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82 Days on Okinawa: A Memoir of the Pacific's Greatest Battle

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In celebration of the 75th anniversary, a riveting first-hand account of the Battle of Okinawa—the Pacific War’s “bloodiest battle of all” (New York Times)—from the first officer ashore, who served at the front for the battle’s entire 82-day duration, heroism that earned him a Bronze Star. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, 1,500 Allied ships and 1.5 million men gathered off In celebration of the 75th anniversary, a riveting first-hand account of the Battle of Okinawa—the Pacific War’s “bloodiest battle of all” (New York Times)—from the first officer ashore, who served at the front for the battle’s entire 82-day duration, heroism that earned him a Bronze Star. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, 1,500 Allied ships and 1.5 million men gathered off the coast of the Japanese island of Okinawa and launched the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific War. They expected an 80% casualty rate. The first American officer ashore was Major Art Shaw, a unit commander in the U.S. Army’s 361st Artillery Battalion of the 96th Division, often called the Deadeyes. For the next three months, Major Shaw and his men served at the front lines of the Pacific’s bloodiest battle, their artillery proving decisive against a “phantom enemy” who had entrenched themselves into rugged, craggy island. Now, at 98, Art Shaw looks back to tell the story. 82 Days on Okinawa is an extraordinary eyewitness account of this critical World War II battle. The first step of Operation Downfall—the ground invasion of Japan—the Battle of Okinawa became legendary for its brutality. Over 82 days, the Allies fought the Japanese Army in one of the bloodiest campaigns of the war, one in which more than 150,000 soldiers would die. When the final calculations were made, the totals said that the Deadeyes had killed 37,763 of the enemy. The 361st Field Artillery Battalion had played a crucial role in victory. It would be the last major battle of World War II, and a key pivot point leading to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Japanese surrender in August, two months after the siege’s end. A riveting first-person account of this turning point, featuring 20 black-and-white photos, 82 Days on Okinawa joins the ranks of Donald Stratton’s All the Gallant Men and Dusty Kleiss Never Call Me a Hero.


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In celebration of the 75th anniversary, a riveting first-hand account of the Battle of Okinawa—the Pacific War’s “bloodiest battle of all” (New York Times)—from the first officer ashore, who served at the front for the battle’s entire 82-day duration, heroism that earned him a Bronze Star. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, 1,500 Allied ships and 1.5 million men gathered off In celebration of the 75th anniversary, a riveting first-hand account of the Battle of Okinawa—the Pacific War’s “bloodiest battle of all” (New York Times)—from the first officer ashore, who served at the front for the battle’s entire 82-day duration, heroism that earned him a Bronze Star. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, 1,500 Allied ships and 1.5 million men gathered off the coast of the Japanese island of Okinawa and launched the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific War. They expected an 80% casualty rate. The first American officer ashore was Major Art Shaw, a unit commander in the U.S. Army’s 361st Artillery Battalion of the 96th Division, often called the Deadeyes. For the next three months, Major Shaw and his men served at the front lines of the Pacific’s bloodiest battle, their artillery proving decisive against a “phantom enemy” who had entrenched themselves into rugged, craggy island. Now, at 98, Art Shaw looks back to tell the story. 82 Days on Okinawa is an extraordinary eyewitness account of this critical World War II battle. The first step of Operation Downfall—the ground invasion of Japan—the Battle of Okinawa became legendary for its brutality. Over 82 days, the Allies fought the Japanese Army in one of the bloodiest campaigns of the war, one in which more than 150,000 soldiers would die. When the final calculations were made, the totals said that the Deadeyes had killed 37,763 of the enemy. The 361st Field Artillery Battalion had played a crucial role in victory. It would be the last major battle of World War II, and a key pivot point leading to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Japanese surrender in August, two months after the siege’s end. A riveting first-person account of this turning point, featuring 20 black-and-white photos, 82 Days on Okinawa joins the ranks of Donald Stratton’s All the Gallant Men and Dusty Kleiss Never Call Me a Hero.

