Merriam Press World War 2 History Series
This story begins in November 1941 and recounts B Company’s march through French Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, and Southern France. From there, it traces the company’s advance over the Vosges Mountains, through the Colmar Pocket and across Germany to Austria. For many of the B Company veterans, the battles left lasting impressions on their memories. They spoke vividly of Casablanca, Licata, Mt. Rotundo and Bloody Anzio, where they held the beachhead for four brutal months. They related with pride the operations in the Colmar Pocket, the smash through the vaunted Siegfried Line and the capture of Salzburg in May 1945, which led to the ultimate surrender of the German Third Reich.
B Company was comprised of men from a multitude of backgrounds. They were farmers, grocery clerks, mechanics, high school, and college graduates. They hailed from different geographical regions throughout the United States. Most of them were between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. They were either drafted, or enlisted on their own. Not all of them wanted to be there, but they accepted it as part of their duty. The men from B Company didn’t see themselves as heroes; they went to war because it was the patriotic thing to do.
Deservedly so, the starring role in this story is played by Audie Murphy. However, the major focus of the book is on the spirit of B Company. It is the author’s hope to reveal the true thoughts, words, and souls of these brave men so that the reader will identify with them in a personal way. This is the story of the B Company foot soldiers—a moving and vivid account told primarily by the characters themselves, through their own eyes and their own experiences.
This book is the culmination of a three-year study on B Company. In his pursuit to arrive as near as possible to the truth, the author has thoroughly examined both secondary and primary sources, including: war memoirs, letters, journals, diaries, witness statements, and interviews with B Company veterans. He’s also included several illustrations from his extensive collection of maps and photographs, many of which were personally shot on location.
Foreword by Dr. Keith E. Bonn
Cast of Characters
Part I: North Africa and Sicily (1942-43)
Chapter 1: The Truscott Trot
Chapter 2: Destination Messina
Part II: Italy (1943-44)
Chapter 3: The Craggy Apennines
Chapter 4: Bloody Anzio
Chapter 5: The Liberation of Rome
Part III: France (1944-45)
Chapter 6: Operation Anvil
Chapter 7: Through the Vosges
Chapter 8: The Colmar Pocket
Part IV: Germany (1945)
Chapter 9: Smashing the Siegfried Line
Chapter 10: Victory at Last
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