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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars View from a fox hole
George Neill presents a front line soldier's view of what it was like to be part of the WWII American infantry. While reading the book, I almost felt the cold and fear that were the soldier's constant companions. while the rear echelon soldiers got the winter boots, and the generals got heated quarters, Neill and his fellow soldiers tried to survive the cold, boredom...
Published on August 16, 2004 by R. BULL

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but very limited combat involvement
The author gives his account as a soldier in the 99th Infantry Division from the unit's arrival in France to his evacuation during the Battle of the Bulge. The author was one of the college boys who was transferred to line units during the manpower crises of 1944. He is a good writer and quite a proper man, who records his observations with fluency. A fair bit of his text...
Published on June 1, 2009 by John E. Larsen


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but very limited combat involvement, June 1, 2009
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This review is from: Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge (Paperback)
The author gives his account as a soldier in the 99th Infantry Division from the unit's arrival in France to his evacuation during the Battle of the Bulge. The author was one of the college boys who was transferred to line units during the manpower crises of 1944. He is a good writer and quite a proper man, who records his observations with fluency. A fair bit of his text is spent on the training, including the challenge of melding with the regular army soldiers in his unit.

His account of the Bulge is Ok, with a lot of focus on the awful conditions he and the others had to endure, following army incompetence in getting winter supplies through to the front. The main downfall for me, was the author's very slight involvement in combat himself. He was shelled and so on but that was about it. He does relate a reasonable number of combat stories of some other fellows in his unit, so that issue is somewhat addressed. He also gives some details on the importance of his divisions achievements in the battle. He doesn't shy away from mentioning some of the less savoury elements of combat. He finishes the war in London in an office privy to some of the most momentous signals of the time.

So overall a fair read but not a compelling one. I was certainly impressed with the author. He is a decent and brave man but my rating reflects his limited combat involvement, which is the focus of my memoir reading.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars View from a fox hole, August 16, 2004
By 
R. BULL "a reader" (Kansas City, MO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge (Paperback)
George Neill presents a front line soldier's view of what it was like to be part of the WWII American infantry. While reading the book, I almost felt the cold and fear that were the soldier's constant companions. while the rear echelon soldiers got the winter boots, and the generals got heated quarters, Neill and his fellow soldiers tried to survive the cold, boredom and attacks. I felt like I was there. This book gets my very highet recommendation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Finding my brother's memories, March 19, 2014
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This review is from: Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge (Paperback)
We were pleased to see accounts of the Battle of The Bulge that brought back memories that my brother told us after he was discharged from the Army after WW II was over. He served with the Ninety Ninth Infantry. I was hoping to see his name mentioned but there were so many serving I think that was nearly impossible. I was much younger than he, so I was just a child and had forgotten so much. I may be researching some other military in the future. thank you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Personal Account from POV of a foot soldier., December 30, 2013
This review is from: Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge (Paperback)
The author, a journalist in later life, was a 23-year-old rifleman in the U.S. Army's 99th Division during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. The 99th had reached the European front the month before and distinguished itself in anchoring the vital northern flank during that last German counteroffensive.
this is an intriguing tale of the Battle of the Bulge told from the POV from an infantry soldier that was there when it happened and recounted it here. The writing is well done and makes the reader feel as if he/she is there with him on the field of this famous showdown between American and German forces. If you're looking for a good war story, or one specifically about "the Bulge", may I recommend this one?
Overall, well done. Don't expect any fluff or pretty writing. Written by a journalist, it is strictly the facts as they happened and witnessed by a foot soldier.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice reading, May 26, 2013
This review is from: Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge (Paperback)
Enjoyed the book. Conveys life on the front lines very well. Can be read in two days or so, as it moves very quickly. For the WWII enthusiast, it makes a nice break from a "dense" history book. A lesser known title, but feel compares favorably to other personal remebrances. Happy to recommend.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Honest patchwork writing in memoir/unit history from L company, 395th infantry, February 1, 2011
This review is from: Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge (Paperback)
Infantry Soldier" by George Neill is a somewhat interesting mix of personal memoir and unit history from the 99th Division. Neill was a journalist after the war and his writing in this book is decent, but not the best of material to have emerged from the war. His story is told in a very straightforward manner and is many ways typical of WWII memoirs in the pre-Bulge chapters. Because Neill's involvement in the actual fighting was relatively light, his retelling of combat stories from the Bulge is done through his comrades, giving the book a patchwork composition.

