Top positive review
67 people found this helpful
on July 8, 2009
By John Wukovitz
The "Big Yankee" Evans Fordyce Carlson lives again,
he converts a battalion of marines volunteers to Marine
Raiders, by training, equipping and indoctrinating them
with the philosophy of Nicaraguan jungle fighting and
the Japanese terrorizing Chinese 8th Route Army.
Follow Carlson from a high school dropout, enlisting
in the Army, the Marines, a guerrilla fighter in Nicaragua,
to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's personal
intelligence officer in China. A predictor of the Jap-
anese war he resigns his commission to warn the nation.
Comes the war, finding a crippled navy and Japan
occupying twenty million square miles of the Pacific.
FDR demands commandos and a reluctant Marine
Corps succumbs. The Marine Raiders are born,
the first special force in the United States military.
The 2nd Raiders led by Carlson and Jimmy Roosevelt
are trained to a well honed killing machine. The infantry
squad is reorganizes into massive fire power by three
fire groups each equipped with an M1 rifle a Browning
automatic rifle and a Thompson sub machine gun,
eventually adapted by the entire Marine Corps. They
participated in the defense of Midway; a raid by sub-
marines to Makin Island, where the Raiders can not
leave the island as their rubber boats are toppled
by the raging surf. Carlson is confronted with 120
men ashore, the wounded, 20 armed raiders all other
arms lost in the surf and the Presidents son on the
island. Spearheading a failed airfield site on Guadal-
canal2nd Raiders are ordered to plunge into the back-
waters of the Island. They decimated an enemy
force of superior size. After thirty days in a jungle
hell they emerge victorious from behind enemy lines
having killed 488 Japanese and losing 16 killed in
action. Not the darling of the Marine Corps, Carlson
looses his command, he die at 51 following wars end.
The Raiders participated in every assault in the Solo-
mon Islands as Raiders and as 4th Marines and indi-
viduals in all island hopping events in the Pacific. The
Raiders were disbanded in February 1944 after two
years of existence. They were the forerunner of the
Special Forces now found in every branch of the U.
I can verify the accuracy of this book as I served as
a 2nd Marine Raider for the duration of the battalion
and of the 266 who made the original landing was one
of the 57 who completed the long patrol. This book is
incredible well documented. Many surviving Raiders
were interviewed and their 65year old memories stim-
ulated. the actions of dead raiders was culled from
numerous sources. Perhaps this is the best books
of many about the Raiders.
Ervin Kaplan MD