30 review for 82 Days on Okinawa: A Memoir of the Pacific's Greatest Battle

  1. 5 out of 5

    CYIReadBooks (Claire)

    Outstanding! Unputdownable! An excellent ARC and many thanks for GoodreadsGiveaways for the opportunity to read and review this book. The book recounts the author's (Art Shaw) position as Major in the army at the battle on Okinawa -- the bloodiest battle of WWII. Although there are numerous facts presented in the book, it was a candid easy first person read and it flowed so quickly. A must read. Outstanding! Unputdownable! An excellent ARC and many thanks for GoodreadsGiveaways for the opportunity to read and review this book. The book recounts the author's (Art Shaw) position as Major in the army at the battle on Okinawa -- the bloodiest battle of WWII. Although there are numerous facts presented in the book, it was a candid easy first person read and it flowed so quickly. A must read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    happy

    I was a bit disappointed in this offering. While the author tells one of the under told stories of the “Last Campaign of WW II”, there were some major problems for me that dropped this to a three star. First the good parts, I as I mentioned the author tells a very under reported part of the Battle for Okinawa – the role the US Army played. It seems the Marines get all of the ink and credit for the campaign. There were actually more Army Divisions on the Island than Marine ones. This is the story I was a bit disappointed in this offering. While the author tells one of the under told stories of the “Last Campaign of WW II”, there were some major problems for me that dropped this to a three star. First the good parts, I as I mentioned the author tells a very under reported part of the Battle for Okinawa – the role the US Army played. It seems the Marines get all of the ink and credit for the campaign. There were actually more Army Divisions on the Island than Marine ones. This is the story of one Army Division, the 96th ID and it's part in the campaign. The principle author was a Major in one of the 96th's Artillery Battalions, the 361st FA Battalion and later retired from the Army as a Full Col. The story is mainly told from his point of view. In telling the 96th's story the heroism of the Infantry soldiers who made up the sharp end of the 96th's spear is very well told. A couple of MOH earning actions are recounted, as well as many actions that earned the participants DSC's, the Army's second highest award for valor, are recounted. This may sound almost sacrilegious, but at one point in the narrative it seemed that DSCs were being awarded almost as frequently as prizes are found in a box of Cracker Jacks. In addition to the combat, the story of the weather is also vividly described. In the later part of April and into May 1945, there was so much rain that vehicle traffic almost came to a complete halt. Even tracked vehicles could not negotiate the muddy roads. The author tells of not only 6x6 trucks being mired to their axles, tracked gun carriages that tried to pull them out were also getting stuck. In telling the story of the 96ths assaults on the various ridge lines, Maj Shaw also tells how even one of the assistant Division commanders got involved. He was visiting the front when his party came under sniper fire. He borrowed a rifle and killed the sniper who was appox 500 yrds away. When he returned the rifle his comment to the soldiers around him was, “That’s the way you do it!” The General was later killed in a different sniper incident. In addition to the Infantry actions, Maj/Col Shaw does tell the Artillery story. They fired off prodigious amounts of shells - probably rivaling the amounts fired during WW I. At point the barrels of the guns got so hot, the crews worried that rounds would "cook off" in the guns chambers. Now to some of the problems I have with the narrative. On the blurb the book is purported to be Col Shaw's eye witness memories. However, as an Arty Officer there is no way in Hell that he saw all of what is recounted in the text. The various infantry assaults on the Japanese defenses are presented as if he was there and observed them. He couldn't have and still did his job. This is another problem I had with the narrative - just what was Maj Shaw's job. When I first started reading the book I got the impression that he was the commander of the 361st FA Bn. when discussing his movements and duties - they weren't what a Bn Co would be doing. Eventually the text mentions the Bn Commanders name, so he wasn't that. Towards the end of the narrative, it is mentioned that he was the bn operations officer, S-3. Another other major problem I had is when the narrative is talking about military organization. The 361st is variously mentioned in the text as a Battalion, a battery, a company, or a generic "unit" ie the 361st unit - drove me nuts :) This problem carries over to the infantry Regts of the Division. One other stylistic problem I had was the authors habit of stating the full rank and name of EVERY person mentioned in the narrative. In summary, the story is a solid 4 , 4+ stars, organization is 2 at best, over all a 3+ star read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Krisette Spangler

    This memoir felt like sitting on your grandfather's knee while he tells you the story of his war adventures. It contains all of the horrors the military experienced after they landed on the beaches of Okinawa. Mr. Shaw recounts the battles, the losses of his comrades, and the horrors of fighting a war. It gives some perspective as to why Truman decided to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima when you read what the United States Armed Forces was up against in Japan. The language was mostly clean, wh This memoir felt like sitting on your grandfather's knee while he tells you the story of his war adventures. It contains all of the horrors the military experienced after they landed on the beaches of Okinawa. Mr. Shaw recounts the battles, the losses of his comrades, and the horrors of fighting a war. It gives some perspective as to why Truman decided to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima when you read what the United States Armed Forces was up against in Japan. The language was mostly clean, which surprised me as well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda Munro

