The 5th Marine Division
The 5th Marine Division in World War II
Howard M. Connor
The definitive unit history of the 5th Marine Division during World War II. This book covers their formation and training, their invasion of Iwo Jima and the subsequent occupation of Japan. The Spearhead is filled with both color and black and white photographs as well as many maps. The appendices include lists of all division men killed or wounded throughout the war. There is a section on decorations and awards and a full unit roster listing for every man who served in the Fifth. This book is a highly-recommended resource!
1950 / HARDCOVER
Shadow of Suribachi:
Raising the Flags on Iwo Jima
Parker B. Albee, Jr. & Keller C. Freeman
At last the myths of 50 years are dispelled in Shadow of Suribachi, the only comprehensive, accurate account of the flag-raisings on Iwo Jima. The men who conquered the mountain tell their story through letters, interviews, and poignant recollections. For the first time in decades, Joe Rosenthal, the Associated Press photographer who took the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo offers a detailed account of his experiences on the island. Rare photos by other photographers, some previously unacknowledged, lend further credibility to this study of an event that became part of a classic World War II battle. In bringing truth to a momentous historical event, Albee and Freeman give long overdue recognition to the gallantry of thousands of unheralded men who made the flag-raisings on Suribachi possible. Of equal importance, this book inspires a new appreciation for an image forever emblazened in the minds of millions.
1995 / HARDCOVER
The First Battalion of the 28th Marines on Iwo Jima
Robert E. Allen
In the shadows of Suribachi, the First Battalion of the 28th Marines stormed the beaches of Iwo Jima in the bloodiest and most renowned of all battles fought by the U.S. Marine Corps. Thirty-six days later, the Marines dislodged the last of the enemy holdouts. The battle was over, but at great cost: 225 of the First Battalion’s men died on Iwo Jima. Based on official reports and personal accounts, this is a day-by-day history of the First Battalion, 28th Marines, on Iwo Jima. Each chapter presents an overview of that day’s combat and other relevant events, and also contains the text of that day’s official regimental and battalion narratives. The text is complemented by a chronology and transcribed muster rolls for February and March 1945.
2004 / PAPERBACK
Mustang: A Combat Marine
Gerald P. Averill
Gerald Averill defined the ethos of the Marine Corps. He was a Paramarine, an infantry officer in the hellish fighting for Iwo Jima, and served in nearly every clime and place as a post-war officer. His memoir is frank, engaging, and tells the story not just of Averill himself, but of the men he loved like brothers, but whose voices were cut short in their youth through war's awful hand.
1987 / HARDCOVER
Flags of Our Fathers
James Bradley with Ron Powers
James Bradley's father, John, was one of the six flag raisers on Iwo Jima. In this memorable work of popular history mixed with memoir, Bradley and Powers reconstruct those Marines' experiences, and those of their Pacific Theater comrades. The authors begin with the six soldiers' childhoods, move into the strategy and tactics leading up to the battle, and then follow the fighting on Iwo Jima, sortie by sortie. The final chapters pursue the surviving veterans' subsequent lives. A simple thesis emerges from all the detail worked into this touching group portrait, in a comment by John Bradley: "The heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who didn't come back." No reader will forget the lesson.
2000 / HARDCOVER / PAPERBACK / KINDLE
Hero of the Pacific
The first serious biography of Medal of Honor winner “Manila John” Basilone is also, sadly, Brady’s last book. He died immediately after completing it. Brady covers Basilone's blue-collar Italian roots in New Jersey, his time in the army serving in the Philippines, joining the marines and winning the Medal of Honor as a machine-gunner on Guadalcanal, his celebrity on the bond tour, his marriage to a fellow marine, and his death on Iwo Jima. Brady has ferreted out and interviewed practically all the survivors of those who knew Basilone, critiqued most of the previous accounts on the basis of his own experience as a marine, and left us one good marine’s tribute to another.
2010 / HARDCOVER / PAPERBACK / KINDLE
The Ghosts of Iwo Jima
Robert S. Burrell
In The Ghosts of Iwo Jima, Captain Robert S. Burrell masterfully reconsiders the costs of taking Iwo Jima and its role in the war effort. His thought-provoking analysis also highlights the greater contribution of Iwo Jima’s valiant dead: They inspired a reverence for the Marine Corps that proved critical to its institutional survival and its embodiment of American national spirit. From the 7th War Loan Campaign of 1945 through the flag-raising at Ground Zero in 2001, the immortal image of Iwo Jima has become a symbol of American patriotism itself. Burrell’s searching account of this fabled island conflict will advance our understanding of World War II and its continuing legacy for the twenty-first century. At last, the battle’s ghosts may unveil its ultimate, and most crucial, lessons.
