Read Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle by Bill D. Ross Free Online
Book Title: Peleliu: Tragic Triumph: The Untold Story of the Pacific War's Forgotten Battle|
The author of the book: Bill D. Ross
Edition: Random House
Date of issue: July 20th 1991
ISBN 13: 9780394565880
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 24.27 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1371 times
Reader ratings: 4.9
Read full description of the books:
As a story of humans in combat, this is a decent book. The author goes to great lengths to describe personal accounts of a savage, brutal battle on Peleliu. As a military history and analysis, the book leaves one looking for more. Peleliu is a controversial battle in the Pacific theater of World War II. The 1st Marine Division sustained massive casualties in what can reasonably be argued as an unnecessary amphibious assault. Certainly, the author conveys the brutality and hardships faced by the Marines facing extremely well defended positions but also the harsh climate and unexpected terrain.
However, the description feels superficial with little depth. The reader finds it difficult to keep track of where units were located at any particular time. More and better maps would be very useful to help clarify the progress of the battle. The one map that depicted advances on each day seemed to be out of synch with the descriptions. The terrain played a major role in the Japanese defensive network yet it felt that the description was somewhat cursory. A subtantil amount of the book was taken up in describing earlier 1st Division actions and their "rebuilding" on the island of Pauvuvu. While interesting and portrays another angle of the World War II combat experience, those portions seemed too long.
As for placing the battle in the overall strategic perspective, the author could have done a better job. Again, the discussion seemed somewhat high level and a summary more than a critical analysis. The argument that the invasion was unnecessary was only supported by a couple pages essentially saying because Admiral Halsey suggested so. For the number of casualites that resulted from a poossible mistake, a more in-depth analysis of the decision is necessary. And as strongly as the author criticized the operation, more support for the viewpoint would be helpful.
The author also seems to take serious objection to how the operation was carried out by the division commander MG William Rupertus and a battalion commander LTC Lewis "Chesty" Puller. Criticism of tactics and leadership styles can be warranted in military histories. However, in this volume, the criticism seems to border on personal attacks. The judgement may be justified; the approach taken seemed over the top.
All in all, the book gives a good view of the battle and why it is so controversial. For someone not familiar with the battle, it is a good place to start. More maps, more detailed descriptions, and a better tactical analysis would have made the account more informative.
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