Monday, July 8, 2013

The US Marines on Iwo Jima By Five Marine Combat Writers Book

Last night I finally finished reading The US Marines on Iwo Jima By 5 Marine Combat Writers. One of the first books written about the battle and published in 1945 by The Infantry Press. I originally bought it as a collectable but after reading it I feel this is one of the finest books about the battle. It reads more like a extended news magazine article as opposed to a academic study or novel. Although over 68 years old the book still has a freshness to it that belies its age. Having read many Iwo Jima books it doesn't appear to many modern books have used it in its bibliography, which is a shame as the book offers so much "new" rediscovered information. For example one aspect I have been looking for more info on is how the Beaches were managed during the invasion. A few pages are devoted to this very subject and was a revelation to me while reading it. The Tank battle at the end of one of the Motoyama runway with Japanese gun placements is an incredible read that I haven't read anywhere else. I double checked many of the names with the USMC Rosters online and indeed many of the people mentioned and quoted in the Battle check against it. Sadly many of the Marines that were quoted were later killed in the battle. Even the mention of the heroic "Colored" African American DUWK landing crews was very forward thinking and the mention of the two flag raising on Surabachi makes light of the fact the the first flag raising wasn't as unknown as I previously thought. Yes this book is nearly 70 years old but it is one of the best and very contemporary accounts of the battle.
Here is an interesting copy of the Hardcover edition of the book.

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