    I would like to thank Goodreads, the author and publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read this book. For those of you who have read my reviews you are already aware that I look for books written about the Pacific Theater during World War II. It is the means by which I am coming to understand my father twenty-two years after his death. It took me a while to read this book; not because it was boring or a slow read; but, due to the fact that I would read something in a chapter that would spar I would like to thank Goodreads, the author and publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read this book. For those of you who have read my reviews you are already aware that I look for books written about the Pacific Theater during World War II. It is the means by which I am coming to understand my father twenty-two years after his death. It took me a while to read this book; not because it was boring or a slow read; but, due to the fact that I would read something in a chapter that would spark a memory and I would re-read the chapter until everything has sunk in (so to speak). There were phrases such as not being able to talk about it for 50 years and kill or be killed. My Dad never got to the point where he could discuss things from the war; but the kill or be killed mantra would over escape his lips. What I did notice about this memoir was that the author reported, more than lived the 82-day battle for Okinawa. If my dad would ever have been able to tell stories from t he war, I feel that he also would have stepped back from the action, reporting rather than telling. I guess what I am saying is that the author helped me to understand that not talking about the war was a means of coping with what had occurred and I appreciate that more than I can ever express. Major Art Shaw would be 98-years-old before he was able to discuss this battle; a critical point in the Pacific Theater. The battle for Okinawa would begin on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945. There would be 1,500 ships carrying 1.5 millions American soldiers, and Major Art Shaw would be the first American officer ashore. Casualties were expected to be 80% (1.2 million soldiers). The Japanese soldiers on the island were embedded deeply into a cave system which ran through the mountains of the island, making them an invisible force. In the end, the Americans spent 82 days on the island and 150,000 soldiers died (37,763 Japanese) . Shortly after the surrender of Okinawa; the Americans would drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the war would finally be over; but the battle of the soldiers to return to the life they once knew would just begin.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Coleen

    The author, Colonel Art Shaw, is 99 years old. That intrigued me as well as the fact that I had heard much about the island of Okinawa in World War Two, but basically knew no specifics. This book provides plenty of details, and was written with the assistance of Robert L. Wise, a well-known author in his own right, and the author of five books on WW11. Between the two, the book is a relatively easy read despite the subject matter and the reality. The book has many specifics which probably only Sh The author, Colonel Art Shaw, is 99 years old. That intrigued me as well as the fact that I had heard much about the island of Okinawa in World War Two, but basically knew no specifics. This book provides plenty of details, and was written with the assistance of Robert L. Wise, a well-known author in his own right, and the author of five books on WW11. Between the two, the book is a relatively easy read despite the subject matter and the reality. The book has many specifics which probably only Shaw, who was present there, would know. He provides a lot of additional facts that he may have investigated long afterwards. He writes with a style so that the gruesome number and types of deaths on the small island of Okinawa, and they are definitely gruesome, are able to be understood and absorbed. My belief was that this is because he tempered the outrageous Allied deaths with the staggering numbers of Japanese deaths, much greater in number because the Japanese would never surrender. The Japanese also were crawling all over the island in underground tunnels of bunkers of which the Allied soldiers were unaware for quite some time. The Japanese kept replenishing their unending supply of soldiers from these tunnels of bunkers. When the Allied soldiers thought they had wiped out a Japanese group, they were then stunned when hundreds more Japanese came pouring out of the bunker from the tunnels. I admit that my knowledge of artillery and battle strategy in any war much less this one, is not extensive. Yet, I was able to understand the gist of what they were trying to say. The capture of the island was so close to the very end of the war that I only wish that many of those lives had not been necessary to lose. I won this unforgettable hardback book in a Goodreads giveaway.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ronald

    I was intrigued to read this book as it predominately covers the U.S. Army's role in the battle for Okinawa. Previously my reading was in regard to the U.S. Marines' involvement. Overall, I liked the story and the individual battle and skirmish accounts that are told within the book. The writing style became tedious to me, however. In various accounts of individual's action, the author would often (but now always) use the person's full name and rank throughout that portion of the book. Most like I was intrigued to read this book as it predominately covers the U.S. Army's role in the battle for Okinawa. Previously my reading was in regard to the U.S. Marines' involvement. Overall, I liked the story and the individual battle and skirmish accounts that are told within the book. The writing style became tedious to me, however. In various accounts of individual's action, the author would often (but now always) use the person's full name and rank throughout that portion of the book. Most likely the author wanted to give credit to those who went into harm's way for our great nation. I appreciate and understand that. Yet, while reading the book, forcing the reader plow through a person's full name and rank EACH time gets very tiresome. I mean no offense, but the writing style reminded me of the biographies that I read in grammar school. But, all in all, the book tells a GREAT story of the valor and courage of the Greatest Generation in this sector of that horrid war. I encourage you to pick up a copy and read this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    I ended up giving this book to my dad to read... he finished it in a day. He enjoyed it immensely and asked me to give it a 5-star rating on Goodreads. I don't have much to say about this book since I didn't read it, however, coming from my dad, a military retiree, going on and on about this book for days after finishing it, should say something positive about it. Thanks Goodreads for my free giveaway copy. I ended up giving this book to my dad to read... he finished it in a day. He enjoyed it immensely and asked me to give it a 5-star rating on Goodreads. I don't have much to say about this book since I didn't read it, however, coming from my dad, a military retiree, going on and on about this book for days after finishing it, should say something positive about it. Thanks Goodreads for my free giveaway copy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Walt

