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there are not small enemy
on 16 June 2010
This book is something strange for me. It's a good description of the late battles of the Marines in the Pacific islands, Peleliu and Okinawa, but It lacks the naturalness of the language of much novels about the same theme as "The naked and the dead" or "The Red Thin Line".
Good, this is a biography, not fiction. In that sense I feel some cold and distance in the telling of the story, no doubt terrible, but the author perhaps deliberately doesn't trespass a degree of strange correction in his language, perhaps because he lived the war, but he doesn't seems to be a so professional writer as some novelists. So, for me the descriptions are some tasteless and there resides the terrible truth of the book, because one can see the cruelty of war no matter that obstacle.
And perhaps one can see slightly the USA Army thought the Japanese should be a feeble enemy as Indians, Apaches or Sioux. I think one of the main errors of the Americans was these, as the author practically tell us at beginning he didn't knew what to expect.
And every country in the World older tan the USA knows well what to expect from any war from centuries; these are the things the protagonist ignore at beginning: hate, horror, diseases and death, because nobody told him about all these. Sledge has to discover all that as a novelty. Japanese Army was a hard, intelligent and modern enemy imposing constant surveillance including prolonged lack of sleep, hunger, dirt and extreme mental and physical fatigue. Japan wasn't so powerful as the USA, but still so, I think was wrongly underestimated. American soldiers had all class of weaponry, but mentally it seems the Japanese were stronger. This fact was probably the cause of many errors and sufferance of the American Marines in a very hostile area owing not only to the enemy soldiers, but for the tropical scenario, diseases, dangerous fauna and extreme heath.