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Coral and Brass

by Percy Finch

rating: 4.5 (29 reviews)

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“The aim of this book is twofold: first, that due credit be given to a gallant body of men, the United States Marine Corps, who in their path across the Pacific were faithful to their traditions and to their country; second, to point out the errors that were committed in World War II in such a manner that they will not be repeated in World War III — God forbid.”

Controversial at times, Smith never wavered in his dedication to the Marine Corps and dedicated his career in support of the men and women under his command.

Recipient of four Distinguished Service Medals, he initiated and supervised the training of U.S. Marines in the art of amphibious warfare and led them across the Pacific in one of the most phenomenal military advances of all times.

On many occasions, as the reader will see, he pugnaciously struggled with peers and superiors to be allowed to fight.

Although constantly in the public eye towards the latter years of the war, this memoir sheds light on Smith’s private opinions on the war, the mistakes that were made on the way to victory and the difficulties between the various factions of the U.S. forces.

These problems experienced particularly between the Marines, the Navy and the U.S. Army are closely examined in Smith’s memoir and he offers a unique insight into these clashes.

He unceasingly, oftentimes controversially, defends the strategic importance of amphibious warfare in WWII and criticizes Naval interference in Marine tactical decisions.

This autobiography also offers a glimpse of the man behind the intimidating facade, a man haunted by the sometimes unnecessary losses of Marine lives and the impact of his decisions in wartime.

"He maintains throughout a manifest and unshakable belief that the United States Marines are the best land fighters in the world, and takes natural pride in his role as their long-suffering and outspoken champion." The Alabama Review

"Smith's account if the Pacific War as he fought it from Tarawa to Iwo Jima is of first-rate historical importance."Foreign Affairs

Coral and Brass is an important first-hand account of a celebrated military tactician, a must-read for those interested in the U.S. Marine Corps, military strategy and WWII operations.

Holland McTyeire “Howlin’ Mad” Smith, (April 20, 1882 – January 12, 1967) was a general in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He is sometimes called the “father” of modern U.S. amphibious warfare. A lieutenant general when he was retired May 15, 1946 at the age of 64, he was promoted to general on the retired list for having been especially commended in combat. This book was first published in 1949. Following a long illness, General Smith died January 12, 1967 at the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, aged 84.



rank: #89,460
price: $4.99
bound: 242 pages
publisher: Independently published (April 25, 2017)
lang: English
isbn: 152115340X, 978-1521153406,
weight: 15 ounces (


















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Percy Finch


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