2006 / HARDCOVER / PAPERBACK / KINDLE
Iwo: Assault on Hell
James F. Christ
Iwo: Assault on Hell gives a worms eye view of the fighting of perhaps World War II's bloodiest battle. Focusing mainly on Marines from the 27th Regiment (but also the 26th,) 5th Marine Division, Iwo: Assault on Hell gives a glimpse of the violence and ferocity of what would become known as the "Gettysburg of the Pacific." Written from the interviews of over 100 Marines of the 5th Division, Iwo: Assault on Hell shows what the Marines faced from the moment they landed until they left - some on D-day, others days or weeks later, a rare few after 36 days, when the shattered remains of the 5th Marine Division left the island of Iwo Jima.
2012 / PAPERBACK
Over 500 photos taken by Marine Corps combat photographers during the battle are featured, including over 300 never-before-published that were discovered in Marine Corps archives by author and military historian Eric Hammel. The photos vividly recreate the battle as it happened. The book also includes detailed maps as well as profiles of each Medal of Honor winner from the battle. This book is an instant classic in the genre and a necessary addition to any serious collection of World War II literature.
2006 / HARDCOVER / PAPERBACK
The Lions of Iwo Jima
Fred Haynes & James A. Warren
The stories told here, many for the first time, will seem too cruel, too heartbreaking to be believed. Major General Fred Haynes, then a young captain, is the last surviving office in Combat Team 28 who was intimately involved in planning and coordinating all phases of the team’s fight on Iwo Jima. In this astonishing narrative, Haynes and Warren recapture in riveting detail what the Marines experienced, drawing on a wealth of previously untapped documents, personal narratives, letters, and interviews with survivors to offer fresh interpretations of the fight for Suribachi, the iconic flag-raising photograph, and the nature of the campaign as a whole.
2008 / HARDCOVER / PAPERBACK / KINDLE
Jack H. Lucas with D. K. Drum
This evocative memoir recounts the battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of Lucas, who was one of 22 marines awarded the Medal of Honor at Iwo Jima. Having finagled his way into the marines at 14, he was an undisciplined, hard-driving 17-year-old PFC when he performed the courageous act that earned him the nation's highest military award for valor. By throwing his body on top of two live grenades hurled at him and his four-man squad, Lucas saved the lives of the three other marines, though he was severely wounded. Using flashbacks to his childhood and following up with the dispiriting details of his personal life following the war, his re-creation of his part in the battle of Iwo Jima is the highlight of the book.
2006 / HARDCOVER / PAPERBACK
Iwo Jima: Monuments, Memories, and the
Karal Ann Marling & John Wetenhall
Iwo Jima: Monuments, Memories and the American Hero tells the story of the iconic flag raising as it appeared over the next 40 years in bond drive posters, stamps, Hollywood movies, political cartoons, and sculpture, most notably the colossal Marine Corps War Memorial outside Washington, D.C. When the famous photograph first appeared in newspapers in 1945, it was little more than a grainy outline of massed men and their wafting flag, but for millions it captured the essence of American grit and determination. Marling and Wetenhall illuminate the ironies and misconceptions that proliferated around the Iwo Jima flag raisings. The ordinary men whose action has been immortalized became uneasy celebrities, while the planters of the first flag were doomed to oblivion. The authors have constructed a story from the reminiscences of survivors, rare archival sources, and dozens of documentary photographs. Dedicated to the men who fought on Iwo Jima, this study in cultural iconography aims to transcend the icon to show the honour in remembering what really happened.
1991 / HARDCOVER
From the Volcano to the Gorge
Howard N. McLaughlin, Jr. & Raymond C. Miller
This book combines autobiographical narratives by two Marines who landed on the beaches on the first day, cheered the flag-raising, and went on to take part in the grinding combat to the end. Howard McLaughlin, nineteen years old on the first day, settled in California after the war, became a civil engineer working in highway construction and other community service. Ray Miller, twenty on that day, returned from the war to his native Midwest and eventually settled in Maine, along the way becoming a psychologist, an inventor, and a musician. These two men lived through the most intense weeks of their lives within a mile of each other, but never knew of each other's existence until this book began to take shape six decades later. Neither is a professional author, but each writes vividly and memorably about what he did and about traumatic experiences that made him into a man different from what he would have become without the war.
