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A Few Good Men: A History of the Fighting Fifth Marines

A Few Good Men: A History of the Fighting Fifth Marines
Autor: Ronald M. Brown
Data publikacji: 2003-01-00
ISBN: 9780891417989
Wydawca: Presidio Press
Język: angielski
Wymiary: 234 x 156mm
Oprawa: miękka
Liczba stron: 464
Produkt chwilowo niedostępny.


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Opis produktu:

This book details the history of the Fifth Marine Regiment, from its formation in 1914 to 1991. In spite of the iconic cover photograph of a Marine in WWII (the book actually describes who this is a photograph of and where it was taken), the book devotes a roughly an equal number of pages to WWI, WWII, Korea and Viet Nam, with a lesser amount of the book devoted to the period between world wars and the period after Viet Nam (including the first Gulf War). This is a regimental history that details all of the engagements that the regiment participated in. It is a very comprehensive history, with an index, list of sources and an appendix that lists all of the regiment's battle honors. The text mentions all or the regiments commanders, many lower level officers, and all of its Medal of Honor winners. Being a regimental history, it is focused on the accomplishments of the Fifth Marines and thus leaves out material about other outfits fighting alongside of them as well as much of the bigger picture of what was going on, and why.

I found that the highly focused and comprehensive nature of the book was actually, from my viewpoint, somewhat of a distraction. There is scarcely a paragraph that does not mention the names of those involved in a particular action, and in places virtually all of the sentences contain these names. At times I felt as is I were reading a Christmas letter describing the activities of a family that I was not familiar with. Personally, I did not need to know the names of all those involved in a particular operation, but someone more intimately involved with the regiment might find this level of detail very important. Also, as mentioned, one is getting a very focused view of events, with a lot of the big picture missing. This is OK if you familiar with the events being discussed and then the focus on this level of detail can even be very illuminating, but if you are less familiar with the events being covered greats gaps appear in the narrative. For instance, there is no mention of why, all of a sudden, the Fifth was fighting the Chinese and not the North Koreans.

This is definitely not an exciting personal history, such as Sledge's "With the Old Breed", which covers his experiences in the Fifth Regiment during WWII. In fact, I found the book being reviewed here to be rather dry - focused, factual, comprehensive, but dry. There is, however, a level of detail not found in books such as Sledge's. For instance, both books tell of the death of a much respected company commander, A.A. "Ack-AcK" Haldane, but in this book there is a follow up telling that after the war Fifth Marine officers purchased a trophy in Haldane's memory, to be give annually to the senior of Bowdoin College, Haldane's alma mater, who demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership. Haldane is also featured in the TV mini-series, "The Pacific", which is based in part on Sledge's book.

I recommend this book to those who served in the Fifth Marines, those very interested in the history of the Marines and those very interested in US military history. However, I would not recommend it to someone who only wants a more "popular" and exciting history.

 

Conceived in World War I, the 5th Marine Regiment is the Corps’s most decorated regiment. This lively and comprehensive history brings the exploits of the regiment vividly to life invoking a full appreciation of what it means when the call comes to “send in the Marines.”

• Includes virtually every significant combat and noncombat activity of the Marine Corps during the twentieth century. • First hand account from former military historian and retired lieutenant of the 5th Marine Regiment • Covers operations worldwide
 

Throughout its history, the United States Marine Corps in particular, the 5th Marines has been the "first to fight." Brown, a lieutenant colonel, USMCR (Ret.), Marine historian, and veteran of the 5th, offers a fascinating and detailed account of this highly decorated unit. From its activation in 1914 (provisional) to the present, the 5th has fought in every U.S. conflict. Campaigns from Belleau Wood in World War I to the "Banana Wars," from Guadalcanal in World War II to Chosin in Korea, from Hue in Vietnam to Kuwait City are all inexorably linked to the "Fighting Fifth." Brown effectively places the story of this unit in the greater context of the development of the Marines and modern warfare. While the text occasionally becomes mired in the minutiae typical of regimental histories, it provides glimpses of those whom the regiment made famous and those who made the regiment famous. The one drawback is the lack of an index. Recommended for academic and public libraries with military history collections. Mike Miller, Dallas P.L.

 

 



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