Sixth Marine Division
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Books by Others About the Sixth Division, the Marines, and World War II

Featured Book: With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene B. Sledge

    With the Old Breed is a highly acclaimed first person account of the fighting at Pelelieu and Okinawa. An Alabama boy steeped in American history, Eugene B. Sledge enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1943 and became part of the First Marine Division. After intense training, he was thrown into the battle of Peleliu, where “the world was a nightmare of flashes, explosions, and snapping bullets.” By the time Sledge landed on Okinawa, he was a combat vet, still filled with fear but no longer with panic. Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures the experience of a Marine in the hell that was the Pacific Theater.

    Here's what Ken Burns says: “In all the literature on the Second World War, there is not a more honest, realistic or moving memoir than Eugene Sledge’s. This is the real deal, the real war: unvarnished, brutal, without a shred of sentimentality or false patriotism, a profound primer on what it actually was like to be in that war."

More Books

Stay off the Skyline: The Sixth Marine Division on Okinawa: An Oral History
by Laura Lacey

The sights, sounds, smell and taste of the Battle of Okinawa, from the men who fought it. Sixth Marine Division Historian Laura Lacey, captures the stories of the Sixth Division Marines who were there. This book is not always easy to read, but it's a fascinating portrayal of a fierce battle that, as Lacey points out, has not received the attention from historians that it warrants.

The War in the Pacific: Okinawa: The Last Battle (United States Army in World War II)
by Roy E. Appleman, James M. Burns,
Russell A. Gugler and John Stevens

Published in 1947, this is one of the Army's "Green Book" series. A very detailed study of the battle of Okinawa, it concentrates on the land battles of the Army and the Marines. Geared for military historians.

Okinawa: Victory in the Pacific
by Major Chas. S. Nichols Jr., USMC,
and Henry I. Shaw Jr.

Fifteenth in a series of operational monographs prepared by the Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps, designed to give the military student and casual reader an accurate and detailed account of the operations of the Marines in World War II. The book reviews the planning, preparation and execution of the war by the Marine Corps. It includes an excellent set of maps as well as a chronology of the battle, command and staff list, org chart and plenty of photos. Published in 1955.

The Old Breed: A History of the First Marine Division in World War II
by George McMillan

A riveting account of the war in the Pacific from a front-line Marine in the First Marine Division.

The Final Campaign: Marines in the Victory on Okinawa
by Col Joseph H. Alexander USMC (Ret)

One Marine's story of the invasion of Okinawa. Colonel Alexander, USMC (Ret), served 29 years on active duty as an assault amphibian officer, including two tours in Vietnam and service as Chief of Staff, Third Marine Division, in the Western Pacific. He is a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College and holds degrees in history from North Carolina, Jacksonville, and Georgetown.

Inferno: The Fall of Japan
by Ronald Henkoff

If you had asked a cheering 6th Division Marine on Guam, when the Pacific version of WWII was pronounced over in August of 1945, if he thought dropping a couple of atomic bombs to achieve that effect was immoral, he would have thought you were crazy.

It took years for that position to become popular among certain armchair Americans. This book does not take sides, but it does a good job of telling the story of the bombs from beginning to end. If that cheering Marine is still alive, odds are that he is still glad that he didn't have to go on to Japan the hard way. That is not even considering that the effort for Japan's total capitulation might have failed on a Kyushu beach.

As it was, when the new 4th Marines came ashore loaded for bear later that month, they were greeted by the first polite Japanese they had ever seen.

Looking for Eddie
by Norm Schroeder

In 1945, Cpl Edward J. Couchon Jr. of the Sixth Marine Division (22nd Mar-1-C) won the Silver Star and was killed in action on Okinawa. Fifty years later, barely anyone remembered who he was. Norm Schroeder, former Marine, FBI director, and state prosecutor -- and son of one of Cpl Couchon's best friends -- decides to do something about this. His book takes us along on his challenging search for information about Eddie, from his childhood to his heroics on Okinawa. This includes tracking down and interviewing Sixth Division Marines, Andy Sinatra and Bob Mitchell, who knew Cpl Couchon.

Sgt A.F. "Kelly" Murray USMC, A Hoosier Hibernian in the Great Pacific War
by Kevin Charles Murray

The story of Sgt A.F. Murray, Sixth Division Marine -- from San Diego to Okinawa to Tsingtao, to back home in Indiana -- told from letters and photos that his son, Kevin, found in his sea bag after he died in 1978.