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 for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman.
R. V. Burgin enlisted at the age of 20 and, with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad. He saw friends die and enemies killed. He saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did - from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of hara kiri victims, to the final howling banzai attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat.
An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, Islands of the Damned brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War.
©2010 R.V. Burgin and William Marvel (P)2010 Tantor
Very disapointed in this book. It was a rehash of E. Sledge's The Old Breed. Even some of the words are identical. He sounds like someone who read "Sledge Hammer's" book and made himself the hero..As a former Sgt in the Corps I hate people who take the glory from someone else.
I am sooo disappointed with this book. I have great respect for all of the troops that have served and will serve. But Burgin seems to have a very self-centered and high opinion of himself. He spends a lot of time telling the listener how great he was. Burgin seems to have a deep seated dislike for Sledge due to the number of negative comments he makes about Sledge.
If you appreciated "With the Old Breed" by E.B.Sledge, this Book is an essential read to flesh out the same story from a related perspective. This is the understated story of a Marine mortar man fighting through a Pacific hell that we today can only dimly imagine. Well Done!
Many of us don't realize what these brave men and women went through to preserve our freedom. I think everyone should read this book.
'Islands of The Dammed' offers an account of three of the Pacific wars most hard fought battles from a U.S Marine who was there. The Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns are described as seen through the eyes of R.V Burgin, a U.S Marine from the same K35 unit as Eugene Sledge was.
This book complements the excellent 'With The Old Breed' written by the aforementioned E.B.Sledge. It is particularly interesting to read accounts of the same incidents mentioned in both books and compare the slightly different perspectives shared by two men who fought alongside one another during the Peleliu and Okinawa battles. There are incidents mentioned in one account and not in the other which allow the readers of both books to build a more complete version of events as seen through the eyes of two men. Given this, I would urge anyone who has not read 'With The Old Breed' to also consider reading this too and vice-versa.
It is interesting to note that Burgin mentions on more than one occasion within his book how he had differing opinions on certain views held by Sledge in his account.
'Islands of the Dammed' covers more of Burgin's pre and post war life than Sledge's own account does of his, but it must be said that Sledge's writings go into generally far more detail and as such fill his book primarily with his experiences of war.
Nevertheless, I would recommend 'Islands of The Dammed' to anyone interested in the Pacific battles of world war two and the personal experiences of a man who lived through them.
As a footnote, I would also like to add that the narration of this title is excellent throughout and makes you feel as if Burgin himself was the narrator.
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