, die u. A. auch auf der Erzählung von Sledge basiert. Ich bin gespannt..

Das (elektronische) Buch jedenfalls: Meine uneingeschränkte Empfehlung.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen With the Old Breed, 24. Juni 2000
Von Ein Kunde
This book will stay with you always . It is the best view into the mind of a WW 2 Marine I have ever encountered .The savagery of island fighting is described in a matter of fact manner .If there is an equal to this account , I have not found it . Mr. Sledge has done a magnificant job .
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Vividly harrowing account of the absolute brutalities of war, 5. Juli 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Somehow my recollection of Dr. Sledge as my cheerful, quiet-mannered, humble (but tough!) zoology professor is stood on its head after reading his book With the Old Breed. How did this gentleman live through such stark and utter hell? How could anyone? But he tells you, his fine scientific mind observant -- sparing no detail to memory or gentrified constraints -- so Peleliu and Okinawa are beyond my words (but no longer beyond my imagination). No one who has not endured the horror of entrenched infantry warfare could adequately describe it; but this book helps a reader begin to fathom what it might have been like. And as we begin to take it in, to realize what an enormous legacy of sacrifice that generation left us, that "with privilege comes responsibility," as Dr. Sledge says. How can we ever repay these numbed, reluctant heroes? I suspect we never can. But we can listen to some who were lucky enough to survive, and to never forget those countless boys and men who came out maimed, or just didn't come out at all. We owe them all a tremendous debt of gratitude for the lives we lead today, and this book tells you, in graphic and heart-gripping detail, exactly why.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Much more interesting than the title sounds, 13. Juli 2000
QUICK REVIEW: A well written, concise, highly interesting story of two battles in the Pacific campaign of World War II. The story is gripping and gives a very realistic picture of war. It is experienced through the activities of one Marine Division and follows them from boot camp through the end of the war.
FULL REVIEW: We see these battles from the standpoint of "The Old Breed" which is the name given to the 1st Marine Division. More specifically, we see the story from the experiences of one soldier, the author - E. B. Sledge. We follow him from his decision to join the Marines through boot camp and then onto the two battles (Pelileu and Okinawa), which were among the worst of WWII. His division endures extremely harsh circumstances taking many casualties along the way. The realities of war are brought out strongly in this book which, as Sledge wrote, "made savages of us all." The pace of the book is good - it's not too fast and not too slow. He gives the important details needed to fully tell the experience without dwelling on any one aspect for too long. This is truly a great book, especially if you are at all interested in war.
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With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa von E.B. Sledge (Taschenbuch - 25. September 2007)
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