A Marine of the 1st division struggles to cope with the unrelenting inhuman emotional and physical stress of prolonged frontline combat on the island of Peleliu, 1944. "We were resigned to the dismal conclusion that our battalion wasn't going to leave the island until all the Japanese were killed, or we had all been hit. We merely existed from hour to hour, from day to day. Numbed by fear and fatigue, our minds thought only of personal survival. The only glimmer of hope was a million-dollar wound or for the battle to end soon. As casualties mounted, a sense of despair pervaded us. It seemed the only way to escape was to be killed or wounded. The will for self preservation weakened. Many men I knew became intensely fatalistic. Somehow though, one could never quite visualize his own death. It was always the next man. Getting wounded did seem inevitable, one couldn't hope to escape the law of a averages forever."
-Eugene Sledge (excerpt from With the old Breed)