Marines

EMBEDDED: A Marine Corps Adviser Inside the Iraqi Army

Title: EMBEDDED: A Marine Corps Adviser Inside the Iraqi Army
Author: Wesley Gray
Genre: Military, Marine Corps
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1591143403

In 2006, 1st Lt. Wesley Gray was deployed as a U.S. Marine Corps military adviser to an Iraqi Army battalion in the Haditha Triad. For 210 days, he lived and fought beside Iraqi soldiers in the most dangerous and austere province of western Iraq. Al-Anbar was filled with an insurgent population traumatized by a recent massacre of twenty-four men, women, and children shot at close range by U.S. Marines in retaliation for the death of one of their comrades in a roadside bombing. Despite the high tensions created by the shootings, Gray was able to form a bond with the Iraqis because he had an edge that very few U.S. service members possess -the ability to communicate in Iraqi Arabic. His language skills and his understanding of the culture led the Iraqi soldiers to call him a brother and fondly name him Jamal. By the end of his tour he was a legend within the Iraqi Army. Gray draws on the brutally honest and detailed record he kept during his tour, including extensive interviews with Iraqi soldiers and citizens. He offers a comprehensive portrait of the struggles of the Iraqi people to make their country a nation once again and includes a compelling report on the status and prospects of the U.S. government's strategy for success in Iraq.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Gray, Wesley

By Dammit, We're Marines! Veterans' Stories of the Heroism, Horror, and Humor in World War II on the Pacific Front

Title: By Dammit, We're Marines! Veterans' Stories of the Heroism, Horror, and Humor in World War II on the Pacific Front
Author: Gail Chatfield
Genre: Non-Fiction, Anthology
Reviewer: Mike Mullins

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 097790394X

Technology changes with every war, but the universal human experience of combat remains the same. Marines and soldiers from the battlefields of Valley Forge to the streets of Fallujah understand patriotism, fear, death, loneliness, and the humor that helps them through the rough times. By Dammit, We're Marines! is a collection of eye witness accounts by 52 veterans who served on the Pacific Front during World War II. When ordered to secure another Japanese-held island, these Marines grabbed their M-1 rifles, climbed down rope ladders into the waiting landing craft, and hit the beaches. They faced not only an embedded, well-equipped enemy, but also flesh shredding coral reefs, malarial and dengue fever-ridden jungles, mosquito and crocodile-infested swamps, and a noxious moonscape sulfur island. The author's father was one of those Marines who fought on Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima. He died when she was 15 and never shared his wartime stories. Wanting to learn more, Chatfield sought out veterans of those conflicts. Their stories offer a literary archeological dig of sorts into 1940's culture and technology. Body armor was a canvas shirt with a metal covered copy of the Bible in the breast pocket. Camouflage clothing was do-it-yourself burlap suits stippled with Max Factor women's make-up. Cutting edge medicine was sulfa tablets to treat infection and blood plasma shipped in glass bottles to field hospitals. Canvas hammocks stacked 8-10 high served as bunks aboard overcrowded ships. They used salt water soap for salt water baths and were issued OPA tickets, V-mail, C-rations, K-rations, and helmets that served as sinks and saucepans. Creating the safest foxhole took some ingenuity and a few discarded tank parts. Most of the veterans interviewed in this book are Marines, but war is a collaborative effort. Marines were transported by the Navy, relieved by the Army, and most of the time their job was to secure airfields for the Army Air Corps. No story of the Marines would be complete without hearing from those branches of service. Chaplains, corpsmen, sailors, soldiers, and B-29 bomb crews share their stories of serving with the Marines. These veterans offer their stores as a part of our historical record with the hope that battles like Saipan, Bougainville, and Iwo Jima will never happen again

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Chatfield, Gail

Fire Mission:The World of Nam-a Marine's Story

Title: Fire Mission:The World of Nam-a Marine's Story
Author: Earl Gorman
Genre: Non-Fiction, Military, Marines
Reviewer: Andrew Lubin

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0615205941

Award Winning Memoir of a life-changing 2007 adventure back to Vietnam with a medical mission team that weaves in the author's 1965-66 combat experiences as a Marine artillery officer, "who spent too much time with the grunts." Against all odds, he searched for the two Vietnamese friends he had emotionally connected with during the war. Closure for combat veterans is the powerful message that weaves through the inspirational story. A deadly Viet Cong sapper unit attack on his artillery battery as well as episodes from Operation Hastings, the first large scale battle along the DMZ are featured combat stories. Tours of Hue, the Gulf of Tonkin, and the "Hanoi Hilton" prison round out the Annapolis graduate's memoir.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Gorman, Earl

Through the Wheat: U.S. Marines in World War I

Title: Through the Wheat: U.S. Marines in World War I
Author: BrigGen Edwin Simmons (USMC, ret) and Col Joseph Alexander (USMC,ret)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Military, Marines
Reviewer: Andrew Lubin

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1591148316

One of the great defining moments in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps was their participation in World War I. These two highly regarded historians, recount this experience in great detail, capturing the spirit that earned the WWI Marines the sobriquet "Devil dogs," while providing an important combat study of the conflict. Names like Belleau Wood, Soissons, and St. Mihiel still resonate today, nearly a century later, and Simmons and Alexander leave no doubt as to why. Hand-to-hand combat as seen through the lenses of a gas mask is accompanied by cogent analysis and thought-provoking assessments of this war and its impact on the U.S. Marine Corps.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Simmons, Edwin
Alexander, Joseph

Leathernecks: An Illustrated History of the United States Marine Corps

Title: Leathernecks: An Illustrated History of the United States Marine Corps
Authors: Merrill Bartlett & Jack Sweetman
Genre: Non-Fiction, Military
Reviewer: Andrew Lubin

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 159114020X

The authors of the highly regarded history The U.S. Marine Corps have written a new work that combines a lively, well-researched narrative with a generous selection of photographs and paintings, many in full color, and numerous maps to provide an illustrated history of the U.S. Marine Corps from its inception to the present day. The combination of a wealth of art, a substantial text, and a balanced perspective make the work unique in the literature of the Corps. Many of its illustrations have never before been published or have appeared only in black and white. Unlike other histories of the Corps, this one relies heavily on primary sources and original research.

The authors explain how and why a force that throughout the first century of its existence seldom exceeded the strength of an infantry regiment still managed to attain a strength greater than that of many armies, and developed what is arguably the world's most potent military mystique. Because the history of any institution is the product of the actions of the individuals contained within it, the book includes cameos of some of those who made exceptional contributions to the Corps' rich heritage. An introductory chapter outlines the evolution of marine forces from ancient times to the eve of the American Revolution. Neither a rehash of old histories nor a repeat of unsupported sea stories and fictional tales, this new study brings the Corps' history fully up to date.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Sweetman, Jack
Bartlett, Merrill

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