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Islands of Hell: The U.S. Marines in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945
Synopses & Reviews
In the campaign against Japan in the Pacific during the Second World War, the armed forces of the United States, Australia, andand#160;the Australian colonies of Papua and New Guinea made use of indigenous peoples in new capacities. The United States had long used American Indians as soldiers and scouts in frontier conflicts and in wars with other nations. With the advent of the Navajo Code Talkers in the Pacific theater, Native servicemen were now being employed for contributions that were unique to their Native cultures. In contrast, Australia, Papua, and New Guinea had long attempted to keep indigenous peoples out of the armed forces altogether. With the threat of Japanese invasion, however, they began to bring indigenous peoples into the military as guerilla patrollers, coastwatchers, and regular soldiers.
Defending Whose Country? is a comparative study of the military participation of Papua New Guineans, Yolngu, and Navajos in the Pacific theater. In examining the decisions of state and military leaders to bring indigenous peoples into military service, as well as the decisions of indigenous individuals to serve in the armed forces, Noah Riseman reconsiders the impact of the largely forgotten contributions of indigenous soldiers in the Second World War.
Book News Annotation:
Hammel is a military historian whose accomplishments include preparation of some 40 narrative and pictorial books. In a prefatory note he discusses the changing scope and intensity of the photographic record apparent in this book as the photographers began to share day-to-day experiences with the Marines, acquired their own horrific battle experiences, and learned to face horrors directly. Published to coincide with an HBO TV miniseries "The Pacific," this lavishly produced oversize book (11x12.5") offers a complementary presentation that will appeal to those who enjoy the material experience afforded by ink & paper. The narrative and 567 captioned b&w photos are supported with seven color maps, a bibliography, and an index. This book is engaging on many levels--as history, as tribute, as documentation of what war entails, and as a multifaceted display of what cameras can bring home and preserve. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
By the summer of 1944 the tide had turned in the Pacific War against the Japanese. The war was not nearly over, however, and the U.S. Marines had their heaviest combat in front of them. Here for the first time is a detailed photographic history for the Fighting Leathernecks' fierce combat for the Marianas, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Illustrated with hundreds of never-before-published photographs and supplemented with full-color maps, Islands of Hell is a historical and visual treat.
About the Author
Eric Hammel is a critically acclaimed military historian and author of more than thirty combat and pictorial histories, including the extremely popular Iwo Jima: Portrait of a Battle (Zenith Press 2006). He lives in Northern California.
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History and Social Science » Military » General History