Bitter Peleliu

Bitter Peleliu by Joseph Wheelan

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for Bitter Peleliu:

“Bitter” is putting it mildly.

Quick synopsis:

The story of the Battle of Peleliu in World War II.

Fact for Non-History People:

Japanese engineers created over 500 caves on the island before the battle.

Fact for History Nerds:

The Black Marine unit on Peleliu had the highest casualty rate of all Black Marine units in World War II.

My Take on Bitter Peleliu:

As a former Army officer, it is not in my DNA to give the Marines credit for anything. It’s a sibling rivalry (the Army is the older, for the record) which means we give each other endless….well you know.

All that said, the reputation the Marines have as indefatigable doesn’t come from nowhere. And the forgotten Battle of Peleliu is one of the places that burnished this reputation. As the U.S. marched towards Japan during World War II, Peleliu island stood as one of the paths to victory. Some historians will also let you know it was an island that could have been skipped. It wasn’t. And it turned into an absolute horror show.

Joseph Wheelan writes about the battle in a way that makes it readable for any audience. Military history can sometimes get too caught up in which unit was where and loses the human side of the battle. Wheelan weaves every component into a story that doesn’t require you to understand military science and strategy. Along the way, you will read names nearly everyone knows and you will feel just how horrific this battle was.

(This book was provided by Osprey Publishing.)


An excellent book of military history. Buy it here!

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