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The Deadly Brotherhood: The American Combat Soldier in World War II Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Press (August 26, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891418237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891418238
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #857,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

From the Inside Flap

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??

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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This book is well written and though provoking.
Laquita A. Angst
It is on par with the HBO Band of Brothers television shows, and if you liked those shows, then you will like this book.
Ronald D. Bruner Jr.
I think anyone interested in the infantry's role in WW2 will find this book worth a read.
"jim278"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Chad R. Reihm on October 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Despite what other reviewers may have said, I believe this is a much needed addition to any WWII library. Overall 'The Deadly Brotherhood' is a well written book that contains almost everything you need to know about a GI's life during WWII.

The book is divided into sections that discuss a variety of topics from a GI's food and weapons to what it was like to actually face a german tank with a rifle or see 10 screaming japanese running at you with bayonets fixed. It discusses things that most WWII writers assume you already know...For example what is the difference between a C,K, and D ration or between a Schu mine and a bouncing betty? How was the army organized and what exactly are the different types of weapons the GI used? What was the difference between combat in the Pacific and in Germany? Questions such as these and more are answered. True, for the seasoned WWII reader much of this will be common sense knowledge, but for those who want to understand the basics of combat infantry during WWII, this book is for you.

Most importantly, the author tries to stay out of the way and let the vet talk. Most of the book is a comment by the author followed by the quote of a veteran, so you get to hear many stories told here for the first time.

Once again, a great addition to your library...
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Frank on November 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book focuses on the World War II infantry soldier. McManus does a great job of balancing facts, context, and individual soldiers' memories of the war, including excellent presentations on soldiers' food, equipment, weapons, fighting conditions, attitudes, leadership, and motivation -- not to mention a detailed refutation of a "scholarly" study of how most soldiers avoided combat.
Now, as one reviewer said, if you've read 100 books on World War II, everything you read on the same subject has some repetition to it. But if you've only read 20 or 25 books, like me -- or if this is going to be your first book on World War II -- this book will be well worth reading.
McManus especially manages to convey that American soldiers were effective and proud, while staying away from the "American soldiers do no wrong and defeat every enemy" fallacy, and avoiding portraying combat as something glorious.
The passages on fatalism were well-done, as soldiers realized that the probable outcomes for them consisted of getting killed, wounded, or captured. Wounding was preferable. One soldier writes, "My glove was blown off and a big spurt of blood reddened the white snow.... I could not believe this had happened to me. I was not meant to be shot. Acceptance came slowly as two medics worked on me. My thoughts turned to good thoughts. I was still alive. I should have been killed. I was OK and I was getting out of this frozen hell." And another soldier reports, "Sgt Glisch came walking by me, heading rearward. There was a hole in his helmet and blood running down his face -- a face that was covered with a boyish grin. That million dollar wound! I felt left out, and wished I had a bullet through an arm or a leg."
If you're interested in human nature, US history, psychology, conflict, armed conflict, warfare, and/or World War II, this is a great book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By radcarroll@aol.com on August 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
There is no fault to find with the personal stories of the combat veterans. The author makes a mistake on page 132 when he says that there were sizeable U.S. surrenders to the Germans at Elsenborn Ridge. He is likely thinking of the surrender of the 106 Div. during the battle of the bulge. The Elsenborn Ridge was held against the Germans by the 99th Div. and there was no surrender.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Laquita A. Angst on July 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is well written and though provoking. Though this book is not written as a first-hand account,(it tells the stories of many) it is detailed and interesting. Though some think it's uninteresting, this book is not for entertainment, but more for the study of the American combat soldier in WWII. There are funny stories and compelling truths about the grunts who fought in Europe and the Pacific. McManus is one of the professors at my University and teaches a few courses about combat soldiers. He really knows his stuff and this book shows it! I also met a man who was quoted several times in the book, and McManus portrayed him perfectly! For anyone who is truly interested in more than just the story of a few soldiers, this book is a must read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bart Johnson on April 3, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
John McManus has compiled several comments from the men (and women) who were in combat, and creates a very interesting insight into the minds of the soldiers on various details. From the food, to being wounded, he is able, through the words of others, to give us the tale of life as a combat soldier.

My only complaint in his style is I want to hear more from the soldiers. Generally a short paragraph is taken and together with other narratives, form the story. He pulls it together very well, and I enjoyed the book. 'Worth reading' at the very least, 'worth owning' as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Wilt on April 11, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book looks at a side of war that is rarely discussed - what the American combat soldier endured while fighting a battle. The book doesn't look at the campaigns fought by the soldiers even though the title may suggest just that. It looks at various aspects of the soldier's life - the types of weapons he used; the food they ate; what they did to relieve themselves; what the conditions were like in Europe (warm/cold/snowy/rainy/muddy) versus that of the Pacific (hot/humid/mosquitos/snakes/alligators). The book also examines the soldiers attitudes towards the Germans versus that of the Japs. Other aspects examined are what happened when a soldier was wounded; a soldiers thoughts about replacements; and their attitudes toward good and bad leaders.

The Deadly Brotherhood is definitely worth a read with respect to the fighting conditions of the soldiers. I didn't find the book to be a "page turner" but it was an interesting and different view of the war.
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