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With the Old Breed

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“With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa” by E Sledge
[Name of Student]
[Name of Institution]

“With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa” by E Sledge
This book, With the Old Breed, primarily focuses on the warfare experiences of the author E. B. Sledge. The author has become almost a legend after the publication of this book. The reason behind this book’s publication is the fact that, when the author E. Sledge came back from the World War II, he had begun to experience night terrors and horrible dreams about the war. In order to make peace with his experiences of war, Sledge’s family advised him to start writing the memoirs of the war. Sledge used to keep a Bible in his pocket during combat and he had written these memoirs in that Bible. After many years, the author’s family persuaded him to publish these writings too. So, Sledge has published his war experiences by the name, With the Old Breed. In this book, the author has narrated his life, from the time of his admission in the US Marine, till the finish of the Second World War. In this report the overall evaluation and criticism of the book will be presented. The effects of this book on the thinking of general people about warfare and combat will also be analyzed. Major strengths and drawbacks of this book will also be taken into consideration in this report.
About the Book
With the Old Breed was published by Sledge, in the year 1981, as a terrible account of the Second World War experiences; as a Navy man. But this book was introduced to a wider section of audience in the year 1984, when Sledge was interviewed by Studs Terkel for The Good War. The Good War includes planned interviews regarding the Second World War. The Good War helped a great deal in promoting With the Old Breed. The complete narrations of ‘The Pacific’ also rely upon this book. These narrations were published few years back.
Extremely strong and expressive detailing has been provided by the author in his book. Without any surprise, With the Old Breed provides the terrors and dangers of war to its readers at length. Sledge communicated that war is a terrifying and deadly waste of people’s lives. The way in which he has depicted war horrors in his book has made many people across the world to pray for peace and to strive for harmony. Also in this book, there are a lot of grey scale photos of the United States Marine, taken at the places of Okinawa and Peleliu. These photos are really expressive and meaningful. There are pictures of many dead Marines and also of many characters, mentioned in this book. All these pictures have become the highlights of the complete war story.
E. B. Sledge has described that how humans are brutalized by the war. He openly says in his book that all the US Marines deeply hated their Japanese rivals. And in the same way, Japanese also hated US Marines at an extreme level. The author has paid tribute to the courage and valor of his companions, as well as to his Japanese rivals. Readers feel goose bumps, after reading the frantic war scenes in the book.
Sledge has shown a great deal of respect for the older breed of the US Marines and he has also dedicated the title of his book to them. By the term, the Old Breed, the author has pointed those US Marine professionals, who have served their country prior to the Second World War. This old breed has preserved all the customs and discipline of the US Marine. Sledge claimed that all the young recruits of the US Marine have been prepared for the horrifying effects of the Second World War by this old breed. The author also maintains that a great number of Marines were serving as volunteers in the war. These Marines possessed spectacular moral during the war and they have a very firm belief upon their association, despite the fact that, all those Marines severely hated the warfare.
Opinions about the Book
With the Old Breed is a very truthful, sincere, practical and sensible attempt on the devastating Second World War. It conveys the message that whenever there is privilege, there is a responsibility too. There is not a single reflection of tender or untruthful patriotism. Author has not at all tried to glorify the war here. Everything can be seen happening in context to the real and the true world. Here, the war is being displayed in a very plain, real and a cruel way. This book can be called a very intense and a classic one, and it will last for many coming ages.
It is the record breaking and the most sensational writing piece in combat literature. This memoir is a moving history of excitement, courage and valor. Only few books have got the capacity to remain with its readers for a very long period of time, and undoubtedly, With the Old Breed is one of them. Its storyline is indeed very memorable.
