That’s what HBO is saying about their new miniseries The Pacific which is scheduled to air in March of 2010. So why are we promoting an HBO miniseries? Well the series just happens to be based off former UM professor Dr. Eugene Sledge’s book With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa.

Eugene B. Sledge was born on November 4, 1923 in Mobile, Alabama. He graduated from Murphy High School in Mobile in May 1942 and entered Marion Military Institute (MMI) in Marion, Alabama, that fall. Sledge enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in December 1942 to train as an officer, but in order not to “miss the war” he joined as an enlisted man and was eventually assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (K-3-5). He served as a Private First Class in the Pacific Theater and saw combat at Peleliu and Okinawa. After being posted to China after the war, he was discharged from the Marine Corps in February 1946 with the rank of Corporal. In the summer of 1962, Sledge was appointed Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Montevallo. In 1970 he became a professor, a position he held until his retirement in 1990. He taught zoology, ornithology, comparative vertebrate anatomy and other courses during his long tenure there. With the Old Breed was published in 1980 and is considered by many the defining account of WWII in the Pacific theatre.

The Pacific is being produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg and is the follow up to the critically acclaimed HBO series Band of Brothers. HBO has stated that the production is the biggest production in the history of HBO and could easily be the biggest production in the history of television considering that each episode was the equivalent of filming a major motion picture.

Over the next several months, UM will be highlighting Dr. Sledge’s book and his 30 years at UM.

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