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War Shots: Norm Hatch and the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Cameramen of World War II Hardcover – December 18, 2010


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War Shots: Norm Hatch and the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Cameramen of World War II + With the Marines At Tarawa (1945)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; First Edition edition (December 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811706311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811706315
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Jones's telling of the bureaucratic maze Hatch navigated to gather equipment, supplies, and work space is as fascinating as his combat descriptions." (Naval History 2011-08-01)

"Norman Hatch is a living legend." (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star 2011-02-20)

"Jones brings Hatch's story -- and that of the Greatest Generation -- to life in War Shots." (Richmond Times-Dispatch 2011-03-06)

"Jones's writing style is exceptionally clear, informative, and well researched. War Shots is a rewarding read." (Marine Corps Gazette 2011-03-01)

"Jones is sensitive to how Marines think and understands their esprit de corps and the full meaning of the Marine Corps motto: Semper Fidelis." (Leatherneck 2011-04-01)

"War Shots may well emerge as one of the most definitive histories of military photography at war and the men behind the cameras who risked their lives to make sure the American public knew what was going on." (Living History 2011-01-01)

From the Inside Flap

They shot some of the most iconic footage of World War II while risking their lives, yet the stories--and sheer guts--of the U.S. Marine Corps combat cameramen have been overshadowed by the heroism of the men with the rifles. War Shots brings these photographers into sharp focus through the career of Norm Hatch, a true American character whose skill with a camera and knack for being in the right place at the right time thrust him to the fore of the effort to record the Marines at war in the Pacific.

After a Depression boyhood during which he crossed paths with the likes of Al Capone and Johnny Weissmuller, Norm Hatch joined the Marine Corps in 1939. A string of postings took him from boot camp at Parris Island to Washington, D.C., Franklin Roosevelt's retreat in Georgia, and eventually The March of Time newsreel series, where he honed the filmmaking skills that would serve him well throughout the war.

When American forces invaded Tarawa in November 1943, Hatch and his fellow Marine cameramen piled into landing craft and, with men falling all around them, waded ashore to film the savage three-day battle with the Japanese. Sent back to the United States, Hatch's footage--so disturbing that it needed Roosevelt's permission to be released--ended up in newsreels and then in the film With the Marines at Tarawa, which later won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject.

In February 1945, Hatch led a camera unit onto Iwo Jima, where Marines waged a brutal campaign for control of the island and gained enduring fame for raising the flag over Mount Suribachi. The motion pictures Hatch's cameramen shot became another documentary, To the Shores of Iwo Jima. Hatch ended the war in the ruins of Nagasaki, where he and his team documented the aftermath of the atomic bomb.

Full of pulse-pounding accounts of combat and lively behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Hollywood and Washington, War Shots zooms in on Norm Hatch and the Marine combat cameramen of World War II, spotlighting their courage under fire--and behind the lens.

More About the Author

Charles (Chip) Jones is an award-winning journalist and author of three works of nonfiction: Boys of '67: From Vietnam to Iraq, the Extraordinary Story of a Few Good Men (2006, Stackpole Books); Red, White Or Yellow? The Media & the Military at War in Iraq (2008, Stackpole Books); and War Shots: Norm Hatch and the Marine Corps Combat Cameramen of World War II (2011, Stackpole Books).

Boys of '67 follows a group of young Marine officers from their start at Basic School in Quantico, Virginia through the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War, the tumultuous 1970s, and up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. One of the three main characters, Gen. James L. Jones, is Jones' first cousin. Jones' late father was Lt. General William K. Jones, a hero of a number of the Marine Corps' Pacific campaigns of World War II.

Red, White or Yellow examines the miscues of the media in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and profiles the work of a lone Marine Corps public affairs officer handling media inquiries at Camp Fallujah.

War Shots tells the story of the Marine combat cameramen in World War II through the eyes of a living legend, Norman T. Hatch, who found a way to film two of the most important battles of the war: Tarawa and Iwo Jima. Jones got to know Hatch after meeting him at a speaking engagement and was astounded no one had yet written the story of his remarkable life.

The book's web site is www.warshotsbook.com

A 1974 graduate of the University of Kansas and the Hollins College creative writing program in 1989, Jones worked as a reporter at the Roanoke Times and Richmond Times-Dispatch, and was associate editor of Virginia Business magazine. He's married to Deborah Jones, his creative partner in literature and music in Richmond, Virginia. They have three grown children: Lauren, Chief, and Mary.

Jones serves as communications and marketing director for the Richmond Academy of Medicine and Access Now, a specialty health care program for the uninsured. He can be reached for speaking engagements and book signings at cjones@ramdocs.org or 804-622-8136.





