In his book Men Against Fire, [historian S. L. A.] Marshall asserted that only 15 to 25 percent of American soldiers ever fired their weapons in combat in World War II. . . . Shooting at the enemy made a man part of the “team,” or “brotherhood.” There were, of course, many times when soldiers did not want to shoot, such as at night when they did not want to give away a position or on reconnaissance patrols. But, in the main, no combat soldier in his right mind would have deliberately sought to go through the entire ear without ever firing his weapon, because he would have been excluded from the brotherhood but also because it would have been detrimental to his own survival. One of [rifle company commander Harold] Leinbaugh’s NCOs summed it up best when discussing Marshall: “Did the SOB think we clubbed the Germans to death?”
About John McManus
John C. McManus formerly was assistant director of the University of Tennessee’s Center for the Study of War and Society. He now lives in St. Louis where he teaches history at a local college.
From the Paperback edition.
“Gripping . . . These men were common warriors who fought with uncommon courage and thus shaped the destiny of our great nation.” —FORMER SENATOR BOB DOLE
“A RIVETING AND EXTREMELY WELL-RESEARCHED ANALYSIS OF THE VIOLENT WORLD FACED BY THE AMERICAN GI DURING WORLD WAR II . . . Anyone who wishes to understand the experience of our citizen army of fifty years ago should read this book. Highest recommendation.” —ERIC BERGERUD Author of Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific
“Do you want to know what the World War II foot soldier felt and how he fought? What he ate and how he liked it? What his life was like during periods he was not in combat? The Deadly Brotherhood goes a long way towards answering such questions. . . . Each chapter contains a wealth of supporting comments. This approach produces an extreme degree of authenticity. . . . This fine book provides a comprehensive understanding of a World War II infantryman’s troubles and travails.” —Military Review
“An exciting, moving book told in the words of those men who actually fought the enemy face-to-face on the front lines—the infantry, combat engineers, armor, and Marines; those unfortunate souls for whom war was a minute-by-minute struggle against terrifying odds.” —E. B. SLEDGE Author of With the Old Breed
Look for these thrilling books of American heroism at war
DARBY’S RANGERS We Led the Way by William O. Darby with William H. Baumer
DEATH TRAPS The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II by Belton Y. Cooper
WAR PILOT True Tales of Combat and Adventure by Richard C. Kirkland
WOODBINE RED LEADER A P-51 Mustang Ace in the Mediterranean Theater by George Loving