Brotherhood of Heroes

The Marines at Peleliu, 1944
Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (177 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Band of Brothers for the Pacific, this is the gut-wrenching but ultimately triumphant story of the Marines' most ferocious, yet largely forgotten, battle of World War II. Between September 15 and October 15, 1944, the First Marine Division suffered more than 6,500 casualties fighting on a hellish little island in the Pacific. Peleliu was the scene for one of the most savage struggles of modern times, a true killing ground that has all but been forgotten, until now. Drawing on extensive interviews with Peleliu veterans, Bill Sloan follows the men of K/3/5 and a handful of others throughout the campaign and rescues the Corp's bloodiest battle from obscurity.

Misled by poor intelligence, the 9,000 Marine infantry-men who landed on Peleliu's beaches found themselves facing 11,000 Japanese who had turned the island into an intricate network of caves and underground fortifications unrivaled in the history of warfare. Sloan's gripping narrative seamlessly weaves together the experiences of the men who were there, producing a vivid and unflinching look at the nightmare that was Peleliu-a ferocious melee of non-stop infantry attacks, hand-to-hand combat, flame-thrower assaults, and night skirmishes, many in temperatures that topped 115 degrees. With casualties in some infantry units averaging more than sixty percent, Peleliu is the bloodiest battle in the Corps' history.

Surprisingly, Peleliu received little public notice back in the States even as it was being fought and was virtually forgotten after the war. At last rectifying this historical injustice, Brother of Heroes will stand with Ghost Soldiers and Flags of Our Fathers as a modern classic in military history as a riveting read.

©2005 Bill Sloan (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great combat narrative

As a lifelong armchair soldier, I'm a great fan of good, eyewitness style war narratives. This is a well written, well researched war story. The author first introduces the various Marines who will become the subject matter of the story. The listener then experiences the vicious struggle on Peleliu alongside these great men. The death and suffering are described without any attempt to soften the punch. Although the book delves into the reasons for the Peleliu operation and whether it was even necessary, the main thrust of the book is the personal accounts of the soldiers who were there. The best compliment I can give this book is that, as advertised, it really is as compelling as the brilliant "Band of Brothers".

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Flawed and Plodding

A book about historical events can go the direction of being authoritative - putting every detail into the volume, or it can attempt to be readable and entertaining by conveying the essence of the details seen through the eyes of a few participants. Unfortunately, this book does neither well. The author continuously throws out names without allowing the reader to empathize or familiarize with anyone. When Marines are killed in foxholes adjacent to central figures, their names are given as if this books is the official record. While this is commendable for after-action reports, it makes for boring reading. By the end of the book it felt as if the author was trying to mention every Marine who took apart in the battle, interesting or not. What makes this worse is the terrible narration. When reading the voices of individual Marines, the narrator has an ensemble of comical accents but seems to forget mid-sentence that he's using a specific accent, so the result is a mish-mash of partial drawls within the same quote marks. The overall voice of the narrator is not suited for the material and in fact is prone to cause drowsiness rather than excitement in the material. Unfortunately this book will likely only be of interest to families of Marines who participated in the battle or in hardcore history buffs who want to count the foxholes.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Amazing Story of Courage, Not as Well Written

This story is a good one and outlines the courage and tenacity of some real heroes. However, the book is not as well written as some of my favorite WWII stories like Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, Silent Running, and Phantom Major. In those other books you really identify with the characters. Here you are shifted back and forth so quickly between the players that you lose track of what previously happened to them. Also, the story is a long series of battles fought by different companies in similar terrain. It is hard not to get confused.
These soldiers did an amazing service to our country. I just wish I could have gotten to know them a little better and have followed their adventure well.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

You must hear this story!!!

This is one of the best books yet. The battle at Peleliu is one of the most important events of military and US history. What a gripping account...it has left me exhausted and deeply appreciative for those who were there. The Marines at Peleliu were the best of the best, and they deserve to be well remembered. The effects of that battle still linger with the families of those who fought there, to be sure.
Do yourself a favor...buckle your seatbelt, and head to Peleliu via this listen! You will be in for quite a ride!
Often the word "hero" is used too freely... but here, it is the ultimate understatement.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Nothing Like It !!!

This audiobook is absolutely amazing. I play my X-box 360, (Call of Duty series) and this gives the listner a vivid account of what we see playing the video games. Nothing Like It !!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

As if you were there!

This is a dramatic and realistic account of a lost WW2 battle that at the time made marginal strategic sense. The stories of loss and heroism make me proud to say "I am an American" in memory for the heroes that kept this country free. One of the best books of military history that I have the pleasure of enjoying.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Can't get enough

Peleliu. Walt's Ridge. Bloody Nose Ridge. 5 Sisters. K-3-5. What a horrible battle. I need to know as much as I can in this battle.