Customer Reviews

Well written..good story.
Eleanor Winchester
This is the story of the Marine Corps' photo units during the Pacific campaign of WWI.
Lobo
I only wish I had read this book before I met him.
Robert A. Hall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. McEwen on January 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have known of the great work of Norm Hatch for many years. He was the right man in the right place at the right time...and he still is. I worked most of my USMC career with writers/photographers and eventually for a "Mr" Norm Hatch (Major, USMCR, Retired) in DoD audio-visual news for about 18 months before retiring for civilian life. I especially admire the way Jones and he handle the great responsibilities explained in the book: with humility despite tremendous responsibility by a then-young, relatively inexperienced sergeant in his first combat. Strongly recommend this great book to everyone who appreciates American History.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jack T. Paxton on January 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While the sub-title might imply this is a work about one person, it really isn't. Norman Hatch is a Marine Corps icon - at 91 he personifies Marine Corps photo history because he lived it and certainly helped develop it. The book, however, does much more than deify Hatch.

As he did so well in his "Boys of '67" Charles Jones chronicles the early life and adventures of a group of Marines, this time Norman Hatch and his band of photographers. As Norm emerges as one of the best cinematographers to cover World War II for the Marine Corps, War Shots may well emerge as one of the most definitive histories of military photography at war and the men behind the cameras who risked their lives to make sure the American public knew what was going on. Fortunately for us, Jones and Hatch teamed up while Norm is still alive.

As many of us did in our youth, Norm used the Marine Corps as a means to an end. As the Great Depression wound down, he made the decision to go into the Navy. When Navy recruiters dragged their heels an impatient Norm became a Marine. An early assignment with now defunct the March of Time shaped his future. From then on, as he says, "I was in the right place at the right time." From this point on we see the Pacific battles through Norm's Eymo lens.

Not only is this a comprehensive history of the use of motion and still picture photography in a combat environment, but the book offers today's warriors a glimpse of tactical development circa 1930-40 and the leadership that made the Marine Corps what it is today. War Shots introduces modern-day Marines to the legends of the Corps; "Howlin Mad" Smith, John A. Lejeune, Victor "Brute" Krulak, "Red Mike" Eddson, Julian Smith and many others.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Hall on June 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I had a bias. I couldn't wait to get my copy, and then to read it. I came to this book expecting to love it and I did. In April, my wife Bonnie and I were invited to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation's 2012 Awards Dinner, where I received an award for my book, "Old Jarhead Poems." Sitting next to me was Chip Jones, the author, who also received a writing award "War Shots." And sitting next to Bonnie was Norm Hatch! Maj. Hatch is in his 90s now, has some mobility challenges, but I wish my mental acuity was equal to his. Talking with him was a treat. This is a guy who rubbed shoulders with the pantheon of WWII Marine greats, and, from the stream of Generals stopping by our table to speak to him, is considered at least a minor deity himself by the leadership of today's Corps. Hatch got an Academy Award for short documentary in 1944 for his Tarawa filming under fire.

Then, two weeks later, I was watching a story about Tarawa on the Military History Channel, and there was Hatch being interviewed. I only wish I had read this book before I met him.

I learned a great deal about the combat cameramen of WWI, as expected, but also new details about Tarawa and Iwo Jima, including the controversy over the flag raising photo, which Hatch helped to resolve, as one of his men shot the movie of it going up. He was also in Nagasaki right after the war, a very interesting chapter, and made a documentary that helped the effort to save the Marine Corps from extinction in that post-war political fight. Hatch was not only incredibly brave, but very resourceful and competent. This book will be appreciated by every Marine, by WWII buffs, and by those interested in military history, the movie industry or human courage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What kind of courage does it take to stand side by side, under heavy enemy fire, watching your fellow Marines die by the thousands while you film the action essentially unarmed? This book gives you an idea of the bravery displayed by Marine combat photographers and is as relevant now as it was then. This book is very interesting and provides incredible insight into the life of a photographer under battle conditions, but...it doesn't offer the number of photos you might expect from a Marine who was legendary and shot thousands of feet of film. While the written word is incredible there is an old addage, "a picture is worth a thousand words". Unfortunately, this book seems to forget that saying.

I give this effort 3 3/4 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy reading first hand accounts of combat and its appalling cost.

To the unbelievably brave military personnel who fought and died, those who survived and the photographers who captured the carnage on film, I give my utmost thanks. The sacrifices you made for your country were, in many cases, above and beyond the call of duty. Without your dedication to the task, the blood shed for these difficult steps forward might have been for naught.
God bless each and every one of you.
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