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Iwo Jima: Legacy of Valor Paperback – May 12, 1986
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From Publishers Weekly
Ross describes the bloody 1945 battle of Iwo Jima by concentrating on individual heroesfrom generals to privates, Navy surgeons to stretcher-bearers. "An appalling yet inspiring story of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty," PW stated.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
An hour by hour account of the largest and most brutal assault ever conducted by the Marine Corps.
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Bill Ross' classic Iwo Jima: Legacy of Valor is an excellent combat history of that bloody, horrific battle where America suffered 26,010 casualties (most were Marines) and the Japanese deaths totaled 21,703 for a total of 47,713 casualties or approximately 1325 casualties a day for both sides. Mr. Ross does a relatively good job of keeping the reader in the timeline loop of the battle as it ground to a crawl, as combatants fought over yards at a time. The Marines slogged on the surface as the Japanese fought primarily from tunnels and caves, freely moving about oblivious to the pounding of artillery and naval gunfire. Still the Marines prevailed through sheer guts of purpose, dedication, and fighting spirit. Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz summed it up best, "Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue." No more needs be said.
Overall Mr. Ross did a good job of accurately portraying the battle. His use of facts and statistics were timely and added to the overall scope. His timeline was excellent and gave the sometime confusing and chaotic daily battle action some semblance of continuity. His use of actual photographs were perfectly spaced throughout the book and gave one a feel of the horrific action. Best of all he used liberal personal accounts and experiences to flesh out the story. His use of quotes was excellent and provided a human feel. I particularly liked how Mr. Ross covered ALL the 27 MOH winners and what they did to merit America's highest award for valor. Of particular note was how Mr. Ross described the personality clashes of the major American combat leaders, which at times became strident. Despite all this, and underestimating how long it would take to subdue the enemy, victory was finally achieved after 36 days of monumental battle where no one rested and many died.
A must read for anyone interested in the American WW2 Pacific campaign. Overall, Mr. Bill Ross' Iwo Jima: Legacy of Valor is one of the best accounts of the battle.