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Hugh Ambrose: The Pacific

By the end of the war, their chests were covered in medals of valor. To a man, they had paid an extremely high price for each and every one.

Produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Gary Goetzmann, the team behind the award-winning 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers, The Pacific follows the intertwined journeys of three Marines – Robert Leckie, Eugene Sledge, and Medal of Honor recipient “Manila John” Basilone – from their first battles on Guadalcanal, through the rain forests of Cape Gloucester and the strongholds of Peleliu, across the bloody sands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and finally home.

The companion book adds the stories of their fellow Marines Sidney Phillips and Austin “Shifty” Shofner, along with Navy carrier pilot Vernon “Mike” Micheel. Through them, Ambrose widens the scope of The Pacific to include Bataan and the Battle of Midway, from the hardships endured in POW camps to a dive bomber’s first, nerve-shattering experience of aerial combat. Drawn from the men’s military records, letters, journals, and photographs, Ambrose’s book enhances and expands on the story told in the HBO miniseries – one that evokes what made the war against Japan distinct from World War II in Europe, and honors the men and women who paid a high price to win it.

Hugh Ambrose was a consultant on several books by his father, the best-selling historian Stephen Ambrose, and served as the historical consultant for The Pacific miniseries. Ambrose is also the former vice president of the National World War II Museum and has led battlefield tours through Europe and along the Pacific Rim.