Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for A special valor : the U.S. Marines and the Pacific war
A special valor : the U.S. Marines and the Pacific war
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Harper & Row, ©1983.
Physical Description:
xii, 466 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Conference Subject:
Geographic Term:


Call Number
940.54 WHE

On Order

Reviews 1

Kirkus Review

What the Marines did in the Pacific: a conscientious, plodding, action-by-action account (of over 500 pages) whose chief asset is Pacific vet Wheeler's built-in expression of the Marine spirit--reinforced by personal details gathered from other veterans. When the small Wake garrison surrenders at war's start, a dejected, semi-clothed party of prisoners, roused by a sergeant--""Snap out of this stuff! Goddammit, you're Marines!""--files past the commanding officer with shoulders squared ""and in perfect cadence."" During the six-month Guadalcanal slugfest, word comes over a short-wave radio that Washington has doubts about the outcome. ""Well, I'll be a son of a bitch!"" a private reportedly exclaimed: ""Don't they know we got Marines on this island?"" Wheeler also intersperses numerous eyewitness reports--but, as quoted, they are mostly indistinguishable from his toneless descriptions. Big Moments have to be taken on trust: the appearance of Major General Alexander Patch, towards the end of the Guadalcanal campaign, was ""inspirational,"" writes Wheeler. ""We all felt ten feet tall,"" recalls a Marine. But given some identification with the Corps, one can relive the fight up the Solomons and the Marianas, retake Guam, assault Iwo Jima, seize Okinawa, and finally return to Wake . . . accompanied by battle-maps and periodic photos. The ordinary buff, looking for more drama and shape, will want to stick with Robert Leckie's Strong Men Armed: The United States Marines Against Japan (1962) and other vigorous chronicles. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.