Merrill's Marauders

ISBN-10: 0760344329
ISBN-13: 9780760344323
Review Date:

Full Title: Merrill's Marauders: The Untold Story of Unit Galahad and the Toughest Special Forces Mission of World War II

Having recently read another title on the US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), popularly known as "Merrill's Marauders", and felt not perfectly impressed by it, I found Gavin Mortimer's book on the same subject on my bookshelves, previously unread, to try to bridge the gaps a little bit.

Mortimer's Merrill's Marauders was a good balance between history and a collective memoir. As the title would suggest, the author focused very much on these American officers and men, describing the backgrounds, personalities, and their war time exploits, endearing them to me; such a treatment was entirely denied to the Japanese opponents and the Chinese allies, both of which groups remained entirely anonymous and extremely impersonal, which bothered me slightly, but I understood that that was not within the author's intended scope. Especially in the final chapters, the author's scathing opinion of Joseph Stilwell and Frank Merrill - entirely warranted if you would ask me, both from the perspective of that period as well as with hindsight - took over as the dominant theme of the book, as the narrative continued with the men, already overtaxed physically and mentally by Stilwell and Merrill's uncaring attitude, fighting admirably and effectively, ultimately capturing the strategically important airfield at Myitkyina. As someone who craved minute details such as dates and place names, the author definitely delivered. He also included a number of maps that greatly helped me as I read through the narratives of these men moving through jungles form village to village.

Because the fighting in Burma, however important, was ultimately not as decisive in ending the war as in other campaigns, fewer books existed on these events. I feel that Gavin Mortimer's Merrill's Marauders was a solid work on the US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) and the unit's experiences in Burma, and would recommend it to WW2DB readers.

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More on Merrill's Marauders
Related People:
» Beach, Charles
» Hunter, Charles
» McCammon, John
» McGee, George
» Merrill, Frank
» Osborne, William
» Stilwell, Joseph

Related Events:
» Battle of Myitkyina

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