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The Long March

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In the blaze of a Carolina summer, among the poison ivy and loblolly pines, eight Marines are killed almost casually by misfired mortar shells. Deciding that his battalion has been 'doping off', Colonel Templeton calls for a 36-mile forced march to inculcate discipline. The Long March is a searing account of this ferocious ordeal - and of the two officers who resist. Hide synopsis

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Reviews of The Long March

Overall customer rating: 4.000
giannuzzo

Not what I expected

by giannuzzo on Jan 24, 2013

In the 50's some young marines drowned during a forced march in the Carolinas. I believe a Sergeant was court martialed. This is not a fictionalized acount of that march. This novella deals with a forced training march also but is otherwise a different story. William Styron was indeed a marine although he states he was never in combat. As a soldier who likewise never saw real action, I can attest to the accuracy of the portrayals here. The difference between Reserve Oficers and Regulars even when both are combat veterans is well brought out.. The descriptions of the Carolina swamps, nature of fatigue, the desire to finish the mission at any cost even in a non combat setting are excellent. Nevertheless I felt something was missing. Overall the incident depicted was not that gripping for me, perhaps because it did not involve combat. Marine Corps training is famous for its rigor. Some officers are martinets even fanatics. Nevertheless the achievements of the Corps are legendary so perhaps even the real hard asses have their role. Anyway, I found this to be a good but not a great read. .

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