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The Spirit of Semper Fidelis: Reflections from the Bottom of an Old Canteen Cup Hardcover – 2004
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These are the war stories of a remarkable band of Marines who fought their way across the Pacific during WW II. Some were old line professionals but most were wartime warriors still in their teens. The names of the principals have been changed and some of the details of the stories, having been partially obscured by time, are fictionalized. Today's Marines stand tall, and this volume will show how the seed of warfare, nurtured in a band of raggedy assed Marines, fighting across the white sands of hell in the Pacific, grew into a great oak. 400 pp, Photos
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Up front, the author, a Marine, notes that these characters are composites of Marines he has known, but that their stories are real. The book centers on one unit's fighting, suffering and sacrifice in the battles for Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa. It is the most realistic account of that fighting I have yet read. The characters that populate the book represent a very real cross section of America. They are all too human. But more than that, they are Marines. If you want to get a feeling for how brutal and unforgiving fighting was in the Pacific was, read this book. If you want to get a feeling for what these men endured, read this book. If you want to get a feeling for how desperately the Imperial Japanese Army fought, read this book. If you want to understand why President Truman had little choice but to use the atomic bomb, read this book.
Finally, if you want to understand why Eleanor Roosevelt said these words (shown as a Goodreads quotation) "The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!" read this book.
I'll leave you with a snippet. To set the stage, "Chic" Yancey, a young, war weary, Marine with Dengue fever has escaped from Japanese soldiers and is picked up by American soldiers after almost being shot by same, and has been recovering in an Army hospital. An Army chaplain is speaking:
"Well, since you mentioned it, I thought I detected a bit of hostility in him when I referred to him as 'soldier'."
An Army doctor responds, "You know Father, it's kind of strange, but all our Marine patients seem to be a bit sensitive about that. It's almost as though being a Marine is like being a part of a religious order or a cult of some kind. I think they are all a little crazy."
now on last ... all winners
Mahalo Nui Loa from Hawaii to author & helluva a Marine
Marine General Lejeune / luh jern would be proud of Gyrene Rick / Chic Yancy too.
Semper Fidelis & God bless all Leathernecks !
KEEP ATTACKING !!!
OOO RRAH !
And My Mother Danced with Chesty Puller: Adventures of a Marine in the rear, to combat in Vietnam