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Baptised by Fire: Images of Peleliu

Originally published on Published Online: June 01, 2010 
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"We had to be alert constantly as we moved through the thick sniper-infested scrub. We received orders to halt in an open area as I came upon the first enemy dead I had ever seen, a dead Japanese medical corpsman and two riflemen. The medic apparently had been trying to administer aid when he was killed by one of our shells. His medical chest lay open beside him, and the various bandages and medicines were arranged neatly in compartments. The corpsman was on his back, his abdominal cavity laid bare. I stared in horror, shocked at the glistening viscera bespecked with fine coral dust. This can’t have been a human being, I agonized. It looked more like the guts of one of the many rabbits or squirrels I had cleaned on hunting trips as a boy. I felt sick as I stared at the corpses."

2 Responses to “Baptised by Fire: Images of Peleliu”

  1. 1
    jd says:

    An amazing book which reveals why so many vet's don't want to share what they saw, heard and experienced during these engagements. Sledge lays bare the true horrors of war in his haunting account. From the few episodes of the Pacific I've had the opportunity to see, they do a very good job of relating the book and bringing it to the screen. I have been reading the Pacific book which actually details other vet's and their experience also and so far is quite engaging and follows the conflict from Pearl Harbor to the bitter end.

  2. 2
    Michael Boling says:

    I read Sledge's book. I spent 25 years as a Naval Officer and my respect for the Marines of today and yesterday is extremely high. Those heroes of WWII in the Pacific should never be forgotten. Their bravery under fire brings tears to my eyes.

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