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The Lions of Iwo Jima
By Major General Fred Haynes (USMC-ret) and James A. Warren

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The Lions of Iwo Jima

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The Lions of Iwo Jima
The Story of Combat Team 28 and the Bloodiest Battle in Marine Corps History
By Major General Fred Haynes (USMC-ret) and James A. Warren
Thorndike Press, Large Print Edition (2009)
ISBN 10: 1-4104-1228-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-4104-1228-7
Genre: History, World War II

Reviewed by Herbert White - April 8, 2009

The Battle of Iwo Jima (February 19 March 26, 1945) was one of the bloodiest and fiercest battles fought between American and Japanese forces in the Pacific theater, during World War II. The Lions of Iwo Jima is the story of Combat Team 28 (CT 28), a 4,500 men strong Marine combat Unit that landed on Iwo Jima on February 19th, 1945, and went on to raise the American flag atop Mount Suribachi.

The American attack on Iwo Jima was officially designated as Operation Detachment, and more than a third of the American forces that landed on the Island died during the fierce, close quarter combat that ensued during the battle. This book follows the men of CT 28 from the formation of the Unit in 1944, through the heroic battle that they fought on Iwo Jima. In the process, the authors, Major General Fred Haynes (USMC-ret) and James A. Warren, provide a detailed survey of the battle for Iwo Jima, and the consequences it held for the rest of the war. Warren is a respected Military Historian and Haynes was a Captain, serving as an Operations Officer, when he landed on Iwo Jima along with the men of CT 28. Haynes's account of the Battle of Iwo Jima serves as the foundation around which this book was written.

The 28th Marines, under the command of Colonel Harry Bluett Liversedge, had three combat teams, the 26, 27, and 28th. In February of 1944, the men who would make up these three combat teams arrived in Camp Pendleton, to begin training for what was to become their first, and only, battle of the war - Iwo Jima. Focusing on CT 28, the authors examine how these teams were trained, who their leaders were, and what life was like for the rank and file Marine Corps men who served in CT 28, during their training and in the days leading up to the battle.

The bulk of this text concentrates on the initial assault on Iwo Jima and the ensuring, nonstop fighting that took place until the Marines wrestled the Island away from its Japanese defenders. In gripping detail, interspersed with personal accounts, the authors take you on a virtual tour of the battle and allow you to shadow the men of CT 28 as they fought and died on this tiny volcanic rock that jutted out of the Pacific ocean.

The Lions of Iwo Jima is a remarkable story, written with candor and graphic details. The authors succeed not only in providing an unforgettable account of the battle of Iwo Jima, but also in giving a face to the men, on both sides of the conflict, who participated in this historic battle. Illustrated, filled with maps, and infused with first person accounts of the battle, The Lions of Iwo Jima is essential reading for both general and academic readers with an interest in the Battle of Iwo Jima, Military history, or the history of World War II. This book also serves as a memorial/remembrance book for those who fought on Iwo Jima and it is essential reading for their decedents who are interested in learning about what their father or grandfather experienced during this fateful battle.

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