By Christopher Miskimon

Emilio Magliacane, a second-generation Italian from Boston, joined the Marine Corps in 1942. After training he went to the Pacific, assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st marine Division. He joined the unit just after they returned from Cape Gloucester. On September 15, 1944, he climbed aboard an amtrac and landed on Peleliu. The beachhead was chaos. “There were no officers I could find or anyone taking control of the situation,” Emilio said. “I just kept moving through the trees until I saw everyone assembling on the edge of an airfield.” Soon, Japanese tanks and infantry attacked. Emilio raised his rifle, an M1 Garand, and emptied it at the advancing enemy.

This book is the sequel to the author’s work collecting the experiences of World War II veterans. He took an M1 rifle with him and had each veteran sign it. Soon his rifle was covered with signatures. The book is full of fascinating vignettes from the participants in his project and stands as a fitting tribute to their service and sacrifices. Not every chapter is about a rifleman, but each shows a service member fighting the war in the way they could. The reader is given a variety of engaging battle stories.

The Rifle 2: Back to the Battlefield (Andrew Biggio, Regnery Publishing, Washington, DC, 2023, 331 pp., photographs, index, $29.99, HC)