Just got The Lions of Iwo Jima by Fred Haynes and James A. Warren and read nearly half of it while flying today. Great read so far.
The Lions of Iwo Jima tells the full story of one of the greatest units fielded in the history of the U.S. Marines. Combat Team 28, 4500 men strong, trained for a full year, landed on the black sands of Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945, and raised the flag atop Mount Suribachi after four days of ferocious combat. Major General Fred Haynes USMC (Ret’d), then a young captain, is the last surviving officer in CT28 intimately involved in planning and coordinating all phases of the Team’s fight on Iwo Jima. Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped documents, personal narratives, and letters, in addition to more than 100 interviews with survivors, Haynes and Warren recapture in riveting detail what the Marines of Combat Team 28 experienced, placing particular emphasis on the Team’s ferocious struggle to break through the main belt of the Japanese defenses to the north, and reduce the final pocket of resistance on the island in Bloody Gorge.
The Lions of Iwo Jima offers fresh interpretations of the fight for Suribachi, the iconic flag raising photo, and the nature of the campaign as a whole, and helps to answer the essential questions: Who were these men? What accounts for their extraordinary performance in battle?
The first (smaller) flag was just raised when I left off. If the second half of the book is anything like the first, this is a real winner.
I will have a lot more on this in the near future.