Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on November 28, 2009
Great reading - as a previous review mentioned - "Min" is an excellent letter writer. The power is putting down mundane every day tasks and events as they happen - these are things that most histories are missing. Being grubby and dirty, basically living without a home, fear, longing for loved ones and hopes for the future - all this makes this a powerful record of war from a ordinary soldier's personal perspective.
Including the medical unit log entries is genius. My uncle was in the 2nd Battalion. The addition of the places and movements makes the book even more alive. After 65 years I hear about places such as "Hill 140" when some movie or news story about war started my late uncle talking. That battle left a profound impression on him which did not fade with time.
Hill 140: "The Nisei GIs had to cross the rolling hills, and the already-harvested wheat fields . The Germans could easily see the approaching Americans from their hilltop observation posts. The 100th and 2nd Battalions led the attack. Their objective - Hill 140. The Germans fired their mortars and powerful 88's with devastating accuracy - wounding all the officers in G Company, except for one.
For three days the Nisei fought from their vulnerable position. As the casualties mounted, the men renamed Hill 140 "Little Cassino." The rocky terrain made it hard to dig slit trenches for protection from enemy shelling. Six men in L Company were wiped out from a single shell. Other Nisei were hit by enemy machine-gun and sniper fire.
Yet every man in the 442nd knew that he was not alone. The medics braved enemy fire to patch up the wounded. The Antitank Company carried the wounded. The 232nd Engineers swept for mines and built bypasses to keep the vital supply lines open. The 522nd Field Artillery Battalion fired quickly and accurately to protect the infantry and prevent enemy penetration. After two more days of heavy artillery shelling, the 442nd finally captured Hill 140. "