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Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa

Unabridged Audio Book

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Tom Weiner

8 Hours 44 Minutes

Blackstone Audiobooks

December 2010


Audio Book Summary

On November 20, 1943, in the first trial by fire of America’s fledgling amphibious assault doctrine, five thousand men stormed the beaches of Tarawa, a seemingly invincible Japanese island fortress barely the size of the three hundred-acre Pentagon parking lots. Before the first day ended, one-third of the marines who had crossed Tarawa’s deadly reef under murderous fire were killed, wounded, or missing. In three days of fighting, four Americans would win the Medal of Honor and six thousand combatants would die.
Now, Colonel Joseph Alexander, a combat marine himself, presents the full story of Tarawa in all its horror and glory: the extreme risks, the horrific combat, and the heroic breakthroughs. Based on exhaustive research, never-before-published accounts from marine survivors, and new evidence from Japanese sources, Colonel Alexander captures the grit, guts, and relentless courage of United States Marines overcoming outrageous odds to deliver victory for their country.

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  • Anonymous

    This was the first time I'd heard of this battle. My prayers are for all those incredibly brave soldiers. I stand in awe of them.

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  • Anonymous

    This is an excellent, detailed accounting of the Battle of Tarawa in November 1943. It uses both American and Japanese primary sources and clears up some of the discrepancies that were present in previous accounts. For example, it was long wondered why the Japanese did not counterattack during the night of the first day. Japanese doctrine called for coordinated counterattacks after an invasion, but none occurred. The reason for the failure of the attack is one of those simple twists of fate that occur in war, which will be revealed when you listen to the book. While it focuses on the American point of view, the book does an excellent job of portraying the courage, tenacity, and skill of the Japanese defenders. The book includes both an account of what led up to the battle and its aftermath. Highly recommended.

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