The most prominent theme of With the Old Breed is the proud feeling of belongingness to the US Marine. The widespread subject of the book is the horrifying cost of the bloodshed and the warfare. There is no doubt in the patriotism and the dedication of the author E. Sledge towards the US Marine. His Marine service was a heavy responsibility and obviously a privilege for him. There is no dispute in the fact that Sledge was a big enthusiast and he was ever ready to serve and foster the US cause. Yet, Sledge can often be seen, examining the negative features of the combat. This examination is not only in the terminology of counting the total number of soldiers killed, the number of soldiers who are injured or hurt and soldiers who are emotionally damaged or mentally retarded. But this contemplation is also in terms of moral degradation of the soldiers, the dehumanized behavior of the war participants and the emotional, intellectual and the psychological prices, which nations pay after entering into combat and warfare.
The story of E. Sledge has made many people to reconsider the warfare concept and how the nation’s soldiers feel, when they are being sent on any mission. Since the existence of mankind, no one has been able to stop the occurrence of wars. But the books like With the Old Breed, has enabled people to realize that what a silly and senseless thing a war is. (Emden, 2009)
Analysis and Evaluation
According to many critics, this book is among the five best books on the epic battles of the 20th century. If only online reviews are considered, then the book can be presented as a highly acclaimed book. But overall, this book is moving at a very slow pace at many points. The readers would be pretty happy to read, With the Old Breed, but many of them would rate it as an average and reasonable book, and not more than it.
The fact is undeniable that With the Old Breed has a very loyal fan following. But it should also be accepted that there are many drawbacks of the book. One major issue is that the description regarding the positioning of the forces in the war is very lengthy. The explanations are very complicated, long and fascinate the readers only to a mild extent; and not at a higher level.
One another drawback of the book is that the author did not explained at any point, the appeal of the Marine Corps’. Although the US Marines were proved to be very successful in the war, but these successes were actually costly in a remarkable manner. There were a lot of casualties at the places of Peleliu and Okinawa. Many of those casualties were announced as dead after the war. Despite of these large numbers of deaths occurring in the wars, the US Marine is continuously meeting its hiring goals even today. So, if a person doesn’t understand the appeal of the Corps’, then simply, it is not his area of interest.
The entire strength of the story lies in the fact that, how Sledge has explained his personal war experiences and how he became successful to make peace with the memories of the war. The author E. Sledge should also be given the advantage of the fact, that he was not a writer by his profession. Despite this fact, he has tried to present different war scenarios through really sensitive, poetic and stirring interpretations. He has also tried to grab the attention of the readers by scary and frightening scenarios. Whole text of the book is appropriate and approachable. The book also contains many diagrams. These diagrams have helped the cause of the author to some extent and had kept the readers engaged with the book.
The author, E. Sledge is distinctly entitled to convey this kind of book because he was majorly involved in all the features of the war, described by him in his book. Such kind of participation and involvement is very necessary for delivering these sort of war books. He was an eye-witness of all the war destructions. So, all such factors have made his narrations highly acceptable and credible within the general public. Individual experiences are the major concern for Sledge, throughout the book.
This book has explained that war does not only result in killing of millions of people, but it also tries to justify those killings. Wars are dreadful, both for the martyrs and the survivors. So this book is highly recommended to many others, in order to increase their knowledge and wisdom, regarding war and its terrors.
Among all the books written in the memory of the Second World War, With the Old Breed can be called the best amid them. This is the finest piece of writing one could ever read. It is truly a book written by a writer having a golden heart.
Undoubtedly Sledge has inspired and guided the youth; especially the US Marines, through his experiences and various thrills described in the book, With the Old Breed. The little bit of disappointment which readers feel after reading this book, is due to the fact that may be the reader’s level of expectations was very high with this book and the second reason is that this book is dedicated to a certain type of audience and it is not everybody’s cup of tea. The readers who are displeased from this book are probably the wrong sort of audience for the military based literature. It is predicted that the diehard military fans will surely fall in love with the book, With the Old Breed.

Emden, R. v. (2009). The Soldier's War: The Great War Through Veterans' Eyes. Bloomsbury Publishing.…...

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