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on 22 May 2005
One of the very best first hand accounts of WWII combat from the point of view of a young, green, American infanty officer who quickly becomes a veteran combat commander.
Truly superb insight into life in the front line from the St Lo Breakout, through the forgotten hell of Hurtgen, the Ardennes and twice through the Siegfried line.
The best I have yet read for an insight of infantry fighting at a platoon and company level.
I urge you to read this book.
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on 7 August 2004
This is an excellent and moving first hand account of the war in Europe from July 1944 as seen from the view point of a young officer in a rifle company.
Wilson manages to convey the fear, toil, fatigue, and futility of life in an infantry battalion through the break-out from Normandy, the awful fighting in Hurtgen, and the Battle of the Bulge.
I couldn't put it down.
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on 29 March 2007
George Wilson is (Or was) no great stylist as a writer, and tries to neither impress nor manipulate the reader- his book is all the better for it. What he obviously was, was a modest, brave, and decent man, the kind of citizen soldier of which a nation should be proud. His book covers a period from D-Day to the end of the war, as an infantry lieutenant and sometime acting company commander. He fought through the Hurtgen Forest in a formation completely destroyed by losses and then rebuilt, fighting as brutal and unforgiving as any on the Western Front. He is thoughtful and humane on failures in training and equipment in his own army, and failures of personnel, and his work would serve as a useful training primer for comapny level infantry actions even today. This book is a fine antidote to gung-ho memoirs, or even to higher level histories which serve patriotic agendas. Read it and be grateful.
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on 30 May 1999
If you liked "Saving Private Ryan" you will love this book. Willson was "lucky?" enough to be in every major battle; Saint Lo, Falaise, Siegfried Line, Hurtgen Forest, Battle of the Bulge. He was always on the very front line and he survived! This book is easy to read and very hard to put down. I was very sorry when I got to the very last page and there was no more to read. If you want action, forget movie theaters. Read this book.
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on 14 June 1999
George Wilson tells a tale that many of us have wondered what it was like to have fought in the 2nd world war. He is vivid in every detail. He gives chilling accounts of front line life, the battles, the men who gave up their lives, the men who cracked under pressure. He also gave the Germans a look of humanity at times. The battle scarred Germans gave up pretty easy in some cases, and most of the times, they fought with such vigor and violence it blew me away. I cried at some points in the book. I felt sick in others. I could have sworn I hear mortar shells flying over my head, and men crying for help. He gave accounts of men doing the right thing and the wrong thing, and the wrong thing in war usually leads up to death ... and a lot of wrong stuff that was done caused some men their lives. George Wilson did a wonderful job as a solider, Lt., in the second world war, and a brilliant way of bringing the war to us. Thank you George for the book and the fighting you did.
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on 8 May 1999
A very well-written and exciting story. It tries very hard to give a good account of the way it was in the last year of the war, especially 'The Battle of the Bulge. The only thing that I did not like was that Mr. Wilson seems to gloss over some of the details, most probably in an effort to save the reader from some of the horror he faced.
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on 22 June 2011
This is a very good read and I am in awe of all the people who have fought for our freedom over the years.

I have to disagree with some of the comments regarding Lt Wilson. Reading his account I wonder why he didn't end up with 5 medals of honor or be a general at the end as he seems to have single handedly been at the forefront of all the big battles and made all the major decisions on how to carry out an action. I somehow can't believe that all the much senior officers would always defer to his decisions.
I would have enjoyed it better if he had a bit more humility.

But saying that, he did take part and for that I am very grateful.
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on 10 December 2007
It's nice to read a story/memoir of WWII that doesn't start with D-Day but starts just after it in the very confusing period during the Battle of Normandy.

It's also good to see someone being honest about his mistakes and triumphs, and how other's also made mistakes. Also unusual for an American to admit that his own air force bombed him, and to take Patton off his pedestal.

Brilliantly he doesn't try and tell you everyone's name and their life history, which a lot of books of this ilk try and overwhelm you with to the point when you really couldn't give a toss about any of them.

There are some great stories here, and it's well written. Importantly, George Wilson isn't try to fool anyone that he's the best soldier ever, just a guy trying to keep himself and his squad alive.
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on 18 June 1999
He must have seen more terror and emotional stress than he said he had. Overall a good book with a good first person acount of what GI's in Europe took first hand and head on. I think that Lt.Wilson should have gotton more praise than he did.
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on 14 March 1999
This book was so engrossing--it was very hard to put down. There is not one slow part in this book. I was in awe of George Wilson and was impressed with how well he faced each challenge that confronted him, particularly the challenge of working with fresh recruits. You will also be amazed and saddened by the the number of friendly-fire casualties written about here--many done by jittery new recruits not yet battle-hardened and others caused my unfortunate misunderstandings. The whole book is very well-written and includes so much detail about each battle and patrol. I'm thankful Mr. Wilson took the time to write about his experiences in WWII. Think I'll have to read the book again--I miss it already!
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