75 years ago, Art Shaw was the first American officer ashore Okinawa. It's taken him a lifetime to speak about the 82 days that followed. Colonel Shaw’s firsthand account delivers an unprecedented soldier’s-eye view of the Pacific War’s bloodiest battle
...a gritty, first-person account remembered from the vantage point of 75 years later. One can hear Shaw’s voice as if he were sitting beside you reminiscing through misty eyes about the defining moments of his youth.
The retired Shaw, a former unit commander in the U.S. Army’s 361st Artillery Battalion, debuts with a comprehensive and action-packed memoir of the Battle of Okinawa ... This dual perspective gives the book a wide-angled view that’s unusual in a soldier’s battle memoir. Though the reconstructed dialogue occasionally rings false...this account gives a satisfying presentation of the bloodiest battle in the Pacific Theater of WWII.
Shaw often scouted ahead of his battery, observing frontline infantry in action. His purported duty was to direct artillery fire, but readers expecting to learn the experiences of a WWII forward observer will discover that this is mostly a literary device. In the text, co-written by Wise, Shaw is the omniscient observer describing the murderous battles of his division down to company and platoon level across the island ... The result is a docudrama with invented dialogue and action that must be at least partly fictionalized because it’s unlikely Shaw could have witnessed so much, not to mention remember it ... A vivid re-creation of a campaign so vicious that the soldiers involved rejoiced when they heard about Hiroshima.