Islands of the Damned

  • by R. V. Burgin, Bill Marvel
  • Narrated by Sean Runnette
  • 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is an eyewitness - and eye-opening - account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman.
R. V. Burgin enlisted at the age of 20 and, with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad. He saw friends die and enemies killed. He saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did - from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of hara kiri victims, to the final howling banzai attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat.
An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, Islands of the Damned brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Compelling reading

'Islands of The Dammed' offers an account of three of the Pacific wars most hard fought battles from a U.S Marine who was there. The Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns are described as seen through the eyes of R.V Burgin, a U.S Marine from the same K35 unit as Eugene Sledge was.

This book complements the excellent 'With The Old Breed' written by the aforementioned E.B.Sledge. It is particularly interesting to read accounts of the same incidents mentioned in both books and compare the slightly different perspectives shared by two men who fought alongside one another during the Peleliu and Okinawa battles. There are incidents mentioned in one account and not in the other which allow the readers of both books to build a more complete version of events as seen through the eyes of two men. Given this, I would urge anyone who has not read 'With The Old Breed' to also consider reading this too and vice-versa.

It is interesting to note that Burgin mentions on more than one occasion within his book how he had differing opinions on certain views held by Sledge in his account.

'Islands of the Dammed' covers more of Burgin's pre and post war life than Sledge's own account does of his, but it must be said that Sledge's writings go into generally far more detail and as such fill his book primarily with his experiences of war.

Nevertheless, I would recommend 'Islands of The Dammed' to anyone interested in the Pacific battles of world war two and the personal experiences of a man who lived through them.

As a footnote, I would also like to add that the narration of this title is excellent throughout and makes you feel as if Burgin himself was the narrator.
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- Stephen

Buy this book

Moving and very descriptive, a must for those interested in the Pacific theatre. I'm very glad I bought this book.
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- James

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-03-2010
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio