With the Old Breed

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“With The Old Breed” by Eugene Sledge is a startling account of World War II was based on his memoirs he witnessed as a mortar man with Kilo Company 3/5 on Peleliu and Okinawa. Less popularly know than other battles in the Pacific region, these battles were as bloody and ferocious as any other. Eugene Sledge gives a straightforward approach, illustrating the climate, conditions, and characterizing the morale of the Marines surrounding him fighting the Japanese. Eugene Sledge’s experience with the military began at Marion Military Institute. He later joined the V-12 officer-training program to prepare himself to become an officer in the military. He promptly left the comfortable life of college by leaving the program to enter boot camp at San Diego, California. The Marine Corp Recruit Depot, San Diego, became Sledge’s new home. The training He would receive would eventually save his life in the future. Corporal Doherty, Sledge’s drill instructor, amplified everything it meant to be a Marine and set a positive example for the recruits in his command. He demonstrated the attitude, character, strength, endurance, enthusiasm, experience, and determination of a true professional. He taught his platoon the basics of being a Marine. Weapons handling, shooting, marching, and discipline were emphasized through the entirety of boot camp. Sledge would use the basic Marine Corp knowledge as he furthered his training and preparation for combat at Camp Elliott. Arriving at Camp Elliott, Private First Class Sledge had to make a decision about which weaponry he wanted to be assigned and He would choose 60 mm mortars. A Non Commissioned Officer taught Sledge his entire knowledge of how to effectively operate his weapon, assemble and disassemble, and the knowledge to strike the enemy when the opportunity came. For PFC Sledge, the opportunity came earlier than he could imagine. PFC Sledge’s accounts of the battle are a great illustration to the actual...
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