March 2nd, 2011

wwii

a netherworld of horror

Bluejacket, I mean, aged 20, in August strolled
Among the little bodies on the sand and hunted
Souvenirs: teeth, tags, diaries, boots; but bolder still
Hacked off this head and under a leopard tree skinned it

“The US Sailor with the Japanese Skull” by Winfield Townley Scott





over the winter break i finally had an opportunity to watch The Pacific in its entirety.

yes, like a WW II glutton, i watched it all straight through with lots of popcorn and a mug full of awe.

i'd previously read With the Old Breed, one of the books on which it was based (I still need to read Leckie's A Helmet for My Pillow). of the WW II accounts i've read, and despite his apologies for poor writing, Sledge's account is no doubt the most moving. like the accounts of the battle of attu i wrote about last week, the hate for the Japanese is a prominent theme in the book and we have the opportunity to witness it develop through the once innocent eyes of Sledge.


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