Junger's excellent diary of four years' war is put down in highly descriptive prose. He never looses sight of the beauties of nature in a time of horror. The comparison with the descriptions of the same tragedy by Graves and Sassoon will not escape the reader. Junger's unflinching love and support of the Motherland shows through until the end. It is easy to compare the values of the three writers under similar conditions. Junger was in constant combat for four years and served in most of the major battles of the Western Front. He was wounded seven times and received the "Pour le Merit" (Blue Max) for his service. The only fault I found with this great book is that he makes it somewhat difficult to relate his descriptions of war in a limited area to the overall engagement. This is the view from the trench as he watched it unfold and is a classic work of military literature.
This book, originally published in 1963 ,is THE classic by which other Korean War histories may be measured. The author was a battalion commander in Korea and had the connections to get outstanding personal interest stories of his living contemporaries. He provides an unbiased telling of a story that Americans may want to forget but he makes a clear differentiation between the American military of 1945 and that of 1950. He deals with problems of funding neglect by Congress and training shortfalls by leadership of the American military after World War II. Fehrenbach deals with the campaigns as one who has been there. His insight into the politics of coalition warfare is excellent. If you want to read ONE book about Korea, this is it. It has detail, insight and intrigue which were all a part of the time.
I am an avid student of World War II and have read literally hundreds of works involving "the war". With the coming to the HBO production "The Pacific" I read this work and was very disappointed.
Leckie's writing style is superb. He spins a great yarn but he deals far too much with Marine liberty and not enough with combat experience. The book reminds me of "From Here to Eternity" in the thrust of the story. More content was spent on the "Great Debauch" in Australia than was spent of Guadacanal which preceded it. This book is not nearly as well done as Tregasis' "Guadacanal Diary" or "With the Old Breed" which was also used by HBO. If this is the text of Hanks' series it is not up to the "Band of Brothers" book he used earlier.
The narrator was only fair in his attempts to put life into the story but overall, I was disappointed in the content of an otherwise well written book.
I always buy a long volume with trepidation wondering how many "dry spots" or "dry epochs" will be contained therein. This volume was amazing in that I was fascinated and interested every minute. The story focused on the characters while the overall picture was interwoven in their interactions and lives, particulary Hitler of course. The details added to the interest rather than extend it unnecessarily. This is a book that I will very probably savor again.
I enjoy history and military history and this is probably the best I have read.