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Island Victory: The Battle of Kwajalein Atoll (World War II) Paperback – September 1, 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Written accounts of war simply do not get any closer to the actions and feelings of those [who] were there. Island Victory is a highly recommended, 'must read' book."—The Midwest Book Review
(The Midwest Book Review)

"Island Victory presents Marshall at his best, unobtrusively weaving together the testimonies of several hundred infantrymen of the 7th Division during the battle for Kwajalein Atoll. . . . The Kwajalein victors interviewed so painstakingly by Sam Marshall provide a priceless candor and authenticity, the emotional testimonies of young men still flushed with adrenalin, guilt, and relief."—Joseph H. Alexander, Journal of Military History
(Joseph H. Alexander Journal of Military History)

About the Author

Brigadier General S. L. A. Marshall (1900–1977) served as an enlisted man in World War I, an official historian in World War II, an Army historian in Korea, and an advisor and observer in Vietnam. He wrote more than fifty books.
 
Joseph G. Dawson III's most recent book is Doniphan's Epic March: The 1st Missouri Volunteers in the Mexican War. He is a professor of history at Texas A&M University.
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Product Details

  • Series: World War II
  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books; First Edition edition (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803282729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803282728
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Island Victory: The Battle Of Kwajalein Atoll by Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall (1900-1977) is a rare primary historical source, written by at-the-time Lieutenant Colonel S. L. A. Marshall at the time of the deadly Pacific fight in World War II. Marshall was a veteran of WW I who would later serve in Korea and Vietnam and become a brigadier general. When the Seventh Infantry Division battled the Japanese across Kwajalein Atoll in February 1944, Marshall was given the official task of creating a written record of the battle. In order to be as accurate as possible, he brought front-line soldiers to a group interview and taped their conversations in order to get as clear an idea as possible. Written accounts of war simply do not get any closer to the actions and feelings of those were there. Island Victory is a highly recommended, "must-read" book for those who study eye-witness WW II accounts, and a core title contribution to World War II studies academic reference collections.
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First off, I am a little surprised at the lack of books written on the battle for Kwajalein. There really isn't a whole lot out there on it. Of course compared to many of the other amphibious assaults in the Pacific, Kwajalein doesn't really come anywhere close to the horrific bloodshed and gore of Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, Peleliu and Okinawa. I think from what I've seen out there, this particular book by S.L.A. Marshall does a good job of describing the "nuts and bolts" of the battle. For me personally however, it was a bit on the dry side and I was actually looking forward to getting through it and on to something written with a little more heart and soul in the style perhaps of any of Hornfischer's great books. Island Victory is however mandatory reading for any student of the war in the Pacific. There really is nothing else out there that does a better job on this battle, but the writing style of Marshall is an acquired taste I guess. After reading it, I feel I have a pretty good handle on what happened at Kwajalein, but I came away feeling like there is more to be told than what is available in Marshall's book. If you are a serious student of the war in the Pacific as I and many others are, then this book is an absolute MUST read for you. You will get a great picture of what happened on Kwajalein, but at the same time, I think you will be looking forward to moving on to something that provides more than the dry writing style of Mr. Marshall. Maybe I'm just a little jaded in my opinion because my previous read before Island Victory was Joseph H. Alexander's Utmost Savagery, a book on Tarawa that will drain the blood from your veins.
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Highly recommended. Marshall's writing takes the oral accounts of the battle from the soldiers and marines who fought the battle and weaves it into a very good narrative. Not for the politically correct - when it was originally written it reflected the stereotypes and prejudices Americans had about the Japanese in WW II. However, without the actual flavor of the dialogue spoken by the GIs who fought in the battle, it would feel rather dry and scholarly. Kwajalein Island (where I live and work) looks a lot different than during the battle over 65 years ago; over the years the island has increased in area and certain places where major battles took place are now further inland on the island rather than on the coast.
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It starts out a little confusing. Author spends a lot of time on unit buildups from squad to division. So far it has been a good book on the battle. I would recommend it to others that are interest in the war in the pacific. Kwajalein was used as a place to take prisoners and kill them.
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