BOOK ⚤ Company Commander: The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II õ eBook or Kindle ePUB free

BOOK ⚝ Company Commander: The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II ô As a newly commisioned Captain of a veteran Army regiment, MacDonald s first combat was war at its most hellish the Battle of the Bulge In this plain spoken but eloquent narrative, we live each minute at MacDonald s side, sharing in all of combat s misery, terror, and drama How this green commander gains his men s loyalty in the snows of war torn Europe is one of the great, true, unforgettable war stories of all time Company Commander The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II by Charles B MacDonald I highly recommend Company Commander The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II by Charles B MacDonald At just 21 years of age, Captain Charles B MacDonald first commanded I Company, 3 Battalion 23rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division from October 1944 to January 1945 and later G Company, 2 Battalion 23rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division from March to May 1945 This memoir was written in 1947 when recollecti Company Commander The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II by Charles B MacDonald I highly recommend Company Commander The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II by Charles B MacDonald At just 21 years of age, Captain Charles B MacDonald first commanded I Company, 3 Battalion 23rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division from October 1944 to January 1945 and later G Company, 2 Battalion 23rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division from March to May 1945 This memoir was written in 1947 when recollections were still sharp It resulted in a very detailed account of what it was like to take command of a line infantry company and lead it into battle The book gives us template for writing a personal military memoir.It is by far the finest memoir of any junior officer in World War II Charles MacDonald does a great job of keeping his focus on his own experiences He does not speculate or waste my time by giving conjecture on the big picture We only have first hand information from the events of his personal participation He sticks to what life was like for a junior officer in command of an infantry company, sleepless, hungry, dirty, stressful, and very dangerous He takes us from the Siegfried Line in the Ardennes, through the Battle of the Bulge, and to the end of the war in the Czechoslovakia.This book is a must read for all army officers who seek to command at company level and it is informative for military historians as well It is still required reading at West Point and on the company level officer second lieutenant, first lieutenant, and captain recommended reading list by the U.S Army today Upon this book s publication in 1947, Charles B MacDonald was invited to join the U.S Army Center of Military History as a civilian historian, the start of a career during which he wrote three of the official histories of World War II in Europe and supervised the preparation of others The book is simply the best Read and reviewed by Jimmie A Kepler in June 2006 Real life at the sharp end of World War 2.Written very shortly after hostilities ceased in that classic veteran s matter of fact style, Macdonald takes us from the Siegfried Line in the Ardennes, through the Battle of the Bulge, and to the end of the war in the Czechoslovakia.However this is different from many memoirs in that he does mention atrocities, and the flaws in officers and men, although names are changed.This is not grand strategy, indeed grand strategy is an irrelevance where he and Real life at the sharp end of World War 2.Written very shortly after hostilities ceased in that classic veteran s matter of fact style, Macdonald takes us from the Siegfried Line in the Ardennes, through the Battle of the Bulge, and to the end of the war in the Czechoslovakia.However this is different from many memoirs in that he does mention atrocities, and the flaws in officers and men, although names are changed.This is not grand strategy, indeed grand strategy is an irrelevance where he and his men are Macdonald concentrates on the realities for a green junior officer in command of an infantry company, whilst coping with sleeplessness, hunger, dirt, stress, and danger.Apparently it is still required reading at West Point It should also be required reading for any politician thinking of sending men women to war.Originally published in 1947 and I m again glad that Endeavour Press reprinted this classic in this digital edition Great World War 2 memoir by a young replacement company commander who has to lead battle hardened men into battle and passes all his tests despite early self doubt A real page turner that is not filled with the big strategies of battle, but just about young men fighting and surviving during the hard winter months of fighting on the Western Front in 1944 45. This was written shortly after the end of the war The author went on to become a military historian and his experiences as a company commander parallel those of Winters in Band of Brothers This is not for the faint hearted and the names have not been changed to protect the innocent or the dead His men are revealed with all their flaws As the author says in his preface to make a story of a war authentic you must see war not a hasty taste of war but the dread, gnawing diet of war, the hor This was written shortly after the end of the war The author went on to become a military historian and his experiences as a company commander parallel those of Winters in Band of Brothers This is not for the faint hearted and the names have not been changed to protect the innocent or the dead His men are revealed with all their flaws As the author says in his preface to make a story of a war authentic you must see war not a hasty taste of war but the dread, gnawing diet of war, the horrors and the fears that are at first blunt testimony that you are a novice and then later become so much a part of you that only another veteran, through some sixth sense, may know that those same horrors and fears are yet there The introduction provides some context An infantry regiment with on paper strength of a littlethan 3,000 might lose over twice that many in less than a year of combat The author of the introduction suggests that such casualty rates played havoc with the concept of Band of Brothers.An infantry company s makeup was constantly changing Wounded being sent back to the front rarely were returned to their original outfits Casualty rates among the infantry note that Winters was airborne were staggering They sufferedthan 90% of the casualties in Europe Marshall s ninety division gamble, an attempt to keep the army as small as possible something I had no clue about is so reminiscent of Rumsfeld s similar attempt with its consequent disaster in Iraq Marshall s reasoning was to apply as much resource as possble to war production and air and naval power Plus ca change.This is the unvarnished memoir of combat Sometimes retreats occur against orders Often superior officers flee the battlefield, then write each other up for medals Fear is omnipresent, atrocities happen, hot showers becomethan luxeries.He dreaded sending out patrols at night to collect information they had already reported to headquarters just so the rear brass could type upreports He and his men have little respect for the higher ranks It seemed that since we were now in a quiet position that every officer in the division with the rank of major or above wanted to inspect the company area The condemned the men for not having shaved or for wearing knit wool caps without their helmets, evidently an unpardonable misdemeanor, or for untidy areas around the dugouts The officers did not inspect my 1st Platoon area, stationed farthest foward and subjected to random shelling however, usually passing it over with the excuse it was too far to walk, but we laughed inwardly, knowing it was the threat of enemy shelling that kept most of them away MacDonald was thrown into combat as a captain replacement officer with little or no combat experience He was assigned company I, a group that swore action followed them around As soon as they were pulled from a an intense sector, it quieted down When they were assigned to a previously quiet area, the Germans would attack with a bayonet charge or something smilar.Following several months in relatively static defensive positions, his company is quickly rounded up and sent to back up the 99th Inf Division that had been counterattacked and mauled after they had attempted to take some dams to prevent their destruction MacDonald s account of moving to the front in snow, setting up his men with not enough ammunition, the chaos and opacity of battle is simply amazing Which way s the enemy I asked of the colonel I dunno he replied Nobody seems to know a goddamned thing They say it s that way, and he motioned with one arm to the east The small military horizon of the company commander was striking They maintained closest contact with companies on their flanks some with Battalion, very little with Division, Corps is almost unimportant Maps and map reading ability was crucial The British had been given responsibility for mapping Europe they were forced to use mostly WW I maps, but updated them with aerial reconnaissance whenever possible The aerial map readers provided some astonishing information They could recognize defensive positions by noticing darker grass Dew would fall off barbed wire nourishing the grass underneath the wireeffectively hence making itvisible from the air.What s amazing to me is how well MacDonald did with his men, perhaps a tribute to the training he had received The story is recounted in such a matter of fact way, that the day to day horrors somehow become that muchmemorable for their ordinariness Note a really nice foldout map accompanies the History Book Club edition