“Please Lord, just one more.”
Blurb: “WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.”
I don’t usually review movies on my blog, but Hacksaw Ridge was an incredible, no less because it is a true story. Here was a young man who loved God, and through certain events in his young life, swore to God to never hold a gun again; and he stuck by that promise when he joined the Army to become a medic, even though he was threaten with prison. But because of the Conscientious Objector law, he could not be charged. So he went into battle on Okinawa—one of the bloodiest battles in Pacific Arena of World War II (WWII)—without a weapon and only his medic kit. And so follows one of the most amazing stories.
After his company charged Maeda Escarpment (or Hacksaw Ridge) and held it for a night, they were brutally chased off, though Doss stayed up on the Ridge, and proceeded to dodge the Japanese while searching and sending down wounded men. Desmond T. Doss ended up saving 75 men. His story is incredible, and one that needs to be taught in history classes, in my opinion.
My Rating: 5/5 stars
We Band of Angels by Elizabeth Norman:
“Hailed by “The New York Times Book Review” as a “grippingly told” story of “power and relevance,” here is the true, untold account of the first American women to prove their mettle under combat conditions. Later, during three years of brutal captivity at the hands of the Japanese, they also demonstrated their ability to survive. Filled with the thoughts and impressions of the women who lived it, “every page of this history is fascinating” (The Washington Post). “We Band of Angels”
In the fall of 1941, the Philippines was a gardenia-scented paradise for the American Army and Navy nurses stationed there. War was a distant rumor, life a routine of easy shifts and evenings of dinner and dancing under the stars. On December 8 all that changed, as Japanese bombs rained on American bases in Luzon, and the women’s paradise became a fiery hell. Caught in the raging battle, the nurses set up field hospitals in the jungles of Bataan and the tunnels of Corregidor, where they saw the most devastating injuries of war, and suffered the terrors of shells and shrapnel.
But the worst was yet to come. As Bataan and Corregidor fell, a few nurses escaped, but most were herded into internment camps enduring three years of fear and starvation. Once liberated, they returned to an America that at first celebrated them, but later refused to honor their leaders with the medals they clearly deserved. Here, in letters, diaries, and firsthand accounts, is the story of what really happened during those dark days, woven together in a compelling saga of women in war.”
Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides
“On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese soldiers elsewhere in the Philippines made the stakes impossibly high and left little time to plan the complex operation.
In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides vividly re-creates this daring raid, offering a minute-by-minute narration that unfolds alongside intimate portraits of the prisoners and their lives in the camp. Sides shows how the POWs banded together to survive, defying the Japanese authorities even as they endured starvation, tropical diseases, and torture. Harrowing, poignant, and inspiring, Ghost Soldiers is the mesmerizing story of a remarkable mission. It is also a testament to the human spirit, an account of enormous bravery and self-sacrifice amid the most trying conditions.”
The Ultimate Battle: Okinawa 1945 by Bill Sloan
“The Ultimate Battle is the full story of the last great clash of World War II as it has never before been told. With the same “grunt’s-eye-view” narrative style that distinguished his Brotherhood of Heroes (on the Battle of Peleliu), Bill Sloan presents a gripping and uniquely personal saga of heroism and sacrifice in which at least 115,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen from both sides were killed, as were nearly 150,000 civilians caught in the crossfire or encouraged to commit suicide by Japanese troops. It is a story set against a panorama of more than 1,500 American ships, nearly two thousand Japanese kamikazes sworn to sink those ships, and two huge armies locked in a no-quarter struggle to the death — the 541,000 GIs and Marines of the U.S. Tenth Army, and Japan’s 110,000-man 32nd Army. Woven into the broader narrative, in “Band of Brothers” style, are the personal stories of men who endured this epic battle and were interviewed by the author. In many cases, their experiences are told here in print for the first time.”
Brotherhood of Heroes: The Marines at Peleliu by Bill Sloan
Between September 15 and October 15, 1944, the First Marine Division suffered more than 6,500 casualties fighting on a hellish little coral island in the Pacific. Peleliu was the setting for one of the most savage struggles of modern times, a true killing ground that has been all but forgotten—until now. Drawing on interviews with Peleliu veterans, Bill Sloan’s gripping narrative seamlessly weaves together the experiences of the men who were there, producing a vivid and unflinching tableau of the twenty-four-hour-a-day nightmare of Peleliu.
Emotionally moving and gripping in its depictions of combat, Brotherhood of Heroes rescues the Corps’s bloodiest battle from obscurity and does honor to the Marines who fought it.”
With the Old Breed by E.B. Sledge
“In his own book, Wartime, Paul Fussell called With the Old Breed “one of the finest memoirs to emerge from any war.” John Keegan referred to it in The Second World War as “one of the most arresting documents in war literature.” And Studs Terkel was so fascinated with the story he interviewed its author for his book, “The Good War.” What has made E.B. Sledge’s memoir of his experience fighting in the South Pacific during World War II so devastatingly powerful is its sheer honest simplicity and compassion.
The Mathews Men by William Geroux
The Mathews Men shows us the war far beyond traditional battlefields–often the U.S. merchant mariners’ life-and-death struggles took place just off the U.S. coast–but also takes us to the landing beaches at D-Day and to the Pacific. “When final victory is ours,” General Dwight D. Eisenhower had predicted, “there is no organization that will share its credit more deservedly than the Merchant Marine.” Here, finally, is the heroic story of those merchant seamen, recast as the human story of the men from Mathews. From the Hardcover edition.