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One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa Paperback – August 7, 2007
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This fast-paced chronicle of courage is a must read. (Lt. Col. Oliver L. North)
The best book I have ever read about the battle for Tarawa.(Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin, U SMC (Ret.), author of Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper)
Top Customer Reviews
Several people have said, including the two commanding generals of this operation, that next to Iwo Jima, Betio was the most fortified war zone they had ever seen. In fact General Smith said he had never experienced anything in WWI to compare to how the Japanese had fortified the island. The commanding Japanese Admiral Shibasaki, later killed in the battle, expressed his opinion just prior to the battle that "A million men cannot take Tarawa in a hundred years." Several thousand Marines from the 2nd Division at great cost would soon prove the Japanese admiral wrong.
The U.S. Navy bombarded the island prior to the landings, but not as much as the Marine generals would have liked. However, after the battle, it would be seen that no amount of shelling would have been able to destroy the defending Japanese troops, they were just too well fortified. In the end, it took the combined efforts of the U.S. Marines, U.S. Navy, and the air force to take and hold, as Robert Sherrod said, an island no larger than 1 square mile.
I served with the Navy & USMC so this book immediately caught my attention, though I have two others on the subject, also. My opinion after reading this heart rending book is that it very well may be the best of recent times, and may be the best of any future books on the subject. The author has written a very readable book, whereas some books of military subjects are not; and he has built his book not only on individuals that were there, but also on their statements today, 60 plus years after the battle.Read more ›
It's a wonder why Tarawa is not better remembered today. The ferocious three-day battle resulted in nearly as many casualties as SIX MONTHS of fighting on Guadalcanal.
John Wukovits brings the horrors and heroics of Tarawa to a new generation of readers. Like Stephen Ambrose, Wukovits relies on vivid, first-person accounts to describe the harrowing amphibious landing and the vicious, close quarter combat that followed. Wukowits offers up some of the most engaging writing on warfare I've ever encountered, surpassing even Ambrose.
In late 1943, Tarawa was not without its controversies. The high death toll had some people questioning the strategic necessity of taking the atoll as well as the tactics employed in capturing it. TIME correspondent Robert Sherrod wrote a highly acclaimed book about Tarawa in part to rebut criticisms of the campaign and bolster home-front morale. Can you imagine a journalist with such motivations today?
The battle's aftermath also saw Frank Capra direct an Academy Award-winning documentary, using footage shot by Norman Hatch, a cameraman who, like Sherrod, accompanied the Marines in the Tarawa campaign. Both Hatch and Sherrod are central players in Wukowits' excellent book.
So, you'll want to add this to your Tarawa collection, along w/ Alexander's 'Utmost Savagery' for the technical, Hammel's '76 Hours & 'Bloody Tarawa' for the whole story & photos, Wright's 'Hell of a Way to Die' for the cover photo (!) and Sherrod's 'Story of..." for the reporter's view , along with the official Marine/Battery Press 'Battle of Tarawa.' Read about REAL American heroes and the toughest foe America ever fought, & defeated with little outside help!!
Being born and raised in San Antonio, this book is that much closer to my heart as some local heros are featured in great detail. This book was difficult to read at times as it is heartbreaking to see the suffering and sacrifice of so many and for so long. Freedom is not free, but the price for freedom has a name, a face, a family and a legacy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely one of the toughest battles in history presented on a very personal point of view.Published 1 day ago by Cynthia J. Griggs
Hard to understand sacrifice of those engaged in war but this book put an imagery on that battle that was haunting. Read morePublished 2 months ago by RGMiller
Excellent. My Dad was a first sergeant in the 2/8 with Major Crowe, I suppose (with the best info I have). He survived but died of cancer in 1963. Semper Fi.Published 4 months ago by Dan Grigsby
I just finished reading this book for the second time in a month. If you are interested in WWII in the Pacific, then I would highly recommend this book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by EarlSinclair
This book is a riveting hisrory of the Marines at Tarawa. Wukovits provides a totally engrossing experience for the reader. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Herbert Benkel