Spielberg’s The Pacific
According to IMDB and several news reports, Steven Spielberg has now wrapped up the filming of Band of Brothers sequel; The pacific in Australia recently and the project is now in Post Production. The 10 part min-series is set to hit TV screens sometime next year.
According to Wikipedia, The Pacific is a World War II television drama mini-series, produced by HBO, which is currently in development. It is the successor to Band of Brothers. Whereas Band of Brothers focused on United States involvement in the European Theater of Operations, the new series will be about the Pacific Theater of Operations. The Pacific will not be associated with any of the characters from Band of Brothers and is to be based primarily on two memoirs: U.S. Marines: With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge and Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie. The series will tell the stories of the two authors and Marine John Basilone, as the war against the Empire of Japan rages.
The Pacific is being spearheaded by Bruce McKenna, who was one of the main writers on Band of Brothers. Hugh Ambrose, the son of Band of Brothers author Stephen Ambrose, will serve as a project consultant.
Helmet for My Pillow
Helmet for My Pillow is the personal narrative written by World War II United States Marine Corps veteran, author and military historian Robert Leckie. First published in 1957, the story begins with Leckie enlisting in the United States Marines shortly after the 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor.
Beginning with boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina, the story follows Leckie through basic training and then to New River, North Carolina where he is briefly stationed.
Leckie is assigned to the 1st Marine Division and is deployed to northern Australia, eventually landing on the islands of the South Pacific and the shores of Japan. Helmet for My Pillow is the personal story of a Marine fighting for survival with the Japanese at the battle of Guadalcanal, the first major battle between US Marines and Japanese Soldiers.
With the Old Breed
With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa is a World War II memoir by former United States Marine Eugene Sledge. It was originally published in 1981 by the Presidio Press and has been reprinted at least three times: in 1990 by the Oxford University Press, in 1996 by the Naval Institute Press, and again in 2007 by the Presidio Press.
Nicknamed “Sledgehammer” by his comrades, Sledge experienced horrific combat during the battles of Peleliu and Okinawa as an operator of a 60mm mortar while part of K Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division.
His memoir is the definitive account of front-line infantry combat in the Pacific War. Sledge writes honestly of the brutality displayed by United States Marines and Japanese soldiers during the battles, and of the hatred that both sides harbored for each other. In Sledge’s words, “this was a brutish, primitive hatred, as characteristic of the horror of war in the Pacific as the palm trees and the islands.” Sledge describes one instance in which he and a comrade came across the mutilated bodies of three Marines, including one Marine whose genitals had been cut off and stuffed into the corpse’s mouth. He also describes the behavior of some Marines towards dead Japanese, including the removal of gold teeth from Japanese corpses (and, in one case, a severely wounded but still living Japanese soldier), as well as other disturbing trophy-taking.
Also separating the book from most other war memoirs is Sledge’s description of the sheer physical struggle of living in a combat zone and the debilitating effects of constant fear, fatigue, and filth. “Fear and filth went hand in hand,” Sledge writes; “[i]t has always puzzled me that this important factor in our daily lives has received so little attention from historians and is often omitted from otherwise excellent personal memoirs by infantrymen.” Marines had trouble staying dry, finding time to eat their rations, practicing basic field sanitation (it was impossible to dig latrines or catholes in the coral rock on Peleliu), and simply moving around on the pulverized coral of Peleliu and in the mud of Okinawa. Sledge also displays an unusual literary affinity, citing poems by Rudyard Kipling and Wilfred Owen in between his grim descriptions of “war at its worst.”
Since its first publication in 1981, With the Old Breed has earned wide recognition as one of the best first-hand accounts of combat in the Pacific during World War II. Literary scholar Paul Fussell, himself a World War II combat veteran, called it “one of the finest memoirs to emerge from any war.” The memoir is based on notes Sledge kept tucked away in a pocket-sized Bible he carried with him during battle. Extensive research was also done in order to give a clearer picture of the role of his Division in the Pacific War.