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American Spartans: The U.S. Marines: A Combat History from Iwo Jima Paperback – June 1, 2010


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American Spartans: The U.S. Marines:  A Combat History from Iwo Jima + Islands of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific + Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145160744X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451607444
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,058,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Warren chose Iwo Jima as the starting point for his history of the U.S. Marine Corps because there and at Okinawa the marines displayed the spartan virtues of hardihood, discipline, loyalty, and ferocity more vividly than ever before. He argues that the marines have remained a subculture within the larger and more lenient American military culture and that from this situation arises much of their combat effectiveness. Certainly that effectiveness has been high during the two island campaigns, in Korea, and most recently in Iraq. On the other hand, Vietnam presents a mixed picture, and training accidents such as the Ribbon Creek drownings and the implications of the post-Vietnam reforms in training suggest that the spartan way is not wholly sufficient in and of itself. Warren makes a very useful contribution to the lively ongoing debate on the role, creation, training, and use of elite troops, which is what the marines certainly are. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A welcome, readable, and concise history of the corps' past 60 years." -- "The Washington Post"

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John F. Baltes on April 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Americna Spartans relates sixty years of the 230 year history of the Marine Corps from Iwo Jima to Iraq. After reading the first seventy pages it seemed that the book was an antithesis to the creed of MTSgt Percy Webb, a pioneer public relations type from the early 1900s who said, "I had the utmost faith in the service I was writing about and so I did not need to "gild the lily. Warren was writing a masterful tale of "cheerleading". But from that point on it became increasingly evident that the author does not "gild the lily". American Spartans is not written in the gray areas of history. It is written in black and white, reciting the bad along with the good.

The Ribbon Creek Incident in 1956 is reported by telling what happened, how it happened and what resulted from its happening. The excesses in training experienced by recruits are also realted with no excuses offered. Casualities from friendly fire are included in the battle summaries. The dismal "State of the Corps" in the period of 1972-1975 is brutal, but accurate in stating that 50% of the recruits were non-highschool graduates, just under 50% of those who joined in this period "washed-out" prior to completing their first enlistment and 20% were mental group IVs (borderline intelligence). Keep in mind that this 20% was in part forced on the Corps by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's 100,000.

The Corps was in danger of losing it's reputation as an elite force. The sociological attitudes of the junior leaders within the Corps at that time contributed to this sad state of affairs. Warren also brings to the fore a number of SNAFUs, such as Mayaguez, of the Corps. This mess and others were generally brought about by combining the Marines with their sister services causing errors in coordination and control.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Andrew N. Shannon on December 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A concise history of the USMC told in a very readable context, from Iwo Jima (the Marine Corps finest hour) to the present day. How the Marine Corps operates, is funded, the infighting among the services, its Commandants over the decades, and the glorious battles this elite world renowned force has participated in. Excellent documentation and footnotes abound for further reading.
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Format: Hardcover
Students of World War II will want to read a different view in American Spartans: The U.S. Marines: A Combat History From Iwo Jima To Iraq. It's the first modern battle history of the Marines in a generation and examines how they performed in key conflicts from World War II to modern times - and how they've changed. The evolution of their strategies and tactics have really undergone transformation over six decades, and American Spartans traces these changes using dozens of interviews, hundreds of print sources, and firsthand observation of modern Marine exercises.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Robert C. Bonds on March 19, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
How much do we really know about the US Marine Corps? Like many, I knew the basics in that the Corps spearheaded nearly every major battle in the Pacific during WW2. I also was familiar with their victory at Inchon and their yes, victorious retreat from the Chosin Reservoir in Korea. As to their combat history during VietNam, Khe Shan is their most well known battle. Who could not know about the Marines during Gulf War 1 and 2. The embedded media during Gulf War 2 help many know about their exploits in the rapid taking of Iraq.

What most do not know and which Warren brings forth in this book is the deep character that exists within Marine Corps veterans, retirees, and those serving today. It is the character that is taught in their basic training of enlisted and officer personnel that sticks with each and every one who has earned the title of United States Marine.

Warren also highlights the many innovations of the Marine Corps as it literally had to fight tooth and nail for its existence. That's right, in times leading up to WW2, after WW2 and up until the end of the Korean War there were those who sought to disband what is today American's mobile 911 response force.

As to those innovations mostly in the area of warfighting; it was the Marine Corps that developed the amphibious warfare doctrine used from WW2 until today, it was the Marine Corps that first used heliocopters on the battlefield during Korea; and it was the forward thinking of Marine leaders that adapted their organization to changes in the geopolitical world so that America can project its might over 600 miles inland from the coast of any hostile nation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H. Race VINE VOICE on May 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I found this to be an excellent source of information about the USMC from Iwo Jima to Iraq. The "American Spartans" title is appropriate. The book is straightforward,fast-moving and precise, much like the Marines. I liked the detail on Viet Nam and Iwo Jima, but there was not near enough on Saipan and Guam. The photographs were excellent and reminder of what our stalwart youngsters go through in preserving our freedoms, and serving in the highest standards of the Corps. I liked the training emphasis on the "three-block" war, wherein in one moment the Marine will be feeding and clothing refugees, then holding back warring tribes from killing each other, and then find themselves in a highly lethal, total-intensity battle, possibly all in the same day and within the same three square-blocks of a city or village. Thank goodness that we have these brave men and women who are willing to stand in harm's way so we can enjoy our democratic peaceful lives. Semper fi!
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