    More than 50 years after the Battle of Okinawa, Arthur Shaw relives his experiences. Told from the first-hand perspective of a mid-ranking officer, this book describes the heroism of many US soldiers during that struggle. What it does not do is give a holistic approach to the battle. The writing style helps move the reader along at a quick pace even though it is often difficult for the reader to understand the situations. Art Shaw was a major in charge of an artillery group serving on Leyte and O More than 50 years after the Battle of Okinawa, Arthur Shaw relives his experiences. Told from the first-hand perspective of a mid-ranking officer, this book describes the heroism of many US soldiers during that struggle. What it does not do is give a holistic approach to the battle. The writing style helps move the reader along at a quick pace even though it is often difficult for the reader to understand the situations. Art Shaw was a major in charge of an artillery group serving on Leyte and Okinawa. Although the book opens on Leyte, there is almost no discussion of that battle, so there is virtually no comparison to Okinawa. There was little discussion of the overall forces involved or the basic strategy on the island. Having read this book, I still lack a basic understanding of the battle. I do not even know who commanded the Americans. Shaw refers to General James Bradley (who is not even listed as a US commander on the wikipedia page). Only once does he mention Buckner, who may have been the commander of land forces, answering to an Admiral. Perhaps the most famous action of Okinawa, the sinking of the super battleship Yamato, is not mentioned at all. Instead, the book details acts of heroism by approximately 75-100 individual soldiers. It is not a bad story. Acts of valor and heroism deserve to be recognized; but this book is supposed to be the first-person eye witness of an artillery commander. Readers get very little artillery and more soldiers. It did bother me that Shaw only picked out 3-4 people in his artillery group to focus on. Shaw himself, frequently left his command to view the front lines or join the command staff. Of the four members of his crew that he describes, they seem to fit into stereotypes: the sullen, obedient soldier; the jack ass, the fighter; and the leader. This may have been intentional to highlight Shaw as the leader. The reader can guess. The interactions of these four "main" characters - the only really repeated throughout the book - is often used as a means of interjecting philosophy into the narrative. What do the soldiers think about God? What do they think about the locals? Why are they fighting on this island? What motivates the enemy? Is is not particularly insightful; and offers no further revelation on the fighting in Okinawa. Most frustrating for this reader is the lack of illustrations. The few maps at the beginning are way to small to see what was happening. The impassable escarpment, the caves, the tombs, the sheer cliffs, the commanding view. None of these are clear. It appears that the battle focused on a series of hills and ridges that bisect the island north of the main civilian settlements. The north half of the island was largely uninhabited and worthless, strategically. Shaw's narrative makes it clear that the Americans caught the Japanese by surprise by landing north of the hills at a largely undefended area. The Americans had almost a week to settle in before they encountered resistance in the hills. I suspect the Japanese focused on defensive works rather than counterattacks. They could certainly see where the Americans landed. And that is it - that is all I can deduce of the overall course of the battle. The writing helped the book. Robert Wise writes in short crisp chapters. There must have been additional research to pinpoint the names, dates, and locations of action specified in the book. With so many individuals, there is no way, Shaw could remember each person, date, and location with the detail presented in the book. His loyalty and dedication to the soldiers is clear. This book is more of a eulogy to the dead than it is a personal narrative. At the same time, one or both of the authors try to balance the heroism with horror of the war. While there are more examples of heroism than horror, the later examples are more likely to remain with the reader - because it is difficult for the reader to visualize the heroism. Overall, it is an interesting read. Were it not for Wise's writing, I would have ranked it lower than I did. I have a better understanding of the battle, but not much. Additional background and an overall picture of the strengths and strategies are necessary. This book supports other books. I recommend it more for historians and Pacific War enthusiasts with more general knowledge of the war, than casual readers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    The list of great World War II histories boggles the mind and continues to grow . . . which is pretty amazing considering the extent of analysis the War has already received over the past 75 years. The World War II memoir is an esteemed sub-genre of those histories, and Art Shaw's "82 Days on Okinawa" is a worthy addition to those works. Told in collaboration with author Robert Wise, Shaw (age 97 at the time of their collaboration!!!) tells his story of the Battle of Okinawa, the bloodiest battle The list of great World War II histories boggles the mind and continues to grow . . . which is pretty amazing considering the extent of analysis the War has already received over the past 75 years. The World War II memoir is an esteemed sub-genre of those histories, and Art Shaw's "82 Days on Okinawa" is a worthy addition to those works. Told in collaboration with author Robert Wise, Shaw (age 97 at the time of their collaboration!!!) tells his story of the Battle of Okinawa, the bloodiest battle America fought in the Pacific. Among the first Americans ashore and among the last to leave, then-Major Shaw led an Army artillery battalion (the "Deadeyes") that is credited with killing over 37,000 Japanese soldiers. Over 150,000 soldiers died in the battle, so the Deadeyes did more than their fair share in the battle. You might think that an artillery battalion commander would not really see a lot of action . . . after all, don't they just stand behind the lines firing huge cannons? Well, Major Shaw believed in personal reconnaissance, so he often journeyed to the front lines to see for himself what was going on. The American Army's style of fighting required close artillery support of the infantry, and the Japanese Army's fanatical dedication to the fight, combined with their brilliant preparation, demanded the artillery's performance on the highest level. Okinawa, not to put too fine a point on it, was a nightmare for the American invading force. A long, thin island, Okinawa is dominated by jagged hills of rock that the Japanese forces had brilliantly fortified with pillboxes, machine gun nests, and even tunnels. Enemy soldiers could literally travel under the feet of the Americans, and the Americans would never know it. Combine this with the heat and rain of monsoon season, and Okinawa was a hell for the invading Americans. Shaw tells his story with the bluntness you might expect from an Oklahoman in his nineties. But there is poetry in his direct prose. Shaw may not use the rhetoric of Churchill, but his tale reveals a sensitive, spiritual mind guiding a man trying to do an impossible job to the best of his ability. It's clear that Shaw had few qualms about killing Japanese soldiers, but it's also clear that it's a job he's doing only because he has to - this is not a bloodthirsty soldier living out his childhood fantasies. And Shaw tells several moving stories of individual American soldiers performing acts of heroism, and all too many of which result in the Army awarding these soldiers the highest of honors . . . posthumously. In a short code to the Okinawa battle, Shaw talks about his return to "civilian" life and his loving wife, Jean and his daughter, who was born after Shaw had shipped out. "82 Days on Okinawa" is a very human story from one of the Greatest Generation, and as time marches on, is one of the last WWII memoirs we'll get straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Branum

