01 Jun 2020

The First Marines on Peleliu

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Robert Leckie, Helmet for my Pillow, 1957:

We were leaving. The battle had been won. Extermination had come to the Japanese ten thousand on Peleliu and my regiment — the First — was licking its wounds on the beach. Of my battalion — a force of some fifteen hundred men — there remained but twenty-eight effectives when the command came for the last assault on that honeycomb of caves and pillboxes which the Japanese had carved into Bloody Nose Ridge — in men and blood and agony the most costly spit of land in the wide Pacific. When the command came, they rose from their holes like shades from sepulchers … and advanced. They could not run, they could barely walk — and they dragged their weapons. But they obeyed and they attacked.

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