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Battleground Pacific: A Marine Rifleman's Combat Odyssey in K/3/5
Battleground Pacific: A Marine Rifleman's Combat Odyssey in K/3/5
by Sterling Mace
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.51
89 used & new from $0.04

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Gritty Read, December 12, 2012
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Just when you think there will never be another good WWII memoir as the Greatest Generation ages, a surprise comes along. Battleground Pacific is one such treat. Sterling Mace writes to us with the mind of a man half his age in a book of veracity and more--it's creative, dare I say, artistic even.

In this book, the action swirls around you. The chaos hits you like it must have hit Mace, 60 years ago when he fought on Peleliu, a sweltering place where 20,000 or 30,000 men fought within a landmass no larger than a small city.

Then, Mace takes us to Okinawa, a land that's more a sea of mud and bursting shells-- more like the trenches of WWI than a World War II battle.

Hollywood shields us from the true horrors of war. Most war movies, even the most graphic are rated R. There are parts in this book --the truth-- that would never have made it on the silver screen. It's stuff so horrible and graphic that it sticks in your mind. But they're stories we need to hear. If you want to know what a Marine like Mace endured, you've got to see it all. Only then can we appreciate the hell that was the Pacific battleground.

Battleground Pacific benefits from its timing--it's a stronger book now that Mace is older, wiser, and more cantankerous. He's brutally honest. He shouts out the heroes and calls out the crooks. He tells what fights had purpose and which were lost causes where good men were sent to die for nothing.

If this book was written during the war it would celebrate the war. But it wasn't. It was written now and it calls the war for what it was--a necessary meat grinder, where our boys went to fight the enemy boys for spits of land in a vast sea. Sterling Mace was there, and more. He was in the thick of it.

Amazing Insider Secrets: 1703 Money Saving Tips
Amazing Insider Secrets: 1703 Money Saving Tips
by Jeff Bredenberg
Edition: Paperback
42 used & new from $1.55

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of fun tips and tricks, May 22, 2012
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The cover headline "money saving tips" is what drew me to this book, but after purchasing and reading it, the practical knowledge plus the money saving tips make it well worth the purchase price.

They cover everything, and I mean everything, and the advice is easy to read and practical. It's so packed with information I found I have to read certain sections over again or even take notes but I've found little tips on everything from my dog's vet bills to planning a cruise.

Love this book!

Red Blood, Black Sand: Fighting Alongside John Basilone from Boot Camp to Iwo Jima
Red Blood, Black Sand: Fighting Alongside John Basilone from Boot Camp to Iwo Jima
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $10.61

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Marine WWII Combat Memoir, May 22, 2012
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This book was pretty great. I've been reading Pacific WWII memoirs for years, my Uncle served in the Pacific (he was a Seabee) and I'd put this one in the same league as "With the Old Breed" which I thought set the standard for Pacific Marines in WWII.

Chuck does a great job of pulling you into the story, it's like you're bought back to 1940s America, and the stories of boot camp and training (which I normally find redundant and often tedious) are instead very entertaining. Chuck shares pranks that will make you wonder how he wasn't killed by one of the old combat veterans in his unit (one actually tries) and you find yourself so engrossed in the characters that you want to flip to the end to see who survives the war because you can't imagine these wonderful men not making it.

The book starts to get serious when Chuck is designated to a machine gun squad and he meets his idol John Basilone. John becomes Chuck's sergeant and mentor and when they get separated (John's transferred to another unit) they reunite again, of all places, on the beaches of Iwo Jima where they lead the first breakout from the beach. Chuck's memories of John aren't from hearsay or observation; they're first hand experiences he shares of his time with one of America's greatest heroes.

The battle of Iwo isn't described by Chuck in casualty numbers or generalities; it's a second by second play back by a man who must have it permanently inscribed in his memory. I won't say more about Iwo but after reading it I went to bed that night wondering how any human can live through what they did that day. Watching their buddies get cut down, one, by one, by one. You keep expecting it to stop, but it just keeps going.

I give thanks to Chuck Tatum for reliving the war and writing this book. He says he's telling the story to honor his buddies and I think this book is an incredible tribute to them. I'm going to buy another copy (mine is kindle) and donate it to our local high school and I found some autographed copies through Valor Studios (a legit looking site I found that sells signed ones) and will get one to pass down to my kids. Men like Chuck Tatum are a dying breed and maybe if America's youth are exposed more to books like this one, rather then video games, I'll have better faith in my country's future.
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