Neil was lucky when compared to many others members of his division. He saw relatively little combat and was evacuated with a non battle injury that could be referred to as the "million dollar" type. Many of his comrades were not so fortunate. The 99th was in the center of the storm during the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944-45. Although much of the credit for stymieing the German advance through the Ardennes is given to the 101st Airborne and General Patton's 3 Divisions (4th Armored, 26th and 80th Infantry) on the southern shoulder of the Bulge, many veterans who served on the northern shoulder (from the 99th, 2nd, 9th, and 82nd Airborne Divisions) are quick to point out their crucial contribution to the fight in Belgium. They will contend that their actions in the first days of the battle caused the decisive defeat and slowed the attack to a near standstill at places such as Elsenborn Ridge. While historians often debate this point, it is safe to say that there were several divisions who contributed to the overall victory which proved to be the last gasp of German offensive might.

Although there were thousands of men who participated in vicious fights during those cold and violent December days, George Neill was not one of them. This is not out of cowardice or another type of malingering, but pure chance. Neill's position in a riverside ravine near Hofen-Monschau on the Belgium-German border proved to be a relatively quiet part of the Bulge. He was subjected to artillery shells and severe cold, but his personal story is definitely not defined by small arms combat of any type. This is due in large part to the broken ankle the author sustained while moving from his position while loaded down with the heavy BAR and ammo. If he had stayed on it is certain he would have had his share of fighting in the many months until VE Day. His evacuation came at a crucial point in the battle, and he admits feeling slightly guilty for leaving his comrades with a rather benign injury. Though it is clear that he could not press on with a broken ankle, he writes of feeling somewhat ashamed at sitting in the hospital while men all around him were dying of their wounds.

The first part of Neill's story is very detailed and chronicles his time in ASTP and training in Texas. Upon arrival in Belgium in November of 44, it is painfully clear that the California native has extreme difficulty with the cold. Although he was not a victim of frostbite (the Bulge saw huge numbers of non battle casualties), I found Neill's description of operations in a quiet sector of the line an interesting and honest retelling of what life in the ETO was like that winter. Neill does not attempt to exaggerate his part in the war and the book reflects this. Without any heavy actions against the Germans, his story feels a bit thin when compared to other veterans, which is why he chose to describe the actions of his 99th Division comrades during the confusing and mixed up firefights along the porous front from December 16-20. These parts are decent and show the confusion and broken front lines that caused so many prisoners to be taken. He finishes the book with his journey to England and recovery in a hospital and later his duties in HQ areas during the final drive into Germany. An average book, definitely not gripping in its retelling of the enormous battle.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Foxholes, the King & pre-Churchill knowledge of surrender..., June 30, 2009
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This review is from: Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge (Paperback)
I've read a number of war histories (Shelby Foote's 3 volume Civil War tome, Stephen Ambrose's D-Day, Rick Atkinson's An Army at Dawn, Marcus Lutrelle's first-hand account Lone Survivor, Robert Humphrey's Once Upon a Time in War, Hampton Sides' Ghost Soldier, Richard Tregaskis' first-hand account Guadalcanal Diary, Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down ...).

George Neill's account is the finest - a first-hand account of frontline combat and brutal conditions. More important is Neill's message - "don't forget..." Don't forget the appalling cost of war and those who pay it. Neill's perspectives are unique - rifle platoon, frontline, Battle of the Bulge - on the line that held, signal corps experience leading to a place where Neill personally learned of Germany's surrender before Truman and Churchill. He was present at Buckingham Palace on V-E Day when King George, Queen Elizabeth, Churchill and Princess Elizabeth came out on the balcony. The icing on the cake? The guy can write.

Neill's book ranks at the top for other reasons - the personal stories, first-hand conversations, grief upon the loss of personal friends, hopelessness interspersed with numbness among the incredibly harsh conditions, his letters home... His retelling of horrific events stopped me cold more than once. VERY well done.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars easy read, February 9, 2009
This review is from: Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge (Paperback)
This book was really easy to read.My father was in the Battle of the Bulge;he was in the 99th division,395 Reg,Hdg.company.He never told me very much about what he did or what it was like when he was there.Reading the book gave me a good idea of what my Father went experienced.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clearly superb, December 14, 2006
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Michael Ferguson (Longview, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge (Paperback)
This is one of the better first-person accounts I've ever read. I highly, strongly recommend that you take the time to read it. It's well-written, relevant, and hard to put down.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 99th infantry, February 12, 2009
This review is from: Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge (Paperback)
Excellent story of life in the foxholes with 99th infantry division in battle of the bulge.
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Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge
Infantry Soldier: Holding the Lines at the Battle of the Bulge by George W. Neill (Paperback - February 15, 2002)
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