TARAWA by Robert Sherrod


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The first eye-witness account -- in book form -- of the terrible landing of the Marines at Tarawa under incessant fire from an enemy incredibly well-entrenched, a battle that will go down in Marine history as the greatest achievement against odds th that even the Marines have compassed. Sherrod was in the Aleutians and the story had been told; he wanted to be in on the next step in the drama of the Pacific war, and soon found himself on route to the mid-Pacific. One gets a telling picture of the carefully detailed, long term planning, culminating in those final days of preparation, the ""dress rehearsal"" on route, the briefing -- and then the grim reality. They had been promised heavy bombing support in advance; but not until the smoke of battle had red away could they see why even such bombing as possible failed to destroy the impregnable Jap defenses. Sherrod came in with the sixth ""wave"" --already sensing something was very wrong -- but not until he was actually sheltered against the pier d he realise to the full what was happening. For a day and a half, backed against the eawall, he filled his notebooks while men were killed, moved down by enemy fire. These notes form the skeleton for this book; the rest is filled in with an attempt to to the reader all the shades of battle, -- the sounds, the smells, the emotional overtones and repercussions, the personalities of the men and the officers in this bloodiest battle Americans have endured in this global war. If the public will read this -- and read Ten Escape from Tofe -- and accept these records as vital towards closing the gap between soldiers and civilians, one purpose will have been served. But it is reading -- make no mistake.

Pub Date: March 8th, 1944
Publisher: Duell, Sloane & Pearce