ï»¿13 May 16
From: Sergeant MacDaddy EDPI/MOS USMC
To: Whomever it concerns
Subj: SUMMARY OF WITH THE OLD BREED BY E. B. SLEDGE
1. Purpose. To provide a brief summary about With the Old Breed.
2. Summary. Eugene B. Sledge, also known as Sledgehammer, is a World War II veteran whom fought in two of the most vicious battles in Marine Corps history. The least of known battles, Peleliu Island, which many to this day still believe to be of unimportance and the battle for Okinawa. During rest and recovery time following the battle on Peleliu, Sledgehammer recognized war had changed his personality and outlook on life. Due to this, Sledge began to write personal memoirs and ...view middle of the document...
Assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (or K/3/5), Sledge arrived on Pavuvu Island in June of 1944 to join his unit and begin training for the hard battles to come. Later after the training had hardened him, he mentions that failing would warrant only a glance; that it was learned failing was not an option to the veterans who had fought so hard at Cape Gloucester. The training of K Company continued for weeks with no knowledge of where the next battle would take place. The Marines were told of an Island â€œXâ€ that they were to assault amphibiously however no date of the assault was given. Finally, once aboard transports headed toward the island, the Marines were informed that their mystery battle would be on Peleliu Island; an island no man had heard of.
(c) On 15 September, 1944 the assault on Peleliu would be the first experiences of combat
Sledge and his fellow Marines would encounter. Sledge describes in detail how at first he was scared to death, thinking surely that he would be the next Marine to be taken out by the heavy shelling, machine-gun or sniper fire. His accounts of mayhem conducted by both sides, while usually either refined or left out of war novels, are left as unaltered as they are in his memory. One example of this is when Marines would kill a Japanese solider they would often raid their belongings to include knocking out valuable teeth. Another description in the book Sledge spoke of was a Marine from K/3/5 attempted to keep a souvenir of an enemyâ€™s hand, however, several of the Marines forced him to dispose of the human remain. 30 October, Sledge and his fellow surviving Marines was finally able to get off that demolished Island. K/3/5 went into Peleliu with 235 men, the normal size of a World War II Marine rifle company. They left with only 85 unhurt by enemy fire. Following Peleliu, the Marines of Company K returned to Pavuvu Island to rest and recover. Replacements joined the company and short-timers left. Training remained constant because the war was not over.
(d) Sledge and the Marines of K/3/5 were assigned as a regimental...