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The Ultimate Battle: Okinawa 1945--The Last Epic Struggle of World War II
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The Ultimate Battle: Okinawa 1945--The Last Epic Struggle of World War II

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  300 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Respected historian Bill Sloan tells the full story of the Battle of Okinawa as it has never been told before, through the eyes of the men in battle. Using the same grunt's-eye-view narrative style of Sloan's acclaimed Brotherhood of Heroes, The Ultimate Battle is the full story of the largest land-sea-air battle ever waged by the United States, a battle whose staggering c ...more
Audio CD, 200 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks
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Paul Callister
Aug 26, 2008 Paul Callister rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Vast in scope of human lives in the horror of Okinawa for everyone involved. Book shows Japan's determination to fight for the homeland and the staggering cost such an invasion would have been.
Matthew Dambro
Apr 03, 2017 Matthew Dambro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heart wrenching account of the last and one could argue the most vicious battle of the Second World War. The sheer carnage of close in, no quarter asked or given, battle that went on for three months is recounted brilliantly. Any who would argue that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unnecessary should read this volume and weep. Our fathers and grandfathers, as children, saved the world.
Megan Joice
Jan 07, 2017 Megan Joice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book, I realized how much I knew about the European front and how little I knew about the Pacific front of WW2. I had a vague notion of what the fighting was like on Okinawa, but this book perfectly gave me a sense of how exacting a toll that battle really took on our troops. The soldiers who are introduced throughout the book give this story a personal touch. It is extremely well researched and well written. For those looking for a great history book on the Pacific War, I would str ...more
Mar 04, 2017 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
Bill Sloan’s The Ultimate Battle: Okinawa 1945 differs from the “classic” descriptions of the Battle for Okinawa in at least one important way. The classics, like E.B. Sledge’s With the Old Breed at Peleilu and Okinawa, William Manchester’s Goodbye, Darkness, and R. V. Burgin’s more recent Islands of the Damned were first-person accounts of things directly seen and experienced. The view is through a narrow-angle lens, and one has enormous respect for those like Sledge, Manchester, and Burgin who ...more
Michael Arden
Mar 26, 2010 Michael Arden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Based on extensive research including interviews with dozens of veterans who fought there, this is the latest book to appear on the epic struggle of April-June 1945 between American and Japanese forces for control of the island of Okinawa. While highlighting the larger strategic picture it is at its best describing small unit action based on the stark memories of the American survivors. This last great battle of WWII was the only military action taking place at that time, while the world held it ...more
Hilmi Isa
Feb 09, 2011 Hilmi Isa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: perang-dunia-1-2
Pertempuran di sebuah pulau milik Jepun,yang dipanggil Okinawa ketika Perang Dunia Kedua merupakan pertempuran yang terakhir di dalam perang tersebut. Peristiwa sejarah ini juga mencatatkan sejarahnya yang tersendiri sebagai pertempuran yang paling berdarah dan sukar sehingga mengorbankan beberapa ribu tentera Amerika Syarikat (AS) sepanjang kempen ketenteraan di Pasifik,hanya semata-mata untuk menguasai sebuah pulau kecil.
Buku ini unik kerana ia menghimpunkan kisah-kisah pengalaman individu-ind
Mar 20, 2009 William rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-two
I read Sloan's "Brotherhood of Heroes" about Peleliu and found it to be a quality volume covering a seldom referenced battle. Continuous quotations from only a few sources was a nuisance, but I felt that it did not detract from the work. I hoped that "The Ultimate Battle" would be comparable in quality, but was mistaken. What was a nuisance in "Brotherhood" was taken to the next level in "Ultimate." If you have read Sledge's "With the Old Breed," you can skip over what seems to be a quarter of t ...more
Nov 17, 2013 Joelwakefield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a remarkable series of anecdotes that highlight moments in the 45 day battle for Okinawa that ranks up there among the harshest of what war has to offer - and which also argues pretty convincingly will never happen again, given the evolution of how wars are fought.

The account gives a pretty good overview of troop movements and the like, though I’m not sure how you write the history of a battle like this without including more than two maps, and very low resolution maps at that. You
Aug 25, 2012 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a wonderful account of the very deadly battle for Okinawa in the spring of 1945. I'll admit I couldn't always follow the names of the places and the Japanese forces but still I found the book a fascinating look at military history.

