Iwo Jima: Red Blood Black Sand

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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Iwo Jima: 19, February, 1945 Red Blood-Black Sand Pacific Apocalypse The capture of Iwo Jima was supposed to have taken three days with relatively minor casualties. More than a month later, 6,821 Americans were dead. The story of Iwo has been told many times before, but this account is through the eyes of a Marine PFC. whose experiences, thoughts and feelings are now ours to share. The account focuses not only on the author's experiences but upon those of the men he served with.

An unusual aspect is the inclusion of memoirs of several Japanese officers, offering a different, yet necesarry perspective. This is a contribution to the greater historical account. It is a personalized view of a cataclysmic event, but most of all, it is a tribute to the men who served and who sacrificed under the most arduous of circumstances.

The book is written in a journal like fashion told by Charles W.

Tatum. After the savage sneak attack on Perl Harbor 7, December, 1941, Charles W. Tatum, a 15 year old paper boy tries to join millions of other patriotic men wanting th enlist and avenge America's honor by fighting Japan. Tatum then tells in a humorous and very reflective terms of his passage into manhood as the efficient military tool of the Marine Corps controlled his changes into an aggressive fighting man. He is nurtured by John Basilone, Medal of Honor recipient and Marine icon, guided by other heroes of America's bloody battles on the way to victory in the Pacific, the youthful Tatum finds his footpath to combat complicated but shocking new experiences, all of which fuel him with a powerful desire to uphold the proud traditions of his adopted Corps.

Tatum then only 17, still a boy, signs up for the Marine Corps...