Synopses & Reviews
describes in harrowing detail the life of the men assigned to infantry rifle platoons during World War II. Few people realize the enormously disproportionate burden the men in these platoons carried: although only 6 percent of the U.S. Army in Europe. They suffered most of the casualties.
George W. Neill served with a rifle platoon in the 99th Infantry Division. Now a seasoned journalist, he takes the reader into the foxholes to reveal how combat infantrymen lived and survived, what they thought, and how they fought.
Beginning with basic training in Texas and Oklahoma, Neill moves to the front lines in Belgium and Germany. There he focuses on the role of his division in the Battle of the Bulge. The 99th, recruits bolstered by veterans of the 2nd Division, held the northern line of the bulge, preventing a German breakthrough and undermining their strategy. Using his wartime letters, his research in the United States and Europe, and hundreds of interviews, Neill chronicles his and his friendsandrsquo; experiencesandmdash;acts of horror and heroism on the front line.
"Crouching in a foxhole during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, George Neill resolved that one day he would describe World War II as it was endured by an expendable infantryman. Relying on letters to his family as well as memories, notes from his comrades, and personal research, Neill has written an intensely personal account of the horror of war and the ever constant fear of death in a cold, snow-filled foxhole. Neill, a retired journalist, recounts his experiences and those of his comrades who fought and died along side him in the 99th Infantry Division as they held the northern line of the bulge. Too often they were hungry, dirty, and wet and cold because of inadequate footwear and clothing. Although Neill's book is not an account of the entire battle, it is a gripping story of one small part of the Battle of the Bulge as it was fought by lonely, frightened infantrymen." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
Describes in harrowing detail the lives of the men assigned to infantry rifle platoons in Europe during World War II. Neil uses his wartime letters, research, and hundreds of interviews to chronicle acts of horror and heroism on the front line.
About the Author
George W. Neill , who lives in northern California, is a retired newspaper editor.