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Why wasn't the Pacific as "good" as Band of Brothers?

Discussion in 'WWII Films & TV' started by LG'96, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. Owen

    Owen O

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    Just watched episode 8.
    Have to say I think the series is far better than BoB if we still comparing the two.
    Not at all confusing to follow.
    Really brutal & grim battle scenes .
    Had to laugh at Snafu dropping pebbles into the dead Japanese machine-gunner with top of head missing.
    Must say I'd never heard of the battle for Peleliu before.
     
  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    It should have never happened. A bloody, poorly planned mess.
     
  3. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    So, this thread motivated me to watch "The Pacific" again, and to be honest, I like it much better this time around. Being able to watch several of the 45-50 minute episodes in a sitting is a better format.
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Here, too.
     
  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I knew you'd like it Brad! They really got the Marine Corps correct didn't they?

    Owen, that was a really good scene. Snafu and Sledge had really become close, Snafu you could tell earlier when he was taking the Japanese teeth for gold had lost most of his humanity, and had become really hard and numb inside, but Sledge still hadn't. When Sledge decided he'd get a souvenir, Snafu reacted by trying to talk Sledge out of doing it. He even used the lame excuse that the Corpsman, "Doc" had said the Japanese had diseases, because he didn't want his friend to end up where he was emotionally. It awoke a part of Snafu that he thought was gone.
     
  6. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    It's much easier to follow now that you know going in that it skips around from different stories from different people.
     
  7. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Tarawa was an un-needed operation too. A total waste of good men and effort. Now before anyone jumps in and says that the invasion served as a training ground for future operations, I will say that 3,000 dead and wounded on an unimportant island is not sufficient collateral damage.

    The following quote is courtesy of our friends at wiki:

    Writing after the war, General Holland Smith, who in his biography was highly critical of the Navy, commented:

    Was Tarawa worth it? My answer is unqualified: No. From the very beginning the decision of the Joint Chiefs to seize Tarawa was a mistake and from their initial mistake grew the terrible drama of errors, errors of omission rather than commission, resulting in these needless casualties.
     
  8. Owen

    Owen O

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    I saw that as Snafu saying to Sledge, ''You're better than that, don't become like me, don't cross that line.''
    Bit that got me was when they said they never even used the airfield in later operations as planned.
    Is that true ?
    If so then that was an utter waste.
    People always say that WW1 battles were futile & a waste of life but so was that one .
     
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  9. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    I don't think that it was used for much, maybe search and rescue, and maybe for emergency landings but that's about all I can recollect. The war moved large distances in the PTO. Soon afterwards the Philippines, Guam and Saipan were retaken, so that took any benefit of the ownership of Peleliu out of the equation.
     
  10. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Owen, after the capture of the Marianas, the Navy wanted to continue across the central Pacific axis of advance and MacArthur wanted to recapture the Philippines. In order to do this Peleilu and Angaur needed to be neutralized and airfields put into operation to secure his flank. Therefore, the Peleilu operation was requested by General Douglas MacArthur as part of his Philippines invasion strategy.

    This excerpt from a Military History Online article on the subject gives a good overview:

    "At the core of the strategic justification for the attack was MacArthur's insistence that his right flank must be protected, and that seizing the Palaus was the means by which this should be accomplished. Nimitz, for his part, had promised MacArthur the support he might need to return to the Philippines, and agreed with the general's opinion on the Palaus. Without further information, little intelligence could be produced to dispute this assessment; after all, the Palaus did present a gap between the two American axes of advance in the Pacific, and could well serve as a strategic 'shoe horn' the Japanese might use to threaten further moves by either Nimitz or MacArthur.

    Admiral William Halsey, commander of the 3rd Fleet, however, reported in late August and early September that enemy resistance in the area of MacArthur's invasion was far less than expected. To this end he recommended, on 12 September, that the landings in the Palaus be canceled entirely and MacArthur's invasion of Leyte be moved up to October.(20) Those forces earmarked for the Palaus – and already at sea – should be used to supplement landings in the Philippines.
    Although Nimitz and MacArthur accepted Halsey's idea about moving the date for Leyte, they opted to go ahead with the Palau invasions anyway; Nimitz cited the fact that forces were already at sea and it would be too difficult to recall them. Additionally, he argued that Halsey's idea of using carrier and surface forces to isolate the Palaus would be wasteful. Although the absence of such ships might have been felt in later actions, especially the Battle of Leyte Gulf, in point of fact one of Halsey's carriers was not present for that engagement. Still, this is a view afforded only by hindsight, and therefore should not be considered in deciding the overall wisdom of the entire operation.

    From the American point of view in summer 1944, and based on available intelligence, the Palaus did represent a threat to further operations. Their proximity to the Philippines and their location between the American axes of advance, coupled with the possibility of their reinforcement directly from Japan, made them a necessary target. Although captured documents and interrogations after the war concluded that the Japanese had no real plan or intention of using the Palaus as such, from an
    American perspective the threat did exist, and tying down vital surface forces in order to isolate and suppress the islands was not a decisive option; only taking the islands themselves would eliminate the threat completely."
     
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  11. Owen

    Owen O

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    Ah righto, cheers for that.
    That helps explains it.
     
  12. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Having just watched "The Pacific" again....this time around I have to say that "the Pacific" makes "Band of Brothers" look like "Hogan's Heroes".
     