2011 / PAPERBACK / KINDLE
Richard F. Newcomb
Richard F. Newcomb is one of the true masters of military storytelling. In researching Iwo Jima he interviewed hundreds of Iwo veterans, both American and Japanese; read the diaries and letters of fighting men; and combed through masses of official navy and marine records to write the full story of one of the most famous battles in U.S. history. With exceptional depth, intelligence, and emotional power, Newcomb recounts the events of February 19, 1945, in which common men were thrust into impossible circumstances, demonstrating valor and even humor amid the horror and chaos of war.
2002 / HARDCOVER / PAPERBACK
God Isn't Here
Richard E. Overton
With attention to detail only an eye-witness can offer, corpsman Richard E. Overton's gut-wrenching memoir of the battle at Iwo Jima, captures the insufferable horrors of combat at the greatest battle of the modern era. It Is likely the most chaotic, intense, and deadly conflict ever fought by the U.S. military. The Marines attacked an entrenched and invisible enemy whose suicidal plan was to protract the battle, and break the American's will to fight. Because of the continually shifting lines, the Japanese were everywhere, and Overton and his unit faced relentless close contact with the enemy. He endured persistent mind-numbing artillery attacks, night-time infiltrators and deadly hand-to-hand combat. Within the first few days of battle, most of the men of his platoon were lost. His own survival is a mystery that still haunts him to this day. The trauma of seeing men eviscerated, added to the cumulative effects of sleep deprivation and adrenaline overload, led to his evacuation from Iwo Jima... but not before he endured the unimaginable.
2007 / PAPERBACK
Red Blood, Black Sand
Red Blood, Black Sand is the story of Chuck Tatum’s two weeks in hell, where he would watch his hero, John Basilone, fall, where the enemy stalked the night, where snipers haunted the day, and where Chuck would see his friends whittled away in an eardrum-shattering, earth-shaking, meat grinder of a battle. Before the end, Chuck would find himself, like Basilone, standing alone, blind with rage, firing a machine gun from the hip, in a personal battle to kill a relentless foe he had come to hate. This is the island, the heroes, and the tragedy of Iwo Jima, through the eyes of one of the battle’s greatest living storytellers.
1995 / HARDCOVER / PAPERBACK
The Quiet Hero
Gary W. Toyn
This powerful story documents the Battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of extraordinary navy corpsman George Wahlen. After decades of silence, this survivor of one of World War II's most horrific battles divulges the gritty details of his incredible experiences. Upon landing with a company of 250 marines, Wahlen fought alongside them. Under repeated grenade and mortar fire himself, Wahlen refused evacuation, choosing instead to aid those he perceived to be in greater danger. Witnesses of his heroics remain dumbfounded he survived, and while his incredible feats of bravery saved countless marines, the intensity of the battle left few men of the company unscathed—they suffered the highest killed-in-action ratio of any marine company during a single battle in U.S. history. The significance of his story lies in the historic context of the battle for Iwo Jima; while many remember the iconic flag-raising photograph captured during this conflict, few realize the battle was the most costly of World War II for America. After receiving a Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman in 1945, Wahlen has been the quintessential quiet hero, refusing the adulation usually bestowed on nationally recognized veterans.
2006 / HARDCOVER / PAPERBACK / KINDLE
Surgeon on Iwo
James S. Vedder
Vedder was a Marine surgeon with the 27th Marine Regiment during the battle for Iwo Jima. He earned the Silver Star for his courageous actions while accompanying his litter-bearers to and from the front lines under fire. From the first moments of landing with the beaches, to the graphic and bloody life and death operations, to his final voyage home you are beside Vedder all the way through the battle. Never exploitive, always honest, Vedder's book is a standard of any student of the Battle of Iwo Jima and medical personal in the Pacific Theater.
1984 / HARDCOVER
PAPERBACK AVAILABLE UNDER THE TITLE COMBAT SURGEON
Give Me Fifty Marines Not Afraid To Die
John K. Wells
A faint glow of light in the eastern sky announced the coming dawn and the United States Marine Corps' third day of attack on the island of Iwo Jima. The chill of the morning air matched the cold that lay in the pit of my stomach. My mind worked razor sharp, the way that I suspect the mind of a cornered animal's would. I searched for any means to attack and destroy the enemy facing us. No one could pray harder than I prayed for God to show me the way to do just that. Many men in the 3rd Platoon would be wounded and killed in the next few hours. I knew it, and the men knew it. I was their platoon leader.
1995 / HARDCOVER
The Bloody Battle for Suribachi
Wheeler's well-written account of his experiences of the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945 describes his platoon's blood-soaked journey from the landing beach to the summit of Mount Suribachi. There, they raised the first U.S. flag. The second raising has become the famous icon of the Marine Corps. This grunt's point of view shows the horror of combat, all the while describing the devotion this "band of brothers" had for each other. This book served as invaluable source material both for James Bradley’s bestseller Flags of Our Fathers as well as Clint Eastwood’s acclaimed film of the same name.
