Dogface Soldiers: The Story of B Company, 15th Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division—From Fedala to Salzburg: Audie Murphy and His Brothers in Arms

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9781468104493: Dogface Soldiers: The Story of B Company, 15th Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division—From Fedala to Salzburg: Audie Murphy and His Brothers in Arms

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.

Contents

Foreword by Dr. Keith E. Bonn

Preface

Cast of Characters

Introduction

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

Afterword

Acknowledgments

Bibliography

The Author

36 photos

2 illustrations

32 maps

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