Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bloody Beaches by Delano Stagg WWII Paperback Novel

I really do love these 50's pulp fiction paperbacks that deal with the Marines and WWII. This is a great example I came across called Marines Die Hard: Bloody Beaches by Delano Stagg ( Most likely a pen name). First the artwork is fantastic and dramatic, it still makes one want to pick up the book and read it. I would love to have a poster of this. And just in case you don't realize it is a booked filled with drama, at the very bottom it states "A Dramatic War Novel." This is high art if you ask me, I really need to pick up a copy for 35 Cents!


  1. Hello. I just ordered a used copy of this novel on I'm looking forward to reading it. Years ago, I read Stagg's other WW2 novel 'The Glory Jumpers' (1961) which was about a squad of US paratroopers who parachute into Normandy on the night before D-Day in June 1944, tasked with securing a vital bridge in a small village until troops from nearby Omaha Beach can relieve them. I enjoyed that novel when I read it a number of years ago and I when I saw this blog, I dug it out and re-read it.
    I thought that 'Glory Jumpers' was authentic- it was realistic and the battle scenes were convincing. The scenario in the novel was similar to the final scenes in the movie 'Saving Private Ryan'- an outnumbered, unsupported group of infantry defending a village but I thought Stagg's novel was more believable. In the novel, the majority of the squad's losses are caused by artillery fire- which reflects the reality of the Normandy campaign. And, unlike in too many war films, not every man is a sniper-trained, expert marksman who can drop an enemy soldier with every round. In the novel, one of the squad becomes fixated on a German officer riding atop a Panzer and keeps emptying his M1 at him but without result.
    Delano Stagg, as you rightly guessed, was a pen name. It was actually a pseudonym for a pair of writers- Mel R Sabre and Paul Eiden, both of whom served in WW2. Those men provided many short-stories for the so-called 'Men's Magazines' of the 1950s & early 60s with plenty of hard-boiled action, murder and sex.
    When 'Bloody Beaches' arrives, I'll let u know what I think.
    Cheers, Pete.

  2. Wow! Thank you for the background on these awesome books! Stagg is such an awesome Pen name! lol That is some incredible an difficult information you posted, great to know a little more about these books and that they wrote other ones as well. Please let us know about the book when you finish reading it and thank you for taking the time to comment. Cheers! Leonardo

  3. Hi Leonardo,
    No worries! I'm still waiting for my copy of Bloody Beaches to arrive in the mail but packages can take a while to reach Australia.
    If you are interested, other examples of forgotten WW2 novels that I have located include:

    'Spearhead!' (1957)- by Franklin M Davis, written by a former Colonel who served in the US army in WW2 & Korea, a novel about the 3rd Armoured Division in the race to the Rhine in 1945.

    'Brave Company' (1950) by Guthrie Wilson, a New Zealand novelist and school-teacher, this novel was based on his own experiences serving with a New Zealand infantry company in Italy in 1944.

    'Hit the Beach!' (1960) by Arthur A Ageton, a novel about an LST crew in the Pacific Campaign, written by a former LST commander and executive officer on the Battleship USS Washington in WW2.

    'Side-Show' (1962)- by Gerard Bell, a novel about a British infantry company blocking the escape route of retreating Japanese in Burma in 1944.

    'The Cauldron' (1962) by Zeno. This novel is about a company of British paratroopers in the 1st Airborne Division during the Battle for Arnhem in September 1944, based on the author's own experiences. 'Zeno' was the pen-name for British writer Gerald Lamarque who served in WW2 under anoher assumed name, Kenneth Allerton because he had been convicted of petty crimes before the war. Lamarque wrote the novel while serving time in prison for the murder of his wife's lover in 1958. Although Allerton died in 1978, his true identity did not come to light until recently.

    'Ragged Regiment' (1982) by George Marion, a gem of a novel about an under-qualified infantry company assigned to hold a vital sector during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944.

    'A Walk in the Sun' (1944) by Harry Brown, a novel about a GI platoon taking part in the first day of the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. This novel was much praised when it was first published and a film version was made the following year. But it has been unfairly forgotten since. The novel's style is very much of its time, heavily influenced by Hemingway, but its a terrific little novel.

    'The Last Blue Sea' (1955) by David Forrest (the pen-name for Australian writer & journalist David Denholm). The best (and most under-rated) Australian war novel ever written, it has been out of print for about 30 years. A novel about Australian infantry in New Guinea in 1943.

    'The Last Dogfight' (1974) by Martin Caidin. A novel about a USAAF fighter squadron and its battles with a Japanese fighter unit on a secret base in the Pacific in 1945.

    'Tiger Ten' (1976) by William D Blankenship- a novel about the AVG 'Flying Tigers' in China & Burma in 1942. Film rights for the novel were sold to Paramount pictures in 1977 but the film was never made.