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Author: Subject: The Pacific

Maximum Peach





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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 08:40 AM
Anyone watch last night? I thought they did a pretty good job with it. I was anxious to see who they would get to play Col. “Chesty” Puller. Puller might be one of the finest battlefield commanders of which many have never heard. In the book, I’m Staying with My Boys about John Basilone, he says that he would be happy if he could be half the Marine Puller is. Don’t know if they will depict in the this series, but Puller’s leadership at Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal (and other places) was insane. He would light his pipe in the middle of the night to draw Japanese fire and expose the Japanese positions. His Marines would follow him to hell and back, and they did. Although a high ranking officer, he was cut more from the NCO cloth. He was also famous for being in horrible situations where his Marines were severely outnumbered (Guadalcanal and later in Korea at Chosin), and he would give them the old speech like, “We’re surrounded on the east, west, north and south, which way to do you want to attack them?!” His Marines loved him because he was an ordinary guy who went to battle with them, unlike some of the generals and colonels who would stay behind the lines.

I’m also excited to see Eugene Sledge’s story depicted. I highly recommend his book too, With the Old Breed, it’s his memoir. He is an 18 year old frontline mortar man with the USMC on Pelilu and Okinawa and sees unspeakable horrors. He also transforms from an innocent boy into a fierce warrior. In his book, they call him Sledgehammer. He is the one last night whose father is the physician that won’t let him join the war effort because he has a heart murmur, but really is concerned about his son’s mental well being. I think his book may be one of my favorite books actually.

 
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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 08:48 AM
Saw it and liked it.

Thought they did a good job, even though it was the first episode.

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 11:22 AM
I expected it to be good, following in the "Band of Brothers" tradition - and it was. Looking forward to the future episodes.

I had an uncle who fought in the Pacific during WWII. When he passed away many years ago I took a picture he always kept in his garage. thumb-tacked to the wall. It was a group shot of the guys he went through basic training with in 1941. He had long ago placed a little "x" over the guys who didn't make it back. About half of them are x'd. I had it framed, and placed his dog tags in there, to honor him and serve as a constant reminder in my home of the sacrifices these guys made for us.

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 11:27 AM
quote:
I expected it to be good, following in the "Band of Brothers" tradition - and it was. Looking forward to the future episodes.

I had an uncle who fought in the Pacific during WWII. When he passed away many years ago I took a picture he always kept in his garage. thumb-tacked to the wall. It was a group shot of the guys he went through basic training with in 1941. He had long ago placed a little "x" over the guys who didn't make it back. About half of them are x'd. I had it framed, and placed his dog tags in there, to honor him and serve as a constant reminder in my home of the sacrifices these guys made for us.


That's a cool tribute to your uncle, Fuji. I had also had an uncle who fought in WWII. He brought back a Japanese rifle and gave it to me when I was about 13. I didn't really have an interest in it then, and at some point my mother asked me if it was OK if my other uncle had it. I said fine, and that's the last I've seen of it. I imagine it is still at my aunt's house. I'm going to check on it when I'm home this summer. I'd like to have it now.

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 11:30 AM
I don't have access to a TV right now, so I didn't get to see this. I'd like to, though. That is a huge part of our history and our national heritage. The Nazis were not unlike the Mongol hordes in wanting to dominate the entire world, and just as barbaric. We, along with some other nations, stopped them. We should never forget that, or the men who saved the world.

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 11:54 AM
I thought the first episode was excellent and I am really looking forward to the rest of the series.

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 12:12 PM
quote:
Anyone watch last night? I thought they did a pretty good job with it. I was anxious to see who they would get to play Col. “Chesty” Puller. Puller might be one of the finest battlefield commanders of which many have never heard. In the book, I’m Staying with My Boys about John Basilone, he says that he would be happy if he could be half the Marine Puller is. Don’t know if they will depict in the this series, but Puller’s leadership at Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal (and other places) was insane. He would light his pipe in the middle of the night to draw Japanese fire and expose the Japanese positions. His Marines would follow him to hell and back, and they did. Although a high ranking officer, he was cut more from the NCO cloth. He was also famous for being in horrible situations where his Marines were severely outnumbered (Guadalcanal and later in Korea at Chosin), and he would give them the old speech like, “We’re surrounded on the east, west, north and south, which way to do you want to attack them?!” His Marines loved him because he was an ordinary guy who went to battle with them, unlike some of the generals and colonels who would stay behind the lines.

