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Peleliu 1944: Horror in the Pacific

by on December 7, 2010
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There are two major reasons why people are interested in war battles. Some are interested in the strategy behind it. Why the troops moved in this direction and how a victory can be achieved shows the war from a very impersonal but intelligent perspective. The story that is more commonly told is the personal experience from the men who were on the ground.

The American Hero Film series created four documentaries   four sets of soldiers from famous wars. This DVD, Peleliu 1944: Horror in the Pacific, covers one of the significant battles during World War II. They interview five soldiers who were part of the Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment.  These men are the ones who were characterized in the HBO miniseries The Pacific. This includes Eugene B. Sledge who was played by Joseph Mazzello.

The filmmakers of this series were very smart in letting the five men completely be in control of the documentary. There is only a limited about of voice over because these men are the true voice of the story. There is plenty of archival footage, which works well, but it’s surprising how much they just show the five men sitting in chairs telling their story.

The information they give is fascinating and personal. They try to explain the fear they were experiencing. This was a battle that 60 years ago for these men but they are able to recall an impressive amount of detail about their situation. The DVD is only an hour long, but it is just full of great information and heartbreaking moments. Hearing how “Dear John” letters almost always led to suicides is something that didn’t need any visuals because we can all picture the grim scenes ourselves. A recreation would just be tacky.

This is a DVD that is incredibly respectful and is worth tracking down, especially if you are a fan of WWII stories. I imagine the rest of the series is up to this level of quality.

Film: 4 Yaps

Extras: N/A