Consider the following quotation in which he reflects on the companionship between him and his peers.
War is brutish, inglorious, and a terrible waste. Combat leaves an indelible mark on those who are forced to endure it. The only redeeming factors were my comrades' incredible bravery and their devotion to each other. The Marine Corps training taught us to kill efficiently and to try to survive. But it also taught us loyalty to each other -- and love. The esprit de corps sustained us (Sledge 152).
This passage provides a very vital means on interpreting many of the different events discussed within this memoir. It also answers a lot of questions in regards to the author's true esteem for war, which does not appear to be 'necessary' whatsoever. It is worth noting that this passage concludes the manuscript, and delivers a sort of insight and value to the book that the younger Sledge, simply living through experiences, could not possibly have fathomed. The more mature Sledge openly disparages the nature of war in this passage, by labeling it as a "waste." This conception of war is certainly incongruent with the notion that it war is necessary. However, this passage also shows the full extent to which Sledge revers the relationship that he was able to foster with other Marines during this martial encounter. This tact is denoted by...
It is this sort of insight that makes this particular book worth reading -- such insight comes from the more dominant voice of the older Sledge.
It is important to understand that both voices of Sledge's voices -- that as a young soldier and that as an established collegiate professor -- take a certain sense of pride in being a part of the Marines. Yet what the young soldier did not understand or could not fully fathom, the collegiate professor ultimately gives voice to and deconstructs. As such, the dual nature of this particular form of narration cannot be questioned, and is one of the strengths of this particular book. The callow Sledge is needed to supply the raw materials for the fresh, revealing insights of the older Sledge. Ultimately, it is this latter version of the author that guides the book through, denoting which experiences are important and worthy of analysis, and which ones are not. Neither of these voices questions the degree of pride that the author has in the military. They simply present alternate perceptions; those from the older Sledge are substantially more informed than those from the younger Sledge.
Hiatt, Bryan. "With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa." World War II Database. 2005. Web. http://ww2db.com/read.php?read_id=21
Gilbert, Adrian. "With the Old Breed on Pelelui and Okinawa." War Books Review. 2010. Web. http://www.warbooksreview.com/war-books-review/2010/05/with-the-old-breed-on-pelelui-and-okinawa-.html
No author. "Book Review: With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa." www.mobilemojoman.com. 2012. Web.
No author. "The Old Breed Understood That With Privilege Comes Responsibility." www.epinions.com. 2008. Web. http://www.epinions.com/review/Book_With_the_Old_Breed_At_Peleliu_and_Okinawa_E_B_Sledge/content_453451222660?sb=1
Sledge, E.B. With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa. New York: Presidio Press. 2007. Print.
Terkel, Studs. The Good War. New York: The New Press. 1997. Print.
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Sledge was instructed during basic training that if fighting "Japs," he should "kick him [a Japanese soldier] in the balls before he kicks you in yours," and was counseled that knives were especially effective fighting the Japanese because of their underhanded tactics. (18) The Japanese enemies were seen as less ethical and more desperate combatants than the Germans, because of their kamikaze warplane tactics. The idea of the Germans
E.B Sledge starts with his marine training in company K. in the 3D battalion in the 5th regiment of the 1st Marine Division. The memoir is based on two horrific battles which ultimately destroyed the Division. The initial one of these battles was fought at Peleliu. There were over 8769 Americans killed, wounded or missing in action in 10 weeks of battle. Almost the whole enemy garrison on the
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