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US Marine Corps in the Second World War...


...more Images of War from Pen and Sword


Title: US Marine Corps in the Second World War

Author: Michael Green

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 978-1-52670-250-0

There is no let up in the regular release of new titles in the very popular Images of war series from Pen and Sword, and this marks another in the series from author Michael Green.  This one illustrates the growth of the US Marines in WW2, the start really of the major organisation that it is today.  Marines were originally small units of troops assigned to major warships, just as they were in the Royal Navy.  It rather changed in WW2 partly due to the need for a trained amphibious force to take on the island hopping campaign across the Pacific.

As is common to other of Michael's books in the series, each of the 4 main chapters are started with pages of knowledgeable text which provide the background story to the section.  These are then followed by the appropriate selection of archive photos, which all have informative captions which help add to the story.  As well as the chronological story of the war we get descriptions of the weaponry they used, along with organisation, tactics and doctrine.  From the earliest days of the Pearl Harbour attack it goes on in chapter 1 to deal with Wake Island, The Philippines, Guadalcanal and more.  For chapter 2 we get to Early Central Pacific Battles, the Gilberts and the Marshall Islands.  In the photos we see the large number of Am Tracs that were used, along with the Japanese defences that the Marines had to face.

In chapter 3, Getting Ever Closer.  This meant that objectives were now close enough to Japan that bases for bombers could be built, capable of reaching the Japanese home islands.  Here we get to Saipan, Tinian and Guam.  In chapter 4 we get to The Last Few Battles.  These include Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.  We see more tanks, both American and Japanese and as with the rest of the chapters, we see the saddest images of large numbers of dead, especially those of Japanese troops who would often charge the marines with huge loss of life, let alone the many American casualties.

The island hopping campaign conducted by the US Marines was a unique military campaign in WW2, one which led to the large organisation of the US Marines that remains in place to this day.  An excellent addition to the Images of War series and one that will interest anyone, historian and modeller alike, who has an interest in the PTO (Pacific Theatre of Operation) during WW2.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.


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