Books: Twelve Days of Battle

The ASSAULT (216 pp.] — Allen R. Matthews—Simon & Schuster ($2.50).

At 32, Allen Matthews was the oldest man in his Marine company, and known to the rest as "Pop." By the twelfth day of the battle for Iwo Jima, only three men were left of his 32-man platoon. Then, from Iwo's craggy, ridge-locked plateau came the whee-ee-eet-whee-ee-eet of the moaning Minnies.* There was a moment of blackness, a scream, and then silence.

Private Matthews, lying alongside a shipmate, picked himself up and found that the odds had narrowed once more. "I got out of the hole. The man was lying just outside....

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