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China Marine: An Infantryman's Life after World War II
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China Marine: An Infantryman's Life after World War II

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  541 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
See E.B. Sledge's story in the HBO miniseries The Pacific !

China Marine is the extraordinary sequel to E.B. Sledge's memoir, With the Old Breed, which remains the most powerful and moving account of the U.S. Marines in World War II. Sledge continues his story where With the Old Breed left off and recounts the compelling conclusion of his Marine career.

After Japan's surren
Paperback, 167 pages
Published September 4th 2003 by Oxford University Press (first published May 2002)
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A relatively little-known sequel to Dr. Eugene Sledge's brilliant WW2 memoir "With the Old Breed," which chronicled his devastating experiences as a young Marine infantryman in the battles of Peleliu and Okinawa. This has a very different feel, and in some ways sheds even more light on Sledge's character and outlook.

After the war against Japan ended, Sledge's Marine unit was sent to China instead of back to the U.S., to serve as occupation troops while the Japanese in China were disarmed and rep
Aug 16, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
While not as enthralling as With the Old Breed, Sledge's second book (published after his death) describes, in the first person, the struggles that the US military faced at the end and following the conclusion of World War II. While there are many books that discuss serving in the military during World War II, China Marine is interesting because Sledge discusses events that are not frequently written about in World War II books, such as the desire to come home (after the war ends), working with ...more
J. Carroll
Mar 03, 2012 J. Carroll rated it it was amazing
Eugene Sledge is justly famous for his harrowing memoir of Marine Corps combat, With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa. The one criticism I have heard was that it ended abruptly, with the dropping of the Atomic Bomb.

Viewers of the HBO production partially based on Sledge's book were cheated out of the vastly more interesting story of his service in the Chinese city of Peiping in 1945 and 1946. The Japanese Army had the majority of its soldiers on the ground in China, not the Pacific, and it
Feb 07, 2013 Tionne rated it it was amazing
This book was brilliant. I loved Sledgehammer's With The Old Breed. China Marine was just as good. His insights and observations are unmatched. I was a bit sad, not to see any of Snafu, but it was still fantastic. I wish everyone in the military or makes decisions that affect the military would read these types of books. Then the system would not be so broken. Everyone lacks foresight because everyone lacks hindsight. Shortsightedness will be the downfall of us all. And many many horrible things ...more
Jan 20, 2009 Andy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-two
Excellent follow up to "With The Old Breed". Mostly covers his 6 months in occupied China in late 1945 to early 1946 and also his return home and coping with his war experience. The subject matter here is comparatively mundane after "With The Old Breed" but still fascinating and written in the same honest, unpretentious style. The chapters at the end after coming home were very moving after following him through both of his books. This book may not mean as much to those who have not read "With ...more
Mar 15, 2017 Sarah rated it it was amazing
A definite read-companioned with his With the Old Breed-for any World War II history buff.
Oct 12, 2014 Harry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
China Marine is Eugene Sledge's follow up to his harrowing "With the Old Breed" and is nothing like it. This book is brief; It's the story of his unit being sent to China to keep the peace after the Japanese surrender, how he made many friends and learned to love Chinese culture and how he began to deal with the horror he had lived through during the Pacific war. It's a very pleasant book - very nearly a "feel good" book since it really is the story of rebirth and copying with damage; He tells i ...more
Jun 26, 2014 Kristoffer rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. So many segments left me feeling melancholy, but in a way that I'm thankful for. The book touched me. I've read "With the Old Breed..." a dozen times. I very much admire Eugene Sledge and love the way he described his WWII experience. "China Marine" hit me hard in a different way. Made me ache for my time in the Marine Corps. Made me miss my buddies. Made me have flashbacks of forgotten memories of my homecomings from combat. Made me regret that I wasn't more like Sledgehammer w ...more
Nov 24, 2016 Jantine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war
Short but wonderful - would that Eugene Sledge had lived to a hundred so he could have written more books. I was as smitten with this book as I was with With The Old Breed, but this had the added bonus of being a travel narrative which I love. Much of his descriptions of China brought back memories of travelling in Asia, and I heartily enjoyed his "laissez-faire" attitude when it came to the locals. The episode where he draws a crowd of Chinese made me laugh out loud. His writing is ever observa ...more
David Marxer
Nov 18, 2010 David Marxer rated it it was amazing
This is one of my top 10 all time favorite books. Deleted from the end of "With the Old Breed" it was published after the authors death. Instead of going home after end of the war, Sledge and the 1st Marine divison is sent to China to help take the surrender of Japanese troops and keep order Peking and the war torn countryside. Sledge takes time to visit historic site like the forbidden city and even makes friends among the Chinese, both rich and poor. The the book is a rare view into early post ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Tim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chinese-history
Fascinating first-hand account of a little known era: the US Marines occupying Peking and Northern China from 1945-47 as they operated with recently conquered Japanese forces and Chinese Nationalist forces fighting bandits and the Communist armies. EB Sledge is a very personal writer who also opens himself up and allows us to see inside the heart and soul of a battle-hardened and scarred warrior as he struggles with the trauma and horror and what we would now diagnose as PTSD in his efforts to r ...more
Aug 07, 2013 Cameron rated it it was amazing
A well written and simply told story. It was a little short and it felt a little truncated regarding his return to civilian life.

I had not been aware of the American post-war occupation of China and repatriation of Japanese. The stories have that ring of blurry truth of a big adventure a long time, and the characters he met in China were amazing. I would love to see more of his photos if they are available.

