Marine Mind Set On Iwo Jima - Page 5




 
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February 17th, 2005  
Zucchini
 
"The Bloody Battle for Suribachi" is a history of the 3rd Platoon of the 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment, 5th Marine Division. It was written by Richard Wheeler, who was a corporal in the platoon. It hit green beach on Iwo Jima with 46 Marines and two Navy corpsman. Within 4 days it became perhaps the most decorated platoon in the history of the USMC: 1 Medal of Honor recipient, at least 3 Navy Cross recipients, and several Silver Star and Bronze Star recipients. That's what happens when heavily fortified positions are taken out by frontal assault.

More than enough jewelry to at least compete for the crown.

At the end of the 6 week battle, only 4 of the platoon's original Marines were left standing. 9 in 10 were either killed, or wounded severely enough to require evacuation. At least one of the corpsmen survived.

Wheeler says they were trained to accomplish their mission.
February 23rd, 2005  
03USMC
 
 
Just a reminder 60 years ago today the Flag was raised by the US Marines and Navy Corpsmen on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima the Volcano Islands.

God bless all who served there. And God Keep those who fell there.

Semper Fi.
February 24th, 2005  
Strongbow
 
 
Cases of battle fatigue and psychological disorders (mental breakdowns) on Iwo Jima in the US forces was about 4000 if my memory serves me correct.

I'll check this figure out.

Marines, like all other soldiers can reach their breaking point. It was one of many horrible battles in the Pacific. The nature of the fighting must have been too much for many soldiers.
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February 25th, 2005  
Zucchini
 
One of them wrote a book called "Iwo Jima: Red Blood Black Sand, Pacific Apocalypse". He was a 17-year-old Pfc in Sgt John Basilone's platoon. Basically he suffered a concussion, and began to behave oddly. Today we would recognize his symptoms as being consistent with a head injury. When his Sgt had seen enough, he sent him to the rear.

Before his bloodless injury he did his duty full up - definitely a Marine all the way.

Anyway, his book is quite good for a soldier's story. It's very funny in places, and he is very honest about everything - unvarnished and refreshing.

Even Stephen Ambrose gives it a plug.
March 2nd, 2005  
Strongbow
 
 
A book called “Hell in the Pacific” by Jonathon Lewis and Ben Steele published in 2001 has the following about battle fatigue cases. I will directly quote from the chapter “Hell’s Teeth” on page 151.

Those in the front line faced the most severe stress. Men soiled their pants from fear; trapped by artillery fire with nowhere to dig in, they trembled so badly they could not stop shaking; they were so on edge at night that it was advisable to whisper to a buddy to wake him up when it was his turn to keep watch: if he was touched he might come up fighting with his K-bar knife. They collapsed from heat exhaustion having fought for days, in searing heat, without receiving any fresh water supplies; and through it all they endured the stench of putrefying flesh and the sight of maggots devouring the dead.

The numbers of men who cracked under such intense pressure grew as the war rolled towards Tokyo and encountered even more fanatical resistance. The battle for the tiny volcanic island of Iwo Jima, in which close to 6000 US Marines died, had approximately 4000 evacuations for battle fatigue (out of a total of 18,000 evacuations). Later that year on Okinawa, the most bloody island invasion of the war, some 26,000 men were evacuated as neuro-psychological cases.

Other sources have documented US Marine deaths on Iwo Jima to be higher.
July 3rd, 2005  
Young Winston
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongbow
A book called “h**l in the Pacific” by Jonathon Lewis and Ben Steele published in 2001 has the following about battle fatigue cases. I will directly quote from the chapter “h**l’s Teeth” on page 151.

Those in the front line faced the most severe stress. Men soiled their pants from fear; trapped by artillery fire with nowhere to dig in, they trembled so badly they could not stop shaking; they were so on edge at night that it was advisable to whisper to a buddy to wake him up when it was his turn to keep watch: if he was touched he might come up fighting with his K-bar knife. They collapsed from heat exhaustion having fought for days, in searing heat, without receiving any fresh water supplies; and through it all they endured the stench of putrefying flesh and the sight of maggots devouring the dead.

The numbers of men who cracked under such intense pressure grew as the war rolled towards Tokyo and encountered even more fanatical resistance. The battle for the tiny volcanic island of Iwo Jima, in which close to 6000 US Marines died, had approximately 4000 evacuations for battle fatigue (out of a total of 18,000 evacuations). Later that year on Okinawa, the most bloody island invasion of the war, some 26,000 men were evacuated as neuro-psychological cases.

Other sources have documented US Marine deaths on Iwo Jima to be higher.
Yes, it is a great book Strongbow. Americans interested in ww2 should read a copy of it.
July 4th, 2005  
Strongbow
 
 
They certainly should. Most would find the book fair but very disturbing.

I must put some more quotes from the book on the forum to enlighten some readers.
July 27th, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
I think it was a number of things that people fight with such courage, and if you have never seen combat you will never really understand what drives a man to go through such things. There is the fierce pride in himself and his unit, there is the understanding of the need to win the war as losing it is not an option.There is the understanding among most men that death is main option, and in this sort of thing, If live through this battle then next one might get you, so you have a very fatalistic outlook on life, and you live every minute that you can to the full. You fight to keep your buddies alive as they fight to keep you alive, you form friendship with the strangest of people that will last a life time.
July 28th, 2005  
Young Winston
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
I think it was a number of things that people fight with such courage, and if you have never seen combat you will never really understand what drives a man to go through such things. There is the fierce pride in himself and his unit, there is the understanding of the need to win the war as losing it is not an option.There is the understanding among most men that death is main option, and in this sort of thing, If live through this battle then next one might get you, so you have a very fatalistic outlook on life, and you live every minute that you can to the full. You fight to keep your buddies alive as they fight to keep you alive, you form friendship with the strangest of people that will last a life time.
Good points made here LeEnfield.
July 29th, 2005  
Strongbow
 
 
Yes I agree.