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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT ACCOUNT - WELL RESEARCHED AND WRITTEN
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...
Published on October 26, 2005 by D. Blankenship

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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid, if Somewhat Disappointing
I read this book after playing Call of Duty: World at War which contains battles that take place on Peleliu. Wikipedia indicated that Peleliu was the scene for one of the most difficult battles in WWII history and so it piqued my interest. After completing this book, I left somewhat disappointed. The book is clearly well researched and I actually like the pains the...
Published on January 28, 2009 by J. Waldrop


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT ACCOUNT - WELL RESEARCHED AND WRITTEN, October 26, 2005
This review is from: Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic Triumph - Indeed, July 27, 2009
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This review is from: Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle (Hardcover)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic Triumph Is Right., October 12, 2013
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This review is from: Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle (Hardcover)
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. All that was on Peleliu was a garrison of tough, clever, fierce warriors who knew they would die and were ready to make their deaths as costly as possible for the enemy.

General Rupertus, who was in charge, had broken his ankle and was stuck aboard a transport throughout much of the fighting. He'd always expected a quick victory -- three days instead of the several weeks it took. Even ashore, he issued orders that were impossible for the men to follow. Repeatedly the sent men into the same coral mazeways from which they'd been driven the day before. He treated exhausted and depleted units, reduced to half their strength, as if they were fresh ashore, spoiling for a fight. The Army's 81st Infantry Division was waiting in reserve, but Rupterus sent them to a smaller island nearby where, after a brush with the Japanese, they sat around building roads and establishing a camp, much to the author's annoyance, as if it hadn't been Rupertus himself who rejected the Army's assistance because HIS Marines didn't need any help from lesser breeds like GIs.

Reconnaissance photos had showed a nice, smooth palm-covered terrain surrounding the air strip. What was UNDER all that greenery was a jumble of rocky hills and clumps of coral, into which the Japanese had built a maze of underground tunnels similar to those on Iwo Jima. This was only revealed when the trees and shrubbery had been stripped away by naval bombardment.

And what a naval bombardment it was! A thorough shelling long before the invasion itself, which served mainly to deafen the thoroughly insulated enemy underground. The admiral then claimed he'd run out of targets, although the airstrip and its facilities hadn't been touched.

It wasn't a disaster -- except for the Japanese, who fought virtually to the last man, inspiring hatred and, later, a grudging admiration from their opponents. The island wasn't cleared until years after the war when some Japanese soldiers were coaxed out of the hills.

It was a slaughter, and an unnecessary one from beginning to end. The Construction Battalions improved the coveted air strip, built docks for ships, constructed roads around the islands and cleared areas for large military assemblies. None of them were ever used.

The Marines won, of course, but Ross's subtitle says it all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle, August 16, 2012
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This review is from: Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, July 9, 2013
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This review is from: Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle (Hardcover)
I have read several accounts of the Peleliu and have talked to a few Marines who were there. This is the best account they have seen also.

Harold Collins
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars peleliu, December 14, 2012
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This review is from: Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle (Hardcover)
a tragic at best battle fought by brave young men. the meaning or non meaning of this event is not the idea. the book describes in great detail what it takes to overcome the impossible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, February 5, 2014
This review is from: Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle (Hardcover)
I will recommend the book to anyone who is interested in World War II and especially the war in the Pacific
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid, if Somewhat Disappointing, January 28, 2009
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This review is from: Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle (Hardcover)
I read this book after playing Call of Duty: World at War which contains battles that take place on Peleliu. Wikipedia indicated that Peleliu was the scene for one of the most difficult battles in WWII history and so it piqued my interest. After completing this book, I left somewhat disappointed. The book is clearly well researched and I actually like the pains the author takes to be "fair" with regards to not being a Japan bashing tome. But overall, I left without any particular takeaways after reading it.
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Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle
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