HBO is following up its critically acclaimed 2001 WWII series Band of Brothers, based on the Stephen Ambrose book, with The Pacific, a new 10-part series focused on the Pacific campaign, which is also produced by Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks and which will feature a host of official (and unofficial) book tie-ins.

The Pacific will begin airing March 14 and be accompanied by a 300,000-copy first printing of the companion publication The Pacific (New American Library) by Hugh Ambrose, historian and expert on the war in the Pacific, a consultant to the TV series, and the son of WWII historian Stephen Ambrose. Julia Fleischaker, publicist for the book, said that much like Band of Brothers, Ambrose's The Pacific will focus on the real-life war experiences of five Marines, while the TV series will be a fictional recreation based on the lives of three of the soldiers.

Penguin is also publishing Island of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific by R.V. Burgin (with William Marvel), the memoir of 87-year-old Burgin, a decorated veteran and platoon sergeant during the brutal campaign, who is also featured in With the Old Breed (1990), a classic account of the Pacific war by Eugene Sledge that is one of four books the TV series is based on. The house will release a 40,000-copy first printing, and Burgin's experiences will be represented in the TV series. The other books the HBO series is based on include Helmet for My Pillow by the late Robert Leckie (a new edition is coming from Bantam), Iwo Jima: Red Blood, Black Sand by Charles Tatum, and China Marine by Eugene Sledge.

While NAL has the official companion title to The Pacific, Perseus's Da Capo Press as well as two separate U.K.-based military history publishers—Osprey Publishing and Casemate Publishing—plan to ride the coattails of the series with books of their own. Da Capo is reprinting Strong Men Armed: The U.S. Marines Against Japan, another book by the late Robert Leckie, a Marine machine gunner during the war who became a journalist and the author of more than 40 books.

Osprey is touting two books on the war produced by two highly regarded military historians. It will publish War in the Pacific: 1941—1945 by noted British historian Richard Overy, an unusual visual compilation that uses text, photographs, and facsimile documents to produce a historical account of the war. Osprey is also releasing The Pacific War: From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima, edited by Daniel Marston, a historian currently in Afghanistan training NATO forces in the history of counterinsurgency tactics. The book is a reprint of a critically acclaimed anthology of scholarly essays that give a comprehensive account of the war in the Pacific.

Although the Osprey books are not official tie-ins, the foreword for the graphic nonfiction title, War in the Pacific, was written by Dale Dye, a decorated Vietnam-era Marine captain and founder of Warriors Inc., a military consultancy that oversees the production of film and TV shows about the military. Dye worked on Band of Brothers and was senior military adviser to the upcoming The Pacific. Dye said he agreed to write the foreword because he believes the Pacific campaign has been underportrayed in American popular culture. “The book is a good piece of history and it's graphic,” said Dye. “I'm a fan of anything that will get people to put their noses in a book.”

War in the Pacific: 1941—1945 will have a 12,000-copy first printing, said John Tintera, Osprey U.S. sales and marketing director. Previous editions of Marston's The Pacific War sold about 20,000 copies, Tintera said, and Osprey will release 10,000 copies of the new edition.

Casemate publisher David Farnsworth said the house is releasing 5,000 trade paperback copies of D-Days in the Pacific with the U.S. Coast Guard: The Story of Lucky Thirteen by Ken Wiley, the story of the author's war experiences aboard a landing craft. And in May the house will publish American Guerrilla: The Forgotten Heroics of Russell W. Volckmann by Mike Guardia, the story of Volckmann's exploits in the Philippines organizing a guerrilla army to fight the Japanese. Farnsworth said Wiley's book offers a rare account of the Coast Guard's role during WWII. He noted that Volckmann is considered the “father of U.S. Special Forces” and went on to establish U.S. insurgency and counterinsurgency doctrines. D-Days in the Pacific previously sold about 3,000 copies in hardcover.