OVER THEREWhen Raymond Gantter arrived in Normandy in the fall of 1944, bodies were still washing up from the invasion. Sobered by that sight, Gantter and his fellow infantrymen moved across northern France and Belgium, taking part in the historic and bloody Battle of the Bulge, before slowly penetrating into and across Germany, fighting all the way to the Czechoslovakian border. With depth, clarity, and remarkable compassion, Gantter--an enlisted man and college graduate who spoke German--portrays the extraordinary life of the American soldier as he and his comrades lived it while helping to destroy Hitler's Third Reich. From dueling with unseen snipers in ruined villages to fierce battles in which the lightly armed American infantry skirmished against Hitler's panzers, Gantter skillfully captures one infantryman's progress across a continent where guns, fear, and death lay in wait around every bend in the road.
General John A. Wickham, commander of the famous 101st Airborne Division in the 1970s and subsequently Army Chief of Staff, once visited Antietam battlefield. Gazing at Bloody Lane where, in 1862, several Union assaults were brutally repulsed before they finally broke through, he marveled, You couldn't get American soldiers today to make an attack like that. Why did those men risk certain death, over and over again, through countless bloody battles and four long, awful years ? Why did the conventional wisdom -- that soldiers become increasingly cynical and disillusioned as war progresses -- not hold true in the Civil War?It is to this question--why did they fight--that James McPherson, America's preeminent Civil War historian, now turns his attention. He shows that, contrary to what many scholars believe, the soldiers of the Civil War remained powerfully convinced of the ideals for which they fought throughout the conflict. Motivated by duty and honor, and often by religious faith, these men wrote frequently of their firm belief in the cause for which they fought: the principles of liberty, freedom, justice, and patriotism. Soldiers on both sides harkened back to the Founding Fathers, and the ideals of the American Revolution. They fought to defend their country, either the Union--the best Government ever made--or the Confederate states, where their very homes and families were under siege. And they fought to defend their honor and manhood. I should not lik to go home with the name of a couhard, one Massachusetts private wrote, and another private from Ohio said, My wife would sooner hear of my death than my disgrace. Even after three years of bloody battles, more than half of the Union soldiers reenlisted voluntarily. While duty calls me here and my country demands my services I should be willing to make the sacrifice, one man wrote to his protesting parents. And another soldier said simply, I still love my country. McPherson draws on more than 25,000 letters and nearly 250 private diaries from men on both sides. Civil War soldiers were among the most literate soldiers in history, and most of them wrote home frequently, as it was the only way for them to keep in touch with homes that many of them had left for the first time in their lives. Significantly, their letters were also uncensored by military authorities, and are uniquely frank in their criticism and detailed in their reports of marches and battles, relations between officers and men, political debates, and morale. For Cause and Comrades lets these soldiers tell their own stories in their own words to create an account that is both deeply moving and far truer than most books on war. Battle Cry of Freedom, McPherson's Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil War, was a national bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The New York Times, called history writing of the highest order. For Cause and Comrades deserves similar accolades, as McPherson's masterful prose and the soldiers' own words combine to create both an important book on an often-overlooked aspect of our bloody Civil War, and a powerfully moving account of the men who fought it.
Despite the many celebrated victories of the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815), the role of the Royal Navy should never be overlooked. The 'wooden walls' formed the country's first and most important line of defence, and ranged throughout the world to protect Britain's trade-routes and in support of the land forces and overseas possessions. This book covers the huge variations in uniforms not just in the Navy but the Royal Marines and Infantry regiments which served alongside naval crews. It also looks at the organisation, training and recruitment of the force and corrects a number of misconceptions regarding impressment and training.
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In this riveting insider's chronicle, legendary Marine General Brute Krulak submits an unprecedented examination of U.S. Marines--their fights on the battlefield and off, their extraordinary esprit de corps. Deftly blending history with autobiography, action with analysis, and separating fact from fable, General Krulak touches the very essence of the Corps: what it means to be a Marine and the reason behind its consistently outstanding performance and reputation.
Krulak also addresses the most basic but challenging question of all about the Corps: how does it manage to survive--even to flourish--despite overwhelming political odds and, as the general writes, an extraordinary propensity for shooting itself in the foot? To answer this question Krulak examines the foundation on which the Corps is built, a system of intense loyalty to God, to country, and to other Marines. He also takes a close look at Marines in war, offering challenging accounts of their experiences in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. In addition, he describes the Corps's relationship to other services, especially during the unification battles following World War II, and offers new insights into the decision-making process in times of crisis. First published in hardcover in 1984, this book has remained popular ever since with Marines of every rank.
They are the men of C-for-Charlie company--"Mad" 1st Sgt. Eddie Welsh, Pvt. 1st Class Don Doll, Pvt. John Bell, Capt. James Stein, Cpl. Fife, and dozens more just like them--infantrymen who are about to land, grim and white-faced, on an atoll in the Pacific called Guadalcanal. This is their story, a shatteringly realistic walk into hell and back.In the days ahead, some will earn medals, others will do anything they can dream up to get evacuated before they land in a muddy grave. But they will all discover the thin red line that divides the sane from the mad--and the living from the dead--in this unforgettable portrait that captures for all time the total experience of men at war. Foreword by Francine Prose
"Brutal, direct, and powerful . . . The men are real, the words are real, death is real, imminent and immediate."--Los Angeles Times "A rare and splendid accomplishment . . . strong and ambitious, spacious, and as honest as any novel ever written."-- Newsweek
" A] major novel of combat in World War II . . . reminiscent of Stephen Crane in The Red Badge of Courage."--The Christian Science Monitor
"The Thin Red Line moves so intensely and inexorably that it almost seems like the war it is describing."--The New York Times Book Review
The author continues his study of early twentieth-century military and naval history in an analysis of the confrontation between the two most powerful navies in the world as the British and Germans clashed at sea during World War I.
At once a grand tour of the battlefields of North America and an unabashedly personal tribute to the military prowess of an essentially unwarlike people, Fields of Battle spans more than two centuries and the expanse of a continent to show how the immense spaces of North America shaped the wars that were fought on its soil. of photos.
This bitter war between Russia and Turkey, aided by Britain and France, was the setting for the stuff of legends. This book details the gallant yet suicidal Charge of the Light Brigade, now immortalised in film: in the words of Tennyson, 'Into the Valley of Death rode the Six Hundred'. It relates the reports made by the first real war correspondant, William Russell of the London Times - reports which served only to highlight the army's problems - and memorialises the heroic deeds of Florence Nightingale, who struggled to save young men from the most formidable enemy in the Crimean War: not the Russians, but cholera.