I’m also excited to see Eugene Sledge’s story depicted. I highly recommend his book too, With the Old Breed, it’s his memoir. He is an 18 year old frontline mortar man with the USMC on Pelilu and Okinawa and sees unspeakable horrors. He also transforms from an innocent boy into a fierce warrior. In his book, they call him Sledgehammer. He is the one last night whose father is the physician that won’t let him join the war effort because he has a heart murmur, but really is concerned about his son’s mental well being. I think his book may be one of my favorite books actually.



At your recommendation Jim, I just got With the Old Breed out of the library. I'm just finishing up his time in basic training. The way it's written, you can just tell he has alot to tell and wants the preliminaries out of the way.

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 12:32 PM
quote:
At your recommendation Jim, I just got With the Old Breed out of the library. I'm just finishing up his time in basic training. The way it's written, you can just tell he has alot to tell and wants the preliminaries out of the way.


I know I keep harping on it, but Sledge’s memoir is the best (or worst), most horrifying, unromantic account of war I have ever read. If he were able to somehow get smell into the book, you might think you were in the fighting hole with him. The beginning where he discusses their training is very telling too. I think it’s in that book where his USMC instructors tell them that American boys are taught to fight fair, but when they get into hand to hand with the Japanese, they better be prepared to cheat, i.e. kick them in the balls first, then do what you have to do. Essentially, always cheat, always win. It would turn out to be very solid advice.

With regard to Fugi’s post, my wife’s grandfather, who is now almost 87, was on Saipan and was showing us a photo album last summer from his time in the Pacific. He had great shots of things like the Enola Gay, some photos of “leave”, which were pretty funny, but the thing that stuck with me was that in every photo, he would say, “Oh, there’s Fred, he didn’t come home. There is Bob, he didn’t make it back. There is John, he didn’t make it home.”

SCB, if the Nazi’s were the Mongol hordes (good analogy, I agree), then I don’t even know what the Japanese would be compared to. They actually did a good historical bit in the beginning, and showed how after Pearl Harbor, Japan was dominating the entire Pacific and was closing in on Australia. If Australia fell, then the supply lines from the U.S. would be f’ed. It is amazing how much territory they controlled by 1941. They had also never lost a war in about 1000 years.

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 12:41 PM
I should have mentioned the Japanese when I mentioned the Nazi, jim. You're right. They were even worse. Had those brave men not did what they did, we wouldn't be doing what we are doing right now.

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 01:45 PM
My dad was on a carrier when the japs attacked Pearl Harbor. He was 18. I was born when he was 42 years old. I have a Japanese flag taken from a sinking destroyer at Leyte Gulf. It has all sorts of writing, burn marks and bullet holes. I remember looking through my dad's photo albums with him and it was the only time I ever seen him cry.

He was killed while riding his Harley at the ripe ol age of 61. Lost control and slid underneath the trailer of a semi-truck on I-10 in San Berdoo, Calif. I was in prison at the time. I am of the belief that they were the greatest generation EVER. If that would of all happened in the 60's than we'd be speaking Japanese or German.

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 06:27 PM
I thought it was great. I think they laid the groundwork for many of the stories of the men in upcoming episodes. They also gave the viewere a taste of the fighting. What was interesting is that they were showing it as the soldiers experienced it - the first taste of fighting the Japanese that they, the soldiers, had.

I find the whole story of the Pacific theater of war simply amazing - especially the stories of Iwo Jima and Wake Island.


Mike

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 07:36 PM
Only the first episode, but I thought they did a fantastic job so far.
Very eager for this series to progress.

quote:
Sledge’s memoir is the best (or worst), most horrifying, unromantic account of war I have ever read.


I have to agree. One of the most powerful books I have ever read.

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 09:50 PM
Watched it again today. Even read up on the the action at Alligator Creek. It was portrayed very accurately. I can't wait for part 2!

 

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  posted on 3/15/2010 at 10:37 PM
If we could have only gotten the Germans and the Japanese to fight one another, then far fewer US soldiers would have been lost.




Mike

 

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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 07:42 AM
quote:
If we could have only gotten the Germans and the Japanese to fight one another, then far fewer US soldiers would have been lost.


