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Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle Hardcover – July 20, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 381 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (July 20, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394565886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394565880
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on October 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is probably the best account of this particular tragic battle I have come across. The battle alone, Peleliu, is not well known and now that it falls into the category of "ancient history" by the younger set, is even less heard of. This is a shame. The history of the U.S.M.C. is a testament to the ability and endurance of the American fighting man and woman Never has there been a better example than this forgotten battle. I have had the honor of having several conversations with two of the survivors of this epic battle...it is hard to imagine that the human body and spirit could survive such a thing. They did. The author has done his research with this one. He has been able to address the controversies surrounding this episode without distracting from the bravery of the men who took part in it. There is much to be learned here, both of the human condition and of military blunders and why they happen. I highly recommend this one be added to your collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mike Callahan on July 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With only two reader reviews to this point, it is possible that this book has not had much readership. Tis a shame, since when compared to some of the books written shortly after this engagement, this one is certainly more comprehensive and insightful. With the added benefit of the previous books and other documents, plus interviews and correspondence, this book reflects a wealth of research, in addition to being well written. Also, when compared to the more recent book, Last Man Standing, by Dick Camp, it is certainly a better choice for understanding this battle.

There is plenty of controversy about the need for the battle at Peleliu as well how it was conducted. Bill Ross addresses both and doesn't mince words with regard to his views. He extoles the courage and spirit of the fighting forces while questioning the "leadership". It begins with Admiral Nimitz's decision to pursue this battle despite solid evidence that it was no longer necessary. It ends when General Rupertus is belately overruled and the Army finally brought in from reserve to replace the few remaining combat capable marines.

Other books to consider on this battle are With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa (Sledge), Coral Comes High (Hunt) and The Devil's Anvil (Hallas).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven Daedalus on October 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author served in the Marine Corps and landed on Iwo Jima and at Inchon. He's deservedly proud of his beloved corps. I'm not sure exactly how he'd feel about the Marines who attended my night classes at Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station. They'd never seen combat.

An awesome amount of research went into this book, focusing mainly on the everyday heroics of the Marines who assaulted the carefully dug in Japanese forces on the small islands of Peleliu. But esprit de Corps is taken for granted. It's widely recognized that the Marines have it in spades. "Once a Marine, always a Marine." No one ever says, "Once a Coast Guardsman, always a Coast Guardsman." Well, I guess someone did, because I just said it now.

What's at least as interesting to me as the bravery, stamina, and sheer determinations of the troops, is the stuff that went wrong, and Ross doesn't shy away from it, although sometimes he presents it in a confusing manner. We take it for granted that everything will go as planned -- in war and in everyday life -- although we try to remain prepared for other contingencies. Yet it's the system that has gone awry that most interests me -- the broken clock, the schizophrenic patient, the Great Depression, or any war.

Peleliu was one of the most disproportionately savage and costly battles of the Pacific war and it was pointless. The intention was to walk over a thinly defended couple of islands and establish a strong military presence to protect MacArthur's flank from air and naval attack as he progressed through the Philippines towards Japan. But the Japanese had no naval or air units at Peleliu, nor any intention of planting any there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JMB on August 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Out standing and extremely well written book on this "storm landing". It is readable and well documented. All histroy books shouold be ritten this way. It takes you there.
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