Iwo, 26 Charlie
by P. T. Deutermann
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Pub Date 28 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 12 Dec 2023
The tiny Pacific island of Iwo Jima was the focus of an epic land and sea battle that produced one of the most iconic images of World War II: US Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi, an active volcano where American and Japanese soldiers, desperate to secure the island’s airfields, fought hand to hand and always to the death. In this gripping novel, award-winning author and retired commodore P. T. Deutermann follows a young Navy gunnery officer stationed on the battleship Nevada from the beginning of the battle to its decisive end.
Lieutenant Lee Bishop serves in the main plotting room aboard USS Nevada, targeting fourteen-inch shells from the ship’s guns against enemy positions on Iwo Jima called in by frantic Marine spotters ashore. But after the Marines suffer devastating losses of spotting personnel to the Japanese hunting teams sent out specifically to kill them, Bishop volunteers to serve onshore as a replacement, calling in coordinates to target Japanese positions with offshore naval gunships, such as Nevada.
But Bishop is completely unprepared for what he witnesses and experiences: a literal hell on earth, during which twenty-six thousand Americans become casualties in desperate and often hand-to-hand fighting with the enemy garrison, men committed to dying for Japan. Bishop goes from the safe, air-conditioned gunnery control spaces of a battleship to the mud, blood, and sheer terror of night fighting against suicidal Japanese who come out of the night and leap into Marine foxholes with samurai swords to slaughter American Marines. The battle culminates on the stinking slopes of the volcano, where Bishop calls in monster projectiles against banzai charges while using a Thompson submachine to save his own life and those of his fellow Marines.
Iwo, 26 Charlie is a frighteningly dramatic, utterly authentic novel by an award-winning writer and Navy veteran who is a contemporary master of World War II military fiction.