I was thinking last night that with all of the territory Japan and Germany controlled, what would have happened to the German/Japanese alliance if the Allies lost? Would Japan and Germany then have turned on each other in order to see who would dominate the world? They were both ambitious (understatement).

 

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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 09:26 AM
This sort of scares me about the younger generation, or is it the general population too?

The Chicago Tribune's Ron Grossman writes:

I took a quick survey in the newsroom the other day, something between a Rorschach test and a pop quiz, asking younger colleagues to identify an iconic photograph of World War II.

While some instantly recognized the image, others couldn't quite place it.

"I know I ought to know it," one co-worker said. "It was in the movie, 'Flags of Our Fathers.'" Some, seeing uniforms, realized it must be a war photo. Maybe Vietnam? One got the era right but the battlefield wrong. She guessed it was D-Day, not, as it was, the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima.




 

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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 10:09 AM
quote:
Is The Pacific based on one of his books, or some other author's?



Multiple books including With The Old Breed and I’m Staying With My Boys, and also another book called Helmet for My Pillow I believe. I think there may be another book too that it is based on. I have read the first two and they are great. Helmet for My Pillow was written by Bob Leckie who is the Marine they portrayed that put that one Japanese soldier out of his misery with his sidearm while the other Marines were effectively just f’ing with him by shooting him in the arms and legs. That scene was pretty insane, and is only a taste of the savagery to come, at least according to the books.

 

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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 10:35 AM
My father was in the Navy Air Corp in WWII. He flew the Navy's version of the B-24 Liberator bomber which was modified for transporting supplies and called the C-87. So his job was flying into an island with supplies after the air field (or what passed for an air field) was secured. usually the battle for the island was still raging at this point. The one time he did talk about it he said that aircraft was a big and easy target to take down and as it turns out he was shot down after completing a supply drop and then 5 days later rescued by an Australian patrol boat. He said the Australian officer on the boat kept telling him don't worry about it, just relax and recover for a while and they kept him on the boat for 3 months before reporting him as rescued to the US Navy officials. They turned him back over to the US Navy and he was reassigned to a C-26 transport that was more of a support roll and not flying right into the heart of the battle.

 

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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 10:38 AM
Peachy, do you know who was building those make shift airfields?

Navy Seabees.

 

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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 10:48 AM
quote:
Peachy, do you know who was building those make shift airfields?

Navy Seabees.


Yes that group had and still has some of the finest trained civil and construction engineers in the world.

 

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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 11:08 AM
quote:
quote:
Peachy, do you know who was building those make shift airfields?

Navy Seabees.


Yes that group had and still has some of the finest trained civil and construction engineers in the world.


They also go through Marine training at Camp Pendleton. They can build, and they can fight. My father was in the Seabees at the end of his career. He went through the training at Camp Pendleton when he was in his 30s.

 

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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 11:22 AM
Don't have HBO but I look forward to viewing this on video. I think these guys did a great job with Band of Brothers.

 

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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 11:42 AM
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Looking forward to the release of this series on dvd as I do not have HBO. I am a fan of Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, and WWII history in general. I've read many of the late Stephen Ambrose's books. Is The Pacific based on one of his books, or some other author's?



I enjoy WWII history as well. When I was a kid, my Dad and I did not have much in common, I loved sports and he did not, but one of things he got me involved in was old movies. We grew closer together watching and talking about James Cagney, and other actors from the 30s 40s and 50s. I watched many WWII movies with him, "Sands of Iwo Jima" "Gudalcanal Diary" "Great Escape" "Dirty Dozen" "Longest Day" ect and so forth. I even saw the old newsreel types films like "Victory at Sea" and stuff like that. At times it seems like that was the only interest we had in common. He was a Korean War vet and introduced me to some of his WWII buddies in the VFW. Heard some great stories from those men. He passed away back in the 90s, but watching these films and newer ones like "Private Ryan and "Flags of Our Fathers" with my son kind of brings it full circle. Looking forward to seeing more from this series.

 

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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 08:18 AM
I saw the first episode and can't wait for the second. What a great program!

 

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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 08:33 AM
I need to rewatch the first episode again to remember who's who, etc.

I really like what I saw so far.

 

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