I have so much respect for our forces who fought bravely during this battle and am sorry so many of them didn't return to their families after the war. Reading about this battle only reinforced my belief that Truman did the right thing when he dropped the
Shawn Buckle
Great historical account of the Battle of Okinawa. The Pacific War is an underrepresented notion of WWII where the historical and memorial combat in Europe outweigh it by many times over. Okinawa was the last battle fought by the Americans in WWII. The Japanese forces numbered over 100,000 and approx. 95% of those were killed by the Americans (who lost about 13K of their 180,000). While combat was some of the most intense and gruesome seen in the entire war, the civilian deaths are the sticky p ...more
Jul 03, 2012 Janiece rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a WWII history buff, this is an awesome book. Even if you aren't, people today need to realize what it cost the US and Allied forces to win the war in the Pacific. If you come from the family of a Marine, then read this book. If you are a leader in your work place, church, school or neighborhood, read this book. It is a powerful statement about what happens when leadership gets preconceived ideas about a situation and doesn't listen the their people "on the ground". Be prepared to cry ...more
Jul 02, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war
I'm not a war buff but I still got a lot out of this book. It's pretty engaging and gives good snapshots of what the battle was like. It really helped me understand my grandfather's time in Okinawa during WWII.

I give it four stars because it can be hard to follow. The story follows the experiences of numerous individuals and bounces back and forth in time to give the full scope of the battle.

Glad to have read it.
Tom Schulte
Mar 05, 2012 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A stunning and detailed telling of the epic battle for Okinawa, which presaged what an invasion of the Japan home islands would have been like. This book tells the stories, names, and lives of key marines, the caught-between-enemies Okinawans and the Japanese strategy and defenders. The book continues after the fall of Okinawa to cover the defeat of Japan with atomic weapons and the finalization of peace with its many impediments that fateful August.
Mark A Powell
Jan 02, 2014 Mark A Powell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After D-Day and the defeat of Hitler, the battle of Okinawa proved to be one of the deadliest battles in WWII. Sloan allows eyewitness narratives to transport readers to the frontlines through the memories of the men who lived this nightmare. He is well-researched and chooses compelling testimony, though some streamlining would benefit the flow. With the numbers of WWII veterans dwindling, this book ensures their bravery will endure and their story will not be forgotten.
Jan 26, 2015 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a hard read if you're bothered by the hell of war. It relates horrifying and heroic events, in excruciating detail.

Small quibbles: the prose is rather hachneyed and cliched in places, and the detail is too much to bear. Best to read it with a map. Does the print edition come with a map? This is always a problem for me because I read it on audiobooks while commuting.
Daniel Herrera
Aug 15, 2013 Daniel Herrera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Sloan not only captured the spirit and struggles faced by front line infantrymen but also gives a reader an insight into the overall strategy for taking Okinawa. This makes it the perfect history book giving you a glimpse at not only the personal horror of war but also the history that surrounds it.
Feb 26, 2015 Doug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to slog through this book, the history at the end was the crowning piece. the story it self was amazing that the soldiers that actually were there had any sanity left. Then to come home and lead normal lives was a true miracle.
Dave Miller
Jan 14, 2016 Dave Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. The narration was a bit dry, somewhat like a school lecture rather then a dramatic reading. Many of the stories from K/3/5 veterans I had heard before in other books and videos. It would have been nice to hear some fresh stores from other companies. Overall quite enjoyable.
Jul 14, 2008 Rae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-ww2
A well-written and very personal account of the horrific battle of Okinawa. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in understanding their fathers and grandfathers who fought in the war...especially in the Pacific theater.
Steven Raszewski
Very good. Didn't realize just how HUGE and bloody this campaign was, especially for the civilians of Okinawa - at least 140,000 dead. Most people are unaware of the scope/size of this campaign I think because after VE day they tuned out.
May 22, 2009 Elh52 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I lived there for awhile I thought I should read this book. I wish I had paid more attention to landmarks when I was there. But I was young.
Jun 25, 2009 Harvey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent history of the last great battle of WW II, the battle for Okinawa. Further reasons why the men who fought it were called "the Greatest Generation."
Not just another island, but a slugfest that was a prelude for what was coming when we invaded Kyushu. Once again, thank god for the A-bomb
Rick Miller
Sep 06, 2013 Rick Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this book .I was filled with real pain as some of these men were hurt and killed.I got to know them.
Apr 02, 2013 Tomlikeslife rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book to read if you want to know what is was like on the front lines during the battle for Okinawa.
Doug Hauser
Feb 01, 2009 Doug Hauser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is the second Sloan book that I have read and they have both been very good. The other was about the survivors of Wake Island.
Michael Kelley
Jan 19, 2017 Michael Kelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolute excellent book, well written and engaging
Read it because I lived in Okinawa for a few years and never knew the real story... very detailed and interesting account of the Battle of Okinawa.
Patricrk patrick
Patricrk patrick rated it liked it
Apr 09, 2012
Kevin Jenkins
Kevin Jenkins rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2016
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Bill Sloan is a respected military historian, former newspaper reporter/editor and author of more than a dozen books, including Brotherhood of Heroes: The Ultimate Battle. He lives in Dallas, Texas
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