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Iwo Jima: Legacy of Valor Paperback – May 12, 1986


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books ed edition (May 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394742885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394742885
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #847,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ross describes the bloody 1945 battle of Iwo Jima by concentrating on individual heroesfrom generals to privates, Navy surgeons to stretcher-bearers. "An appalling yet inspiring story of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty," PW stated.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

An hour by hour account of the largest and most brutal assault ever conducted by the Marine Corps.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
His writing style flows very easily and the reader never gets bogged down.
Jeffrey T. Munson
This book is an excellent mix of personal accounts tied in with details of the campaign as a whole.
Paul H.
Overall, Mr. Bill Ross' Iwo Jima: Legacy of Valor is one of the best accounts of the battle.
Robert C. Olson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on October 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
Over the past few months I have read many accounts of the war in the Pacific. E.B. Sledge's "With the Old Breed" told of valor, sacrifice, suffering, and savagery through the eyes of one man. "Iwo Jima" gives a vast panorama of those things. We see the battle in all its horror, but we also see the good accomplished from the terrible sacrifice of so many men. The book gives a balanced, comprehensive account of a bloody page of American history.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Rizzardi on September 7, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a great awakening to me as to what actually happened at Iwo Jima. I've always heard the island's name used as a reference to the worst of the Pacific War and now I know why. It must have been an incredible experience for any Marine on the island and Ross gets you to feel it. He was very thorough, however, I wish I could have read a little more detail about the Japanese positions and what it was that made them so concealed (the size of their openings to fire through, camaflouge, etc.) and brutally effective at taking casualties. Recommended!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey T. Munson on July 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Bill Ross has written an excellent book about the bloody battle for Iwo Jima. Iwo was sought by the Americans as an emergency airfield for the B-29 Superfortresses which were damaged over Japan, as well as an advanced fighter base for fighter escorts.
This book describes in vivid detail the American invasion and struggle to secure the island. Much to the chagrin of the Marines, they found out that the island was covered with ash which made it next to impossible to walk or move heavy equipment. As the Marines made their way inland, the Japanese, who constructed underground bunkers and pillboxes which were virtually untouched by the shore bombardment, began to attack en masse. The Marines suffered more casualties in this battle than at any other time in the war. Also, over twenty medals of honor were awarded (some postumously). Ross describes each medal of honor recipient and what they did to earn the medal. Some threw themselves on live grenades to save their comrades, while others rushed enemy pillboxes in the face of murderous fire. This was the most fascinating part of the book for me.
Ross has produced an excellent book about Iwo Jima that will undoubtedly remain a classic. His writing style flows very easily and the reader never gets bogged down. I highly recommend this work along with "Flags of our Fathers". Both do a commendable job of describing the ferocious fighting that took place on this tiny island.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Douglas A. Cote on April 26, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a remarkable account of one of history's most horrific battles. The author walks you step by step through each critical phase, from the decision to invade and subsequent build-up to, the bloody landings and the nightmare that each moment upon that god-forsaken cinder of an island was for the Marines of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Divisions. The losses suffered by both sides are difficult to comprehend, but knowing that the Marines were always above ground, taking every rock, hole, pillbox, cave and bunker in head-on frontal assaults makes their experiences much more compelling, and amazing. Until I read Iwo Jima: Legacy of Valor, I thought I had atleast a basic grasp of the horrors they were confronted with, but I now realize that it was much, much worse. This author has done an admiral job of covering every aspect of the battle, with particular attention paid to (and in honor of) the brave men in the Line Companies of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions. May mankind never forget, and never repeat, what happened on that battlefield. This book goes a long way toward that end.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Cortesio on October 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book evokes feelings as the reader tends to become personally involved with each individual's battle exploits. My father was at Iwo Jima with the 5th Marines. To show my respect and honor for him & all Veterans, I studied WWII for over thirty years. This book by Bill Ross is a personal favorte of a WWII Library of more than two hundred titles.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Only The Triumph and the Glory moved me as deeply as this definitive account of the Iwo Jima fighting. Ross has given us an unforgettable look at the greatest battle of the Pacific War with Iwo Jima: Legacy of Valor. I would encourage anyone with an interest in WWII to read it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Peter Kasin on November 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Iwo Jima was the only Central Pacific Island battle where Americans suffered more casualties than did the Japanese. After giving some background information on the high level planning for this assault, the author changes focus to the experience of the individual infantryman once the battle begins. While not completely abandoning the larger picture, we are taken into the heart of the battle with portraits of many individual soldiers, seeing what they did during the battle step by step - and step by step was exactly how this grinding battle was fought. We are taken through their individual ordeals right up to their deaths, and this is what makes this book so compelling. The author has a way of getting the reader to follow each individual as if each one were a main character in a story, only to, in most cases, follow their story to their death. One of the themes that runs through this style of historical writing, is that in battle, the big picture is often the small picture. To the infantryman, the awareness of the battle as a whole often does not go too far past his foxhole, so you are getting a description of the battle as experienced by the soldier. This book is not a comprehensive history of the battle, as it does not give much information from the Japanese viewpoint, and does not detail the command decisions outside of some background information, but the author does not claim to be comprehensive - that is not the point of the book. It is best read for what it is - a memorial to the Americans who fought and died there, and a portrait of the experience of battle.
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