  13. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    It was really kind of a forgotten or little known battle prior to the publication of Sledge's book. When I was a kid, my dad was a career Marine (Mustang) Officer. I was often around quite a few career Marines that had served in WWII, I knew quite a few Marines that had served on Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, a Carlson's Raider (2d Raider Bn), a couple of Edson's Raider's that had fought on Guadalcanal, some from Okinawa and Bougainville, and loved to listen to their stories. I do not remember ever meeting one that said they had fought on Peleilu, I'm sure some had, they just didn't talk about it. I was aware of the battle because it is mentioned in most WWII Pacific theater histories, it just didn't hold as much interest for me. I don't think the battle held the same status in the Marine Corps' cultural memory (prior to the publication of Sledge's book) that many other battles did. I remember living at Tarawa Terrace as a kid, Tom Lovell's Tarawa and Iwo paintings were everywhere, as was Rosenthal's Iwo photo. Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, and Iwo Jima were the settings for Hollywood's movies about the WWII Marine Corps.

    [​IMG]
    Tom Lovell's Tarawa Painting

    [​IMG]

    Rosenthal's Iwo Flag Raising Photo

    I did at one point have my interest in the battle piqued when I first came across Tom Lea's, Peleilu artwork. Lea landed with the 1st Division and painted his impressions. Here's a snippet on Lea from Wikipedia:

    "But, it was his time in the western Pacific in 1944 as an "embedded" reporter with the United States 1st Marine Division during the invasion of the tiny island of Peleliu that he would really make a name for himself among the readers of LIFE.
    “My work there consisted of trying to keep from getting killed and trying to memorize what I saw and felt,” Lea says.His vivid, realistic, images of the beach landing, and Battle of Peleliu, would impact both readers and himself.
    The Price and That 2,000 Yard Stare would become among his most famous works.(1,794 Americans died in a two-month period it what many call the war's most controversial battle, due to its questionable strategic value and high death toll."

    Some of Lea's Paintings
    [​IMG]

    2,000 yard stare

    [​IMG]

    The Price

    [​IMG]

    Going In-First Wave

    About all I really remembered of what I had read on the battle was MacArthur insisting on it, the 1st Division fought there, lack of water and the heat were a big problem. The picture that was almost always used in what little was written and was most commonly associated with the battle was this one.
    [​IMG]

    Then, I don't remember in what order it occured, it's been a lot of years ago, but it was around the same time frame. Eugene Sledge was at the PX signing his recently published book and I went and bought it because of the Okinawa part, and my unit was deployed on the USS Peleilu. That made me want to learn more about the battle, and after Sledge published his book, a lot more accounts and histories of the battle were published, due to the success of his book.

    [​IMG]
    LHA-5 USS Peleilu
    (If my memory serves me Brad/Formerjughead, did a pump on the Peleilu also, just at a different time). Due to Sledge's and Leckie's account of Peleilu from "Strong Men Armed" (originally published in 1962, I bought a copy after Sledge's book came out), and other sources I knew a good deal about the battle prior to the series, "The Pacific's" 1st airing I wondered if they would be able to do a good job capturing the battle. I think they did a superb job. After, "The Pacific" another flurry of histories and memoirs on the battle came out to take advantage of the renewed interest. This is a good thing because more sources is almost always better.
     
  14. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    How is that?
     
  15. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    It's more visceral
     
  16. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    I didn't see it that way. I thought that both were well made, but The Pacific was a bit disjointed because it followed three stories instead of just one as the Band of Brothers did, which made it easier to follow.
     
  17. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    What threat? How can a flank be threatened from an island? Once it is neutralized the enemy forces are left to wither on the vine, like all the other Japanese held islands that were not assaulted. Once the island was bombed and shelled, aircraft destroyed, the airfield pot holed up, and no ships were left, how could there be a threat to anyone's stretch of the imagination be there? There were no aircraft to attack US forces landing on Leyte, or even to disrupt shipping. Just egos were threatened and the 1st Marine Division was wrecked.
     
  18. Owen

    Owen O

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    Ah now I do remember seeing that painting before & reading a little bit about the battle.
    It just never stuck in my mind, it was a few years ago now.
    After seeeing a dramatic depiction of it , I will remember it from now on.
    The TV series has made me look at some battles (that us Brits werent involved in) and that can only be a good thing.

    Just got last 2 episodes to go.
    Should watch them Monday morning.
     
  19. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I understand exactly what you are saying Owen. The battle didn't stick in my mind until I read Sledge's book and was deployed on the ship named after the battle. Then when they announced they were filming a Pacific mini-series and Peleliu would play a significant part, I hoped they would do it justice. IMHO, they did. The last two episodes are Okinawa and Coming Home. I think they're both well done.
     
  20. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    Due to this thread, I purchased and began watching the series again last week. I have been pacing it so I don't finish it too quickly. I am now on part 8 and have found it entrancing. The second time around is clearly better than the first. Maybe I was comparing it too much to BOB, who knows, but I thought the battle scenes were far more memorable than BOB (although BOB was amazing in itself). Case in point, as UMCPrice stated above, Peleliu. I honestly can say that the 5th Marine's push to capture the airfield was the most intense, horrific and anxious scenes I have ever witnessed in cinematic form. The creators captured it perfectly from start to finish. From the heat exhaustion, spoiled water supply and heavy defense put up by the Japanese, this scene took a snapshot of the horrors of fighting on the PTO.
     

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