    82 Days On Okinawa is a memoir by Colonel Art Shaw, he is 99 years old. The then, Major shares with his readers his service during the Battle of Okinawa. From being the first officer ashore, to finally returning to the states many months after the battle was won, he doesn't leave anything out. While the Author's Note does mention that over the years a few of the names have escaped his memory, it is obvious Shaw has vividly carried the events with him all these years. The middle of this book is d 82 Days On Okinawa is a memoir by Colonel Art Shaw, he is 99 years old. The then, Major shares with his readers his service during the Battle of Okinawa. From being the first officer ashore, to finally returning to the states many months after the battle was won, he doesn't leave anything out. While the Author's Note does mention that over the years a few of the names have escaped his memory, it is obvious Shaw has vividly carried the events with him all these years. The middle of this book is difficult to read. Each chapter is full of death, and often retreat. I feel almost guilty having wanted to stop reading a few times. He gives credit to as many soldiers as he can, from private all the way to the top. You want to put the book down because each day recalled is the same, exhaustion, extreme situations, death, killing, a literal hell on earth. Of course I kept reading. While I was already familiar with the battle, this book has increased my appreciation for those who fought here.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    I have read several memoirs and biographies of WWII combatants. This one is ok. It sounds as if about half of the book is stories Major Shaw heard about not events he participated in. As an artillery officer, he did a fantastic job. I don't think he was with the guy throwing phosphorus grenades into the caves. Battle books need good battle maps. The author constantly refers to landmarks, towns, etc., with dates. There are four maps but they are not very helpful. I'm not sure I ever figured out wh I have read several memoirs and biographies of WWII combatants. This one is ok. It sounds as if about half of the book is stories Major Shaw heard about not events he participated in. As an artillery officer, he did a fantastic job. I don't think he was with the guy throwing phosphorus grenades into the caves. Battle books need good battle maps. The author constantly refers to landmarks, towns, etc., with dates. There are four maps but they are not very helpful. I'm not sure I ever figured out where they landed. A few critical landmarks are numbered but those numbers are so small that they are illegible. I never found many locations mentioned in the text on any of the maps. The editor missed some things. The Korean War didn't start in June, 1945. A lieutenant dies on page 195 but on page 205 he saves the day. We are introduced to Colonel Avery Master as if for the first time at least three times. I suggest With The Old Breed by Eugene Sledge.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

