Battleground Pacific: A Marine Rifleman’s Combat Odyssey in K/3/5
Semper Fi. Sterling Mace is, as nearly as I can figure, in his eighty-ninth year. He has, with the help of Nick Allen, given us a truly scarifying account of his Pacific war as a Marine. Peleliu, Pavuvu, Ngesebus, Okinawa. Thirst, fright, determination, the horror and grief of lost friends, the inevitable confusion of battle on the ground. This recalling of the rocks, the vegetation just in front whilst unseen enemy are trying to kill you, is vivid and unforgettable.
Battleground is the best picture of an individual rifleman’s experience on line I have ever read. But what was hard for even a Marine vet of Vietnam to realize was the protracted exposure to death and misery those Marines endured during the Pacific campaign. They were not supported by helicopters, they had no medevac flights; no “tours,” but were there for the whole war! You could die shaking in agony from a wound that precluded even crawling to the rear and to help.
Personnel details herein are meticulous, evidence of some serious researching. Mace’s growing up in New York and his emotional linkage with so many of his fellow marines is drawn with exemplary craftsmanship.
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