Islands of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific
Watch author RV Burgin discuss Islands of the Damned and The Pacific.
See R.V. Burgin in the award winning documentary film Peleliu 1944: Horror in the Pacific. Click here for more information.This is an eyewitness-and eye-opening-account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered fo
It sounds horrible, but I didn’t set out to read Islands of the Damned. Truth is it was one of those right time right place selections, the kind of thing that more or less falls into one’s lap. I’d just watched The Pacific for the umpteenth time and got it into my head to do a little background reading. With the Old Breed and Helmet for My Pillow were first on my list, but unfortunately neither was available at my local libr ...more
The HBO miniseries "The Pacific" has stoked interest in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, but more importantly, it has introduced many to some of the finest accounts of combat ever put on paper (E.B. Sledge's "With the Old Breed" and Robert Leckie's "Helmet for My Pillow"). R.V. Burgin's "Islands of the Damned" is a fine companion to the above-mentioned books. What makes Burgin's book worth the read is simple ... he's one of the dwind ...more
At the same time, Burgin was a very different kind of person. While Sledge fought with courage and distinction but was deeply disturbed by having to kill people and by seeing others killed around him, Burgin, while a good a ...more
Also, it's fuzzier on the details and a bit more "mitigated" on some things, in comparison... possibly because of a difference on views an ...more
Also, either Burgin took extremely comprehensive notes 70 years ago, or he has an amazing memory... or he just made up a lot of the interactions in the book.
This book is worth reading for another perspective on being a Marine in the Pacific in WWII, but I wouldn ...more
Burgin basically wants to tell his st ...more
RV Burgin gives a unique perspective on the U.S. Marine campaigns on New Britain, Peleliu, and Okinawa. Most of the book focuses on the Fifth Marines and their fight on Peleliu - a truly horrific battle that is frequently only mentioned in passing, taking a secondary position behind the more famous battles of Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
For those who have read E.B. Sledge's "With the Old Breed" - Burgin was Sledge's squad/section leader. Burgin is no ...more
I’m so thankful that R.V. Burgin was willing and able to share his story with those of us willing to read it. It seems most history classes, if they even get to WWII, focus on the European theater for the war, and not the South Pacific. My grandfather was a SeaBee during the war and I knew he built things and always ...more
I originally read The Pacific because I appreciate history and it was the campaign my Dad fought as a Marine in WW2. I liked R.V. Burgin and a few other men from that book and wanted to know more. So when I saw he had written a book, I had to give it a shot.
The Pacific is a good read, skip the tv show read the book instead , but Islands of the Damned is more personal. Like R.V. Burgin, my Dad didn't talk of the war either, at least not the nitty gritty of it.
What sticks with me most comes at the very end of the book...
"....Only a few of us are left who remember. We have to tell the stories, so this & future generations will know what happened. So it doesn't get forgotten..." AMEN!!! ...more
R.V. Burgin is mentioned in several other books about the war in the Pacific during WW 2. This is the only book that he wrote about those years. He was a fine leader, a solid comrade and a “good Marine.” His book is factual, authentic and heart breaking. He was one of the “old breed” and his kind are rare and precious.
I want to say thank two all those brave men for their service and their sacrifice. The greatest generation in history.
Having served in the USMC I knew of these battles and the significance the played, but after reading this first hand account it out it in a whole new light.
I have this on Kindle but I will be buying a paper or hardback copy in the hopes to show it to my children one day.