    Harrowing account of Army Major Art Shaw on Okinawa in 1945. Major Shaw was the first American officer on the island and one of the last to leave in January 1946. This memoir recounts all of the back and fourth of the conquest of the island. Lots gains and losses of small patches of ground in small uint actions. At points it reads like a Civil War battle with bayonet charges and hand-to-hand combat. Terrifying moments, including Japanese ambushes and night attacks. Major Shaw is very candid abou Harrowing account of Army Major Art Shaw on Okinawa in 1945. Major Shaw was the first American officer on the island and one of the last to leave in January 1946. This memoir recounts all of the back and fourth of the conquest of the island. Lots gains and losses of small patches of ground in small uint actions. At points it reads like a Civil War battle with bayonet charges and hand-to-hand combat. Terrifying moments, including Japanese ambushes and night attacks. Major Shaw is very candid about fears of combat and the heartbreaking losses that the soldiers in the 96th "Deadeye" division endured. He speaks about the post-war effects in the last chapter, although, honestly, I would have preferred more on that aspect.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kong Kong

    art shaw was no dick winter. he's a career army officer who served as an army artillery officer who survived okinawa unscathed and recounted many harrowing stories, mostly, he has heard or read about on the battle for okinawa. beside personal anecdotes, there's little depth and context. the book was clearly written to appeal to emotion and patriotic pride. endless recounts of body counts and captain america type who single handedly killed more than 2 dozens enemy soldier in single fire-fight. no art shaw was no dick winter. he's a career army officer who served as an army artillery officer who survived okinawa unscathed and recounted many harrowing stories, mostly, he has heard or read about on the battle for okinawa. beside personal anecdotes, there's little depth and context. the book was clearly written to appeal to emotion and patriotic pride. endless recounts of body counts and captain america type who single handedly killed more than 2 dozens enemy soldier in single fire-fight. no doubt some will find the stories appealing or even tear-jerking but for war-history buffs, it has little to offer. and in my opinion, the writing style is not engaging but somewhat tiring. cliches abount.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This was the very compelling account of the Battle of Okinawa as told through the eyes of Art Shaw who was a Major at the time. The battle lasted nearly three months and was considered the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War. The Japanese were brutal and Major Shaw relates the courage, bravery and patriotism that the American soldiers fought with. The toll of human life was heavy on both sides, but the Americans were victorious. The culmination of this savage battle was what convinced the U.S. t This was the very compelling account of the Battle of Okinawa as told through the eyes of Art Shaw who was a Major at the time. The battle lasted nearly three months and was considered the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War. The Japanese were brutal and Major Shaw relates the courage, bravery and patriotism that the American soldiers fought with. The toll of human life was heavy on both sides, but the Americans were victorious. The culmination of this savage battle was what convinced the U.S. to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. Thank you to William Morrow and Goodreads for the gift of this book that I received in a giveaway.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Reading For Funs

    I received 82 Days on Okinawa: A Memoir of the Pacific's Greatest Battle through a Goodreads Giveaway. This memoir is a must-read for anyone with an interest in understanding the experiences of soldiers who fought in the Pacific Theater during World War II, which is widely under-discussed and taught in many schools. Personally, I wasn't taught much about the Pacific Theater as many of my professors have preferred to focus on the more obvious interests of World War II, such as the Eastern Front. I received 82 Days on Okinawa: A Memoir of the Pacific's Greatest Battle through a Goodreads Giveaway. This memoir is a must-read for anyone with an interest in understanding the experiences of soldiers who fought in the Pacific Theater during World War II, which is widely under-discussed and taught in many schools. Personally, I wasn't taught much about the Pacific Theater as many of my professors have preferred to focus on the more obvious interests of World War II, such as the Eastern Front. As such, I really enjoyed having the wonderful opportunity to read this first-hand account of a man's experience as the first American officer ashore.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Hogan