1994 / HARDCOVER / PAPERBACK
The 5th Marine Division
To the Shores of Iwo Jima - 1945
This film is a Kodachrome color short war film produced by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. It documents the Battle of Iwo Jima, and was the first time that American audiences saw in color the footage of the famous flag raising on Iwo Jima. The film follows the servicemen through the battle in rough chronological order, from the bombardment of the island by warships and carrier-based airplanes to the final breakdown of resistance. This film contains the raw footage of the second flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. The film ends by acknowledging the 4,000 men who died in the month-long battle, and tells the audience that their deaths were not in vain, showing a bomber aircraft taking off from the island for a mission over Japan.
20 MINUTES / COLOR
Sands of Iwo Jima - 1949
Sands of Iwo Jima is pretty much the gold standard for Marine Corps war movies. The film stars John Wayne in one of his most iconic roles as Sgt. John Stryker. It follows a group of United States Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. The movie also features John Agar, Adele Mara, and Forrest Tucker, was written by Harry Brown and James Edward Grant, and directed by Allan Dwan. Sands of Iwo Jima was a Republic Pictures production. The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (John Wayne), Best Film Editing, Best Sound, Recording (Daniel J. Bloomberg) and Best Writing, Motion Picture Story.
109 MINUTES / BLACK & WHITE
The Outsider - 1961
A gripping World War II drama that stars Tony Curtis as real-life Marine Ira Hayes, nicknamed "Chief" by his colleagues due to his Pima Indian heritage. After Marine Corps boot camp, Hayes soon discovers the horrors of battle when his best friend is killed. Despite becoming a national hero for helping to raise the flag at Iwo Jima, he struggles with alcoholism and meets a tragic end when he is unable to recover from the loss of his pal. With James Franciscus, Gregory Walcott, Bruce Bennett. NOTE: This movie may be hard to find on DVD if not impossible. The only copies I have seen are on VHS.
108 MINUTES / BLACK & WHITE
Iwo Jima: 36 Days of Hell - 2006
Iwo Jima was arguably the toughest battle the Marines had ever faced. The courage and sacrifice of the men who fought to secure the eight square miles of stinking sulfur rock and volcanic ash will never be forgotten. Step back in time with the sailors, soldiers and airmen who were there and relive one of the most famous battle of WWII. Told almost exclusively through color footage shot by Marine Corps cameramen and veteran interviews, this documentary tells the story of the battle for Iwo Jima through the eyes of those who lived through it. See why it is said that "on Iwo Jima uncommon valor was a common virtue." CONTAINS OVER 25 VETERAN INTERVIEWS!
246 MINUTES / COLOR
Flags of Our Fathers - 2006
Flags of Our Fathers is based on the book of the same name written by James Bradley and Ron Powers about the Battle of Iwo Jima, the five Marines and one Navy Corpsman who were involved in raising the flag on Iwo Jima, and the aftereffects of that event on their lives. Directed by Clint Eastwood, this movie is taken from the American viewpoint of the Battle for Iwo Jima, while the sequel, Letters from Iwo Jima, is from the Japanese viewpoint of the battle. Starring Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford, Adam Beach, Barry Pepper Paul Walker and Neal McDonough.
132 MINUTES / COLOR
Letter From Iwo Jima - 2007
Nominated for 4 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima tells the untold story of the Japanese soldiers who defended their homeland against invading American forces during World War II. With little defense other than sheer will and the volcanic rock of Iwo Jima itself, the unprecedented tactics of General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) and his men transform what was predicted to be a swift defeat into nearly 40 days of heroic and resourceful combat. It is the powerful companion piece to Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers.
141 MINUTES / COLOR
The Pacific - 2010
The Pacific is an epic 10-part miniseries that delivers a realistic portrait of WWII's Pacific Theatre as seen through the intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines - Robert Leckie, John Basilone and Eugene Sledge. The extraordinary experiences of these men and their fellow Marines take them from the first clash with the Japanese in the haunted jungles of Guadalcanal, through the impenetrable rain firests of Cape Gloucester, across the blasted coral strongholds of Peleliu, up the black sand terraces of Iwo Jima, through the killing fields of Okinawa, to the triumphant, yet uneasy, return home after V-J Day. The viewer will be immersed in combat through the intimate perspective of this diverse, relatable group of men pushed to the limit in battle both physically and psychologically against a relentless enemy unlike any encountered before.
400 MINUTES / COLOR