Book: If You Survive, From Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge…

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    • #90331
      JohnnyMac
      Participant

        I’ve been reading this book, “If You Survive: From Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge to the End of World War II, One American Officer’s Riveting True Story” by George Wilson.

        It chronicles his deployment with the 4th Infantry Division into Normandy, landing right after the beachheads were secured, and their push through France, Belgium, and so on.

        This is from a platoon leader’s perspective, and so provides just a very small view of the greater battle(s), but what I really like about it is the very frank delivery of his story. The author was in some very high casualty situations. The majority of men he landed with were killed or wounded. As a leader, he takes some of the initial deaths to heart, but also quickly reflects when a death was preventable. The level of training/standards/discipline were significantly different then compared to now. Example/Good: more or less free use of artillery strikes/armor/air support to win a fight, not the circle jerk required today during a TIC. Example/Bad: friendly fire/lower levels of training. He also usually provides enough insight into each situation that you can understand tactically, what they were doing. He doesn’t embellish stuff, and tends to talk about the things that would stick out to an infantryman: being saved by tanks/air/artillery, terrain, food, people’s emotional responses to situations, how different weapon systems affected the fight (sometimes he was on the receiving end), etc.

        The kindle version is only $5, and it’s well worth it.

        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0049P1M1S/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

      • #90332
        First Sergeant
        Moderator

          I read that when it first came out.

          Now I will have to find it on my bookshelf and read it again.

          FILO
          Signal Out, Can You Identify
          Je ne regrette rien
          In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

        • #90333
          zeerf
          Participant

            added to my list, thank you!

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