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Islands of the Damned

A Marine at War in the Pacific
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This is an eyewitness - and eye-opening - account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman.

R. V. Burgin enlisted at the age of 20 and, with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad. He saw friends die and enemies killed. He saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did - from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of hara kiri victims, to the final howling banzai attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat.

An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, Islands of the Damned brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War.

©2010 R.V. Burgin and William Marvel (P)2010 Tantor

What listeners say about Islands of the Damned

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Outstanding

I loved this detailed account of horror & bravery in the furnaces of the pacific. Brilliant, enthralling, terrifying & fascinating.

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  • J. Biallas
  • 17-08-2012

Sledge's Squad Leader

If you appreciated "With the Old Breed" by E.B.Sledge, this Book is an essential read to flesh out the same story from a related perspective. This is the understated story of a Marine mortar man fighting through a Pacific hell that we today can only dimly imagine. Well Done!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-07-2018

Fantastic!

I loved reading this book as I have read Sledge and Robert Leckie's books as well, the three based upon the Pacific series. I believe he gives a descriptive account of what went on and the emotions that were felt during that time. God Bless you Mr. Burgin.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Hill
  • 09-02-2018

The Best

I have listened to many books about the war in the south pacific and the marines who fought those battles. This is the very best of the best. I have nothing short of pure admiration for Mr. Burgin. I can't imagine how a man can go through what he did then come home and work as a mailman the rest of his life. Maybe he just need a quiet life. He sure deserved it. Thank you Mr. Burgin and the men like you.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-2010

Jerry

I am sooo disappointed with this book. I have great respect for all of the troops that have served and will serve. But Burgin seems to have a very self-centered and high opinion of himself. He spends a lot of time telling the listener how great he was. Burgin seems to have a deep seated dislike for Sledge due to the number of negative comments he makes about Sledge.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 18-11-2015

Remembering my Dad

It was like listening to my Dad tell some of his war stories. He fought with the 1st Marine. He couldn't talk about the war until just before his death in 1997 I miss him every day. Thank you for this book. I wanted him to put his experiences, In a book but he died before we could.

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  • Jeffery Lee
  • 27-05-2015

island of the damned. the untild story

great first hand experience. goes along with history books. RV Burgin is an exampke for all Marines.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-07-2020

So proud of these men!

Loved it, my father was a coxswain on LST713 and drove a Higgins boat into Okinawa and Iwa Jima!

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  • Will
  • 27-07-2020

The Greatest Generation

Its hard to imagine on July 25, 2020 that such men existed. Look around, they gave us the promised freedom of this great Country, to act like fools or live like Patriots - Semper Fi.

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  • Dave H
  • 10-06-2020

Good read

Maybe not up to Eugene Sledges’ biopic but a very good read nonetheless. I have several more historical books in my WW2 reading list to get on next
Nice job to the narrator too

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  • prc
  • 03-06-2020

A different perspect of the war in the Pacific.

Rather than the typical war stories and discriptions of battles, the author takes a more personal look at the war and how it it affected him. But don't be mistaken, it is expertly interlaced with copious tales of exciting tales of first-hand wartime experiences. It is amazing that he lived to tell the tales. While I was somewhat dubious at the shorter length of the book and would have loved to hear more, I was content and felt it was just right in the end.

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  • Stephen
  • 14-10-2010

Compelling reading

'Islands of The Dammed' offers an account of three of the Pacific wars most hard fought battles from a U.S Marine who was there. The Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns are described as seen through the eyes of R.V Burgin, a U.S Marine from the same K35 unit as Eugene Sledge was.

This book complements the excellent 'With The Old Breed' written by the aforementioned E.B.Sledge. It is particularly interesting to read accounts of the same incidents mentioned in both books and compare the slightly different perspectives shared by two men who fought alongside one another during the Peleliu and Okinawa battles. There are incidents mentioned in one account and not in the other which allow the readers of both books to build a more complete version of events as seen through the eyes of two men. Given this, I would urge anyone who has not read 'With The Old Breed' to also consider reading this too and vice-versa.

It is interesting to note that Burgin mentions on more than one occasion within his book how he had differing opinions on certain views held by Sledge in his account.

'Islands of the Dammed' covers more of Burgin's pre and post war life than Sledge's own account does of his, but it must be said that Sledge's writings go into generally far more detail and as such fill his book primarily with his experiences of war.

Nevertheless, I would recommend 'Islands of The Dammed' to anyone interested in the Pacific battles of world war two and the personal experiences of a man who lived through them.

As a footnote, I would also like to add that the narration of this title is excellent throughout and makes you feel as if Burgin himself was the narrator.

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  • James
  • 02-04-2015

Buy this book

Moving and very descriptive, a must for those interested in the Pacific theatre. I'm very glad I bought this book.