More importantly it charts Sledge's recovery from a combat veteran getting ready to assau
Dec 28, 2008 Laura rated it it was ok
In the fall of 1945, there existed in China a power vacuum that many opposing factions stood ready to fill. Into this seething cauldron of political and ideological unrest we arrived - the survivors of the battle of Okinawa - more like schoolboys on holiday than mighty conquerors.

This is the follow-up to With the Old Breed. It's good, but not as great as the first book. Eugene is stationed in China where he sees the "last of old China and the rise of the Communist state". Then, he returns home.
Oct 31, 2012 Marc rated it really liked it
It's books like this that make you realize the WWII vets were truly the greatest generation. Sledge makes many references to coming home and being surprised at how much Americans take their freedom for granted. 60 years later we still have entitled people who ask for everything but are unwilling to sacrifice. Sledge also talked of the frequent nightmares he faced upon his return. Too often we glorify war and are surprised when the men who fight have trouble adjusting upon their return. This is n ...more

Although the subject matter is different the keen and sensitive mind of the author carries this book through. I wouldn't read this without reading 'With the old Breed' first, as it serves well as a prologue to the earlier memoir, especially the concluding chapters, which retell the author's return to home and civilian life after 2 years away in action.
'With the Old Breed' is more interesting and sets the context for this.
Apr 16, 2011 Jacob rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-ii
A Great conclusion to E.B. Sledge's memoir "With the Old Breed". As with the first book, he wrote this perfectly, giving insight into what it was like to be in China during the Civil War following WWII, as well as what it was like dealing with what he had seen and done during the War. Great book, and if you've read "With the Old Breed" I highly recommend this book!
Matt Brant
A fine memoir of a man who nobly served his country. This plainly written and vastly readable WWII memoir is the sequel to Sledge's incredible "With The Old Breed: At Peleliu And Okinawa." After surviving combat, he was assigned duty in Nationalist China in its twilight just before the rise of the Communists and the retreat to Taiwan.
A strong follow up to Sledge's World War II (Pacific) memoir, detailing his stationing in China while the Chinese Civil War was going on around them. It brings a sense of closure to the earlier book while also providing some very interesting stories about a foreign involvement not usually looked at.
Wilson Lanue
May 05, 2013 Wilson Lanue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, mil, wwii
Excellent (if brief) reading for those interested in the little-covered China of 1945-1946, and those boning up on the infantryman's recovery from combat.

For the latter, start at Sledge's With the Old Breed . If that hooks you (and it should), it won't take you long to seek out this epilogue.
Christi Guess
Jan 03, 2012 Christi Guess rated it really liked it
This was interesting as a follow-up to With the Old Breed and what happened to Sledge as he was stationed in China following the end of the war. Sentimentality and fondness for Sledge's writing and his "character" cause me to rate this higher than it probably deserves. If you are a fan, it's worth reading but it won't knock your socks off.
Colleen Lahey
Mar 14, 2014 Colleen Lahey rated it it was amazing
An excellent sequel to "With the Old Breed". [ This was not written by Stephen Ambrose but rather by E.B. Sledge. Ambrose did the foreword.] I would have loved to have met this great man. He epitomized the term 'hero'. Anyone interested in reading about World War II, or even why we needed to drop the bombs in Japan, should read these two books.
Dan Peters
Jun 15, 2012 Dan Peters rated it really liked it
Excellent biographical history. For me, this book puts in perspective the PTSD our Marines are suffering today. Sledge provides a glimpse that for his fellow veterans it was undiagnosed and often resulted in alcoholism.
Jan 10, 2014 Lauren rated it liked it
Really liked the look at what this company of marines did after the war was declared over and how Sledge coped with his experiences. Sledge's description of the civilian Chinese and their fascination with forming a crowd for whatever reason was also pretty funny to read.
Jerry Killen
Sep 16, 2012 Jerry Killen rated it really liked it
A very insightful look into the life of a combat veteran of the line. Eugene Sledge related his experience in China before returning home and the healing that took years. Anyone who is serious about the history of WWII from the viewpoint of one who was in the frontlines should read this.
Don Ryan
Oct 11, 2013 Don Ryan rated it it was amazing
This is a great book on several different levels. First it discusses the difficult adjustment the author had after the trauma of wartime combat. The book also provided insights into the geopolitical dynamics that were in play in post-war China.
Sep 19, 2010 Tamhack rated it liked it
This is the follow-up to his book "With the Old Breed". His company was sent to China to maintain order after Japan's surrender. Then he tells how he had to adjust to living as a civilian and making a life for himself and comes to terms with the memories of the war.
Apr 04, 2011 Ruth rated it it was amazing
Simply put, Sledgehammer wrote two of the best books I have ever read. I wish I could have met him in person.
Jerry Beal
Aug 28, 2012 Jerry Beal rated it really liked it
Excellent companion to "With the Old Breed".
Sep 02, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it
Same unpretentious style as his other memoir. He explains how he came to grips with the war. His advice on living life is about as useful as you'll ever find.
Aug 14, 2015 Kyla rated it it was amazing
"Socrates said, "Know Thyself." I do. The war taught me.
Sledge is such a phenomenal author and I absolutely loved his writings.
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Eugene Bondurant Sledge (November 4, 1923 – March 3, 2001) was a United States Marine, university professor, and author. His 1981 memoir With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa chronicled his combat experiences during World War II and was subsequently used as source material for Ken Burns's PBS documentary, The War, as well as the HBO miniseries The Pacific, in which he is portrayed by Joseph M ...more
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