OT: HBO's The Pacific - Weeks 1-3

For 8 years, I waited for Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg to make a film about the Pacific War in WWII. Band of Brothers was so amazing that I still watch it a few times a year. Three weeks ago, The Pacific debuted on HBO and it really didn't disappoint. The subject matter focused on Band of Brothers and The Pacific were so different that the films have an entirely different feel. In Band of Brothers, you watch the first episodes where the men in the 101st Airborne start out training together and follow them through the entire European war. In The Pacific, the filmmakers throw you into the mix right away--it's difficult to know who everyone is and the chaos is intense from the very beginning. I am enjoying the short clips on historical background for each new episode of The Pacific--men that fought in this theater are interviewed at the beginning of every episode and stock footage is shown. It makes each episode more personal knowing that these men were not just characters on television for some big budget series but were real men who fought hard to keep not only our nation safe, but those of our allies too.

I decided to post a few of the videos from HBO.com and will continue each week as they release them. I feel that this series and Band of Brothers were so special that everyone should see them. I have had friends who say they just can't stomach watching a war film, but these really are historical films that show the triumphs and horrors of war. It is important that every person knows the toll of war on our servicemen and servicewomen because, in my opinion, it makes us more thoughtful about entering conflicts. I thank all of our servicemen and servicewomen for their sacrifices in our current wars and all previous wars. All of you have given a tremendous amount of yourselves to our country.

If you are interested in reading about WWII in the Pacific, here are a few books that the HBO series is based on:

Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie
With the Old Breed by Eugene B. Sledge
Red Blood, Black Sand by Chuck Tatum
China Marine by Eugene B. Sledge

HBO also has a companion book written by Hugh Ambrose called The Pacific

HBO also has tons of information on the war and is worth taking a look at. Click HERE to go to The Pacific website at HBO.com.

Episode One
Here is Part 1 of the historical background on Guadalcanal that HBO.com posted on their website. It also aired right before the beginning of the first episode of The Pacific:

*SPOILER ALERT* Here is the recap for Episode 1 of The Pacific:

Episode Two:
Here is Part 2 of the Historical Background on Guadalcanal. It set up the second episode of the series wonderfully and gave a good sense of the intensity of the fight.

*SPOILER ALERT* Here is a recap of Episode 2 of The Pacific:

Episode Three:
Here is Part 3 of the Historical Background on the Marines who ported in Australia after the battle at Guadalcanal.

*PREVIEW* Here is a preview of Episode 3 of The Pacific:


Carin said...

Have you ever read The Thin Red Line by James Jones? I know the movie was confusing and all over the place, but the book is fantastic. Also, the very first book in the US to use the F word. However, in order to get the Post Office to ship the book (and not label it smut), they had to change it a bit, so they used a different vowel, haha.

Carin said...

No, I haven't. I'll keep that in mind once I start reading more non-fiction though. Running this blog has made my TBR list ridiculous! I've discovered so many books through reading other people's blogs that I feel like I'm swimming in stuff I want to read! I will definitely keep it in mind for future reading.

Connie said...

I also have been waiting since 2003 for the Pacific. My grandfather was a WWII submarine vet, so this was very special to me. I do wish a little more time was spent on exposition and character development--like Currahee in the original BoB series--but overall I love this. And the guy who plays Leckie? My new celebrity crush.

Carin said...

@Connie - My friend who also served in the Navy on a submarine sent me a link to the U.S. Naval Institute's website. They discuss the show and also have some really good articles and background about the war in The Pacific. Here's the LINK.

I feel like you to do some extent about the show. I think they had to do that for this show because the training for the Marines was different than the first paratroopers. Easy company trained together before the war and mostly stayed together throughout the war whereas the Marines were more like the typical soldier in their training. After I resolved that in my mind, I didn't mind the lack of development. Also, the show is following the three main characters based on their books: Basilone, Leckie, and Sledge (which I'm sure you already know).

Did your grandfather ever tell you stories from his time in the military? My family had a pretty different war experience, but they went to Japan after the war when my grandfather was stationed there for occupation. My mom learned to speak English in Japan and remembers seeing Mount Fuji. Kinda cool!

Carin said...

Hi Carin! I gave you an award on my blog today! http://carolinebookbinder.blogspot.com/2010/03/another-blog-award.html

Carin said...

@Carin - Thank you very much! That's a really great award! Congratulations on receiving the award too!

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