Islands of the Damned by R.V. Burgin


The ranks of surviving WWII veterans are thinning rapidly and I believe it's imperative that the stories of these men and women who served are told and preserved. This book features one of those stories.

R.V. Burgin, who enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942, has published a harrowing narrative describing his wartime experiences during the brutal Pacific War. Burgin is known as the sergeant of fellow Marine Eugene "Sledgehammer" Sledge, who gained fame for his previously published wartime classic With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa that was the basis for the HBO series The Pacific. Actor Martin McCann portrays Burgin in the miniseries.

But enough about portrayals--Burgin's voice is that of a seasoned combat veteran who rose through the ranks to become a sergeant of a mortar section on Okinawa, where he earned a Bronze Star for valor. Bergin also participated in the assaults on New Britain and bloody Peleliu, amongst other landings as a member of the First Marine Division.

As a historical document, the author's frankness lends credibility to events that Eugene Sledge had previously written about in "With the Old Breed." Burgin unapologetically describes the event of killing his first Japanese soldier by simply stating "He didn't get me. I got him." This is that kind of book. Personal. Brutal. Honest. Compelling. Plus, it's one heck of an exciting story. Burgin's account of the Peleliu landing and subsequent slaughter is a solid testament to every serviceman who set foot on that island.

To read an earlier review of With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa click here.

Submitted by Dan@Central

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This page contains a single entry by Dan K. published on November 26, 2011 8:35 AM.

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