    Finished 82 Days on Okinawa: One American's Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War's Greatest Battle by Art Shaw & Robert Wise. This book is the account of the last major land campaign in the Pacific Theater and was to lead up to the invasion of the Japanese home islands. This is a vivid account of the brutal nature of fighting the Japanese well hidden in jungles and caves. The battles were close up and often involved hand to hand combat to the death. I’m in awe of the bravery of the Finished 82 Days on Okinawa: One American's Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War's Greatest Battle by Art Shaw & Robert Wise. This book is the account of the last major land campaign in the Pacific Theater and was to lead up to the invasion of the Japanese home islands. This is a vivid account of the brutal nature of fighting the Japanese well hidden in jungles and caves. The battles were close up and often involved hand to hand combat to the death. I’m in awe of the bravery of these men of the greatest generation, overcoming fear, terrible conditions a miserable survival rate.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jamieson

    In my opinion, as devestating as the Atomic Bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War II were, a ground assualt of mainland Japan would've been far deadlier, for both sides. The battle of Okinawa was the last major battle of the war and the casualty count on both sides was extremely high. This is the account of the battle from the perspective of Major Art Shaw who commanded the Deadeyes, the U.S. Army's 361st Field Artillery Battalion of the 96th Infantry Division. Shaw shares his experienc In my opinion, as devestating as the Atomic Bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War II were, a ground assualt of mainland Japan would've been far deadlier, for both sides. The battle of Okinawa was the last major battle of the war and the casualty count on both sides was extremely high. This is the account of the battle from the perspective of Major Art Shaw who commanded the Deadeyes, the U.S. Army's 361st Field Artillery Battalion of the 96th Infantry Division. Shaw shares his experiences as well as lays out the events of battle giving tales of heroic soldiers and events that he heard about while not being directly involved. Though primarily about Okinawa, there are a few stories from Shaw's childhood and a bit about his civilian life after the war (including the death of his wife in later years). Well-written and engaging, this was a great account of pivotal battle ate the end of the war. Plus, the narrator did a good job.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Green

    An interesting first person account of one of the major battles in the WWII Pacific theater. Major Art Shaw (now a retired Colonel) was an artillery officer and the first Marine on the beach at Okinawa. This book was written late in his life with Robert L. Wise. As result the narrative takes first and third omniscient and limited voices, as there are parts where he is describing things that happened to other people when he was not present. Most of the memoir, however, involves parts of the battl An interesting first person account of one of the major battles in the WWII Pacific theater. Major Art Shaw (now a retired Colonel) was an artillery officer and the first Marine on the beach at Okinawa. This book was written late in his life with Robert L. Wise. As result the narrative takes first and third omniscient and limited voices, as there are parts where he is describing things that happened to other people when he was not present. Most of the memoir, however, involves parts of the battle that he was involved in.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karsten Hansen

    I read this book shortly after retiring from the Marine Corps and found it an excellent read. I had an Uncle who was in this battle as a machine gun ammo hummer/stretcher bearer, e.g. take machine gun ammo to the front, take wounded to the rear, and wanted to find out what he went through as he died shortly after the war ended. One of the things found in the book and later watched as a movie was the 2 paragraphs the author dedicated to Desmond Doss. Why only 2? Well Mr. Doss was in the army and I read this book shortly after retiring from the Marine Corps and found it an excellent read. I had an Uncle who was in this battle as a machine gun ammo hummer/stretcher bearer, e.g. take machine gun ammo to the front, take wounded to the rear, and wanted to find out what he went through as he died shortly after the war ended. One of the things found in the book and later watched as a movie was the 2 paragraphs the author dedicated to Desmond Doss. Why only 2? Well Mr. Doss was in the army and in Col. Shaw's command so I'm sure he got only part of the story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Austin

    Definitely a very interesting book with great detail and incredible stories. Would have liked to know a bit more about the author, his background, how he became a Major, more on what he himself was doing during this battle, etc. The book reads very much like a point of view story, this happened, then this happened. Just didn't feel fully connected to the author but overall was a good book and worth reading. Definitely provides incredible insight into an area of WWII that is not often discussed. Definitely a very interesting book with great detail and incredible stories. Would have liked to know a bit more about the author, his background, how he became a Major, more on what he himself was doing during this battle, etc. The book reads very much like a point of view story, this happened, then this happened. Just didn't feel fully connected to the author but overall was a good book and worth reading. Definitely provides incredible insight into an area of WWII that is not often discussed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Briana Moore

    A truly intense account of the Pacific war. This is the first book I've read on from a soldier's perspective in this region. I had a simplistic view, I knew the Japanese were a fearsome opponent, making it as impossible as they could for Americans to win this side of the war. I am blown away after reading this, it's began to change the way I look at war and how important researching all perspectives should be. I am extremely grateful, Mr. Shaw shared his experience with us and for the service he A truly intense account of the Pacific war. This is the first book I've read on from a soldier's perspective in this region. I had a simplistic view, I knew the Japanese were a fearsome opponent, making it as impossible as they could for Americans to win this side of the war. I am blown away after reading this, it's began to change the way I look at war and how important researching all perspectives should be. I am extremely grateful, Mr. Shaw shared his experience with us and for the service he and every soldier provides us, not only for American people but the world. Thank you.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Donald Johnson

