With the Old Breed Essay #2

With the Old Breed Essay #2 - 1 American Military History...

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1 American Military History With the Old Breed by E.B. Sledge The novel With the Old Breed by E.B. Sledge is a memoir that tells the story of training and two battles fought by Eugene Bondurant Sledge during his time as a private during World War II with Company K, 3 rd Battalion, 5 th Marine regiment, 1 st Marine Division. It serves as a firsthand account that truly displays the horrors, conditions, and sentiments that were felt in infantry divisions that fought in the Pacific. The novel talks about the incredible hardships and feelings of hopelessness that were felt by men during battle, and also shows the trust and friendships that were created between soldiers as they fought together. Throughout the novel Sledge wrestles with the overall brutality of the war, and often wonders if it necessary or if there is even a greater good. After reading this memoir the reader will have followed a common American soldier to Boot Camp, and through both of his battle campaigns. The story essentially picks up when E.B. Sledge decides that he does not want to be in a Marines officer training program at Georgia Tech anymore and deliberately flunks out of college to be able to actually fight in combat. He along with many other Georgia Tech dropouts are immediately shipped to San Diego to undergo boot camp in order to ready them for battle. . Upon arriving at boot camp, sledge was assigned to drill instructor corporal Doherty. It immediately became apparent to him as well as his fellow recruits that Doherty would be “the master of our fates for the weeks to come” (10). The drilling was consistent and unrelenting as the “grueling day began with reveille at 0400 and ended at 2200 with taps” (11). In addition to that they could be woken up at any time for rifle inspection, close-order drill, or a run around the grounds. Doherty never yelled at them very loud, but conveyed his disapproval of the recruits through his “icy stares that send cold chills through us” (10). Sledge knew that if they didn’t follow orders to a tee, that he would be reamed out and embarrassed in front of the entire platoon.
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2 In boot camp, discipline and following orders was the most crucial thing to adhere to be able to escape unscathed. One lapse of concentration or lack of understanding could result in injury or severe punishment from the drill instructors. As the recruits progressed they began to shoot their guns on a range and were pressed hard on being accurate and safe with their weapons. There was an instance when a soldier accidently “pointed his rifle muzzle away from the targets” which resulted in a boot in the rear so hard that the man was knocked over by the kick of the captain (12). A scene like this was not uncommon in boot camp as drill instructors knew what the young recruits would be facing and needed to get them ready. In the end Sledge earned a sharpshooter badge, and had done well enough in boot camp to earn a trip overseas. The soldiers arrived at Camp Elliot for infantry training, and Sledge was assigned to use a
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This note was uploaded on 10/03/2011 for the course HIST 110 taught by Professor Sagear during the Fall '08 term at Lehigh University .

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With the Old Breed Essay #2 - 1 American Military History...

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