Brotherhood of Heroes: The Marines at Peleliu, 1944–The Bloodiest Battle of the Pacific War

On September 15, 1944, the U.S. 3rd Amphibious Corp consisting of the Marine Corps 1st Division, Army’s 81st Division & supporting forces, invaded Peleliu in the Palau islands southeast of the Philippines.

This Band of Brothers for the Pacific is the gut-wrenching and ultimately triumphant story of the Marines’ most ferocious—yet largely forgotten—battle of World War II.

Between September 15 and October 15, 1944, the First Marine Division suffered more than 6,500 casualties fighting on a hellish little coral island in the Pacific. Peleliu was the setting for one of the most savage struggles of modern times, a true killing ground that has been all but forgotten—until now. Drawing on interviews with Peleliu veterans, Bill Sloan’s gripping narrative seamlessly weaves together the experiences of the men who were there, producing a vivid and unflinching tableau of the twenty-four-hour-a-day nightmare of Peleliu.

Emotionally moving and gripping in its depictions of combat, Brotherhood of Heroes rescues the Corps’s bloodiest battle from obscurity and does honor to the Marines who fought it.

JAMES MATTIS GIVES BLISTERING CRITIQUE OF BARACK OBAMA FOREIGN POLICY.

Most of the coverage of James Mattis’s new book, Call Sign Chaos, co-authored with Bing West, deals with the former defense secretary’s relationship with President Trump. The Atlantic‘s pre-publication interview with Mattis was headlined, “The Man Who Couldn’t Take It Anymore.” The New York Times editorial page ran a column about Mattis called “The Man Trump Wishes He Were.”

Both articles establish that Mattis doesn’t have much to say right now, in either the book or in interviews, about President Trump. Neither piece, though, mentions another president about whom Mattis is more than willing to dish. That would be Barack Obama, who was Mattis’s commander in chief when the then–Marine general led Central Command. Mattis’s critique of Obama isn’t just harsh. It’s blistering.

Mattis’s tenure at Central Command lasted from 2010 to 2013. It was during this time that the Obama administration took steps that diminished American influence in the greater Middle East and empowered Iran. The spillover effect includes the migrant crisis that contributed to the rise of national populism in Europe. Mattis dissented from Obama policy. “In 2010,” he writes, “I argued strongly against pulling all our troops out of Iraq.”

When the Arab Spring came to Egypt in 2011, “I thought we should use quiet diplomacy to urge inclusive government.” Obama instead called for Hosni Mubarak to resign. Mattis writes:

President Obama came out vocally against Mubarak, insisting that in Egypt, “we were on the right side of history.” Having read a bit of history and found that events, good and bad, had been “written” by both good and evil characters, I put little stock in the idea that history books yet to be written would somehow give yearning Arabs what they fervently desired today.

In the spring of 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder revealed an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador on U.S. soil. Mattis urged the White House to make the public case for reprisals against Tehran. He was rebuffed. “We treated an act of war as a law enforcement violation, jailing the low level courier.”