    A tough story, not well written, but honest. The author is a sincere man, a decent man, not sure of his spiritual life. Tells the story of Okinawa from the perspective of an artillery officer out of the direct line of fire, but supplemented with testimony from men in the midst of the conflict. That is not to say he was never in harms way, but he wasn't an infantryman. That is not a criticism! What he says needs to be heard by those who didn't experience the war at all. Puts a lot of things about A tough story, not well written, but honest. The author is a sincere man, a decent man, not sure of his spiritual life. Tells the story of Okinawa from the perspective of an artillery officer out of the direct line of fire, but supplemented with testimony from men in the midst of the conflict. That is not to say he was never in harms way, but he wasn't an infantryman. That is not a criticism! What he says needs to be heard by those who didn't experience the war at all. Puts a lot of things about peace into perspective.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    Another hidden WWII story has come to light. I highly recommend the book. Coauthor Robert L. wise states that "to remember the unspeakable remains an act of courage." As they began writing, Colonel Shaw had just turned ninety-seven. This is Colonel Shaw's story. He was the first American officer ashore. He was a unit commander in the US Army's 361st Field Artillery of the 96th Infantry Division. i think this is the first book I have read that focused on this branch. If you have watched the movie Another hidden WWII story has come to light. I highly recommend the book. Coauthor Robert L. wise states that "to remember the unspeakable remains an act of courage." As they began writing, Colonel Shaw had just turned ninety-seven. This is Colonel Shaw's story. He was the first American officer ashore. He was a unit commander in the US Army's 361st Field Artillery of the 96th Infantry Division. i think this is the first book I have read that focused on this branch. If you have watched the movie Hacksaw Ridge, you have seen what they were up against.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lizabeth Something

    This was an excellent book on the on-the-ground experiences of taking Okinawa Island. It was written in such a form that made it easy to follow along with the day-to-day pushes forward and each set-back along the way, it kept from feeling very summary-like by focussing on the excellencies and failures of little battles.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Russell Howen

    Art Shaw's sharing his memoir of World War II's battle for Okinawa is a thrilling first-hand account of this battle in the Pacific. Titled "82 Days on Okinawa", the book pictures the horrors of war and the feelings of the men who fought it. A must read for those interested in World War II. Art Shaw's sharing his memoir of World War II's battle for Okinawa is a thrilling first-hand account of this battle in the Pacific. Titled "82 Days on Okinawa", the book pictures the horrors of war and the feelings of the men who fought it. A must read for those interested in World War II.

  26. 5 out of 5

    victor harris

    The story line and the emphasis on the value of the campaign supplies a good core to work from. The delivery is sub-par and the dialogue is dull. And we really didn't know every time someone said " Yes sir.", or saluted. More geared for Young Adult who could probably derive more value from it. The story line and the emphasis on the value of the campaign supplies a good core to work from. The delivery is sub-par and the dialogue is dull. And we really didn't know every time someone said " Yes sir.", or saluted. More geared for Young Adult who could probably derive more value from it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Arlen Scott

    I won this in a giveaway awhile back. I would have definitely paid for this book though. It was a very well written book and I enjoyed all the stories told about Colonel Shaw's time on the island. It did a very good job of capturing what it is like being boots on ground in a military conflict. I won this in a giveaway awhile back. I would have definitely paid for this book though. It was a very well written book and I enjoyed all the stories told about Colonel Shaw's time on the island. It did a very good job of capturing what it is like being boots on ground in a military conflict.

  28. 4 out of 5

    R.J. Vaccarelli

    An excellent first-hand account of a soldier that was part of the toughest battle in the Pacific. The descriptions of the many battles, hardships, and bravery were excellent. Truly the greatest generation that ever lived.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Roger Grant

    I thought that the book was poorly written. Although I wasn't in that battle I've spent a lifetime in the military. I don't believe that this book is entirely "non-fiction". I think the author took too many liberties in expressing the thoughts of others and eyewitness accounts. I thought that the book was poorly written. Although I wasn't in that battle I've spent a lifetime in the military. I don't believe that this book is entirely "non-fiction". I think the author took too many liberties in expressing the thoughts of others and eyewitness accounts.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    Different stories told which I hadn’t heard. I could picture some of the locations described since I have been to Okinawa numerous time. I enjoyed learning more about the battles that took place on this beautiful island. Book 31 of ankle recovery.

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