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

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  288 ratings  ·  28 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...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published May 2002)
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Mike
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
Tionne
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
Andy
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
Kristoffer
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
Tim
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
Colleen Lahey
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.
Cameron
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...more
David Marxer
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
Marc
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
Laura
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....more
Lauren
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.
JR
The sequel to "With The Old Breed." Amazing in its own way.
Peter

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.
Jacob
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!
Wilson Lanue
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.
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.
Jerry Killen
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.
Tamhack
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.
Don Ryan
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.
Dan Peters
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.
Sergio
Two parts to the book: 1) fascinating description of China's capital 2) how a marine dealt with the horrors of war. I enjoyed the first part, and took to heart the second.
Matt
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.
Jim Harvey
With the Old Breed may be the greatest war book ever written, China Marine gives a nice summary of the post war life of Eugene Sledge
Ruth
Simply put, Sledgehammer wrote two of the best books I have ever read. I wish I could have met him in person.
Rod Pyle
Not up to the standards set ny his other book, but an interesting personal reflection on WWII in the Pacific.
Jean
A glimpse into life during the occupation for the regular marine, a position my Dad was also in.
Carla
FASCINATING follow up to With the Old Breed.
Jerry Beal
Excellent companion to "With the Old Breed".
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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
More about Eugene B. Sledge...
With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa With the Old Breed/Helmet for My Pillow (2 Volume Set) Diario De Un Marine Vom alten Schlag: Der Zweite Weltkrieg am anderen Ende der Welt. Erinnerungen (German Edition) Ramiajame vandenyne

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