Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Minimal cover, corner, and edge wear. Pages are clean. Bottom corner of book was bumped causing light creasing otherwise VG. Satisfaction guaranteed. Ships direct from Amazon!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Red Blood, Black Sand: Fighting Alongside John Basilone from Boot Camp to Iwo Jima Hardcover – May 1, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 185 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$7.49 $4.20

Marine! The Life of Chesty Puller by Burke Davis
The classic work of Burke Davis. Learn more | See related books
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews


“In my judgment no combat veteran’s memoir is better…and only a handful are equal.”-- Stephen E. Ambrose

"Chuck Tatum was there, a participant in and a witness to history. If it is possible to answer the question, 'What was it like?', he tells you in this book." -- Tom Hanks

About the Author

Chuck Tatum is a WWII Marine who trained under legendary Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone and fought with him on Iwo Jima. There, Chuck received the Bronze Star for firing a machine gun from the hip while single-handedly covering the retrieval of two wounded comrades. Red Blood, Black Sand is one of four credited sources upon which the HBO mini-series The Pacific is based. Now eighty-three years old, Chuck sees this book as his final act of service, so readers will never forget the heroes he watched fight, live, and die on “the island that God forgot and gave to the Devil.”

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425247406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425247402
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
Read more ›
1 Comment 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
They've been making movies about Iwo Jima for decades but until you read this book, it's difficult to understand the carnage on both sides that occurred. Even as an ex-Marine, the first-hand accounts were pretty shocking.
1 Comment 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
HBO's epic mini-series "The Pacific" was magnificent in presenting a graphic and compelling presentation of the American experience in the Pacific theatre, but its broad perspective didn't generate the individual celebrity status that "Band of Brothers (BoB)" bestowed upon the men of Easy Company. I found the biggest difference between these two spectacular programs to be their sources. While "BoB" is derived from historian Stephen Ambrose's book about a particular combat unit, "The Pacific" is based on a trio of well-written memoirs from actual combatants. Charles Tatum's RED BLOOD BLACK SAND rightfully earns its place alongside Eugene Sledge's "With the Old Breed" and Robert Leckie's "Helmet for My Pillow" as an unforgettable must-read that bluntly depicts the horrific combat that US Marines faced in World War II.

Leckie was a natural writer that wrote his book, almost dutifully, following the war. Sledge wrote his book decades later as a cathartic release of painful memories. Charles Tatum's purpose seems to be a simple desire to document a first-hand account of surviving the hell of Iwo Jima ... a voice for the dwindling number of survivors still alive to tell the story. Like Sledge and Leckie, Tatum's perspective is that of the "grunt" ... the enlisted man that bore the brunt of extracting the fanatical Japanese from the island fortresses that dotted the Pacific Ocean.

Rather than a simple recollection of particularly blood battle, RED BLOOD BLACK SAND gives readers an idea of what lay ahead for teenaged American boys following the attack on Pearl Harbor ... enlisting, training and a trip to either Europe or the Pacific.
Read more ›
Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Tatum is another of the men represented in the TV series `The Pacific'. While his depiction there is quite limited, he was part of the small group of men that Medal of Honor winner John Basilone comman-deered to force a way off the beach when the landing on Iwo Jima had stalled. His story here covers his Iwo Jima experiences in considerable detail as a member of B/1/27 of the 5th Marine Division.

The author was a very keen volunteer for the Marines, joining up in the middle of 1943. He writes in great detail of his training and the other experiences he had as a young man venturing into a dangerous world. He likes the marines and Basilone is his hero and he is extremely excited when he is posted to the newly forming 5th Marine Division and finds that Basilone will be in his regiment. He meets him early on and writes in some detail of Basilone's attention to detail and professionalism as a fighter. He then goes into great detail on the landing on Iwo Jima and his part in Basilone's fighting group. He then witnesses his death and writes quite a bit about the impact this had on himself and others. This section gives a lot of information for those interested in this marine hero.

The bulk of the book then covers Tatum's extensive combat on Iwo Jima. He is a machine-gunner and is in the front line - such as that existed. Japanese shelling was intense and Tatum was in a constant state of action and tension. He fires on the enemy and is very much at the sharp end. This continues for fourteen days until Tatum is sent back with exhaustion. Tatum writes a day by day account of his experiences and it is very detailed. There is a lot on the awfulness of the fighting but also a lot on his comrades.
Read more ›
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews