A Marine Rifleman's Combat Odyssey in K/3/5
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250005052, 333pp.
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
A POWERFULLY WROUGHT MEMOIR BY A MEMBER OF WWII'S FABLED 1ST MARINE DIVISION
Sterling Mace's unit was the legendary "K-3-5" (for Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment of the 1st Marine Division) and his story takes readers through some of the most intense action of the Pacific War, from the seldom-seen perspective of a rifleman at the point of attack.
"Battleground Pacific" is filled with indelible moments that begin with his childhood growing up in Queens, New York, and his run-in with the law that eventually led to his enlistment. But this is ultimately a combat tale as violent and harrowing as any that has come before. From fighting through the fiery hell that was Peleliu to the deadly battleground of Okinawa, Mace traces his path from the fear of combat to understanding that killing another human comes just as easily as staying alive. He learns that bravery often equates to stupidity, leading to the death of close friends, but also that life goes on, with death on its heels.
"Battleground Pacific" is one of the most important and entertaining memoirs about the Pacific theater in WWII.
“Battleground Pacific is another great tribute to 'The Greatest Generation.' During much of the book, and especially the daily grind of combat, I found myself comparing Mace’s ordeals with those of my uncle, Sgt. John Basilone, the Medal of Honor hero from Guadalcanal. Both Mace and Basilone suffered the physical and mental hardships of battle and the frustration of the seemingly endless conflict with the enemy. Mace’s tale is written in the language of a grunt speaking for all the unsung heroes who lived and died in the Pacific. A good read from this Marine’s perspective.”
—Jerry Cutter, former Marine, nephew of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC, and author of the authorized biography of Basilone, I’m Staying with My Boys
"Battleground Pacific is more than a book. It’s a virtual minicam on a rifleman’s helmet, riveting home the sights and sounds of war in a realness you expect to find only in a movie theater."
—Bob Welch, co-author of Easy Company Soldier: The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant from WWII's "Band of Brothers"