Firstly, it is necessary to outline that it is difficult to describe “With the Old Breed” by Sledge, because the book is too analytical and controversial. The book is, certainly, the memoirs of the author from the World War II. The book is descriptive and filled with detailed overview pf the subject in question meaning that the book presents all horrible even and difficulties of war without wrapping them up in general emotionless phrases. The author suggests that “to orient the reader to the larger war that raged around me and to be sure I had the names and places right”.
The author admits that the book is personal account of experienced combat, his being an infantryman in mortar team. Actually, “With the Old Breed” presents a stirring account of bravery and courage of the Marines in the battles of Okinawa and Peleliu. The memoir begins with admitting that the author, like many other of his generation, wad “prompted by a deep feeling of uneasiness that the war might be over before [he] could get overseas into combat”. In the result Sledge joined the Marines and appeared in Atlanta.
Author’s descriptions of war are vivid and make reads think about sense of life and war in particular. For example, the author portrays flies feasting over the soldiers’ corpses, his “admission of being ordered to dig a fox hole in a particular spot on Okinawa” as well as burials of Japanese soldiers. The book is filled with many awful revelations: the author says he was ordered to dig through corpses and to continue digging until he accomplishes the task.
Therefore, the war is presented as ruthless and unnecessary events in the world. Other awful examples are provided to amplify author’s descriptions and details. It goes without saying that author doesn’t glory war and combat. Furthermore, he wins no medals, though he wins respect of his fellows. The author can’t be characterized by patriotism, youthful courage and idealism. Therefore, the book is surely a struggle for survival.
Sledge, E. B. (2004). With the Old Breed: at Peleliu and Okinawa. New York: Bruce and Co.