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Those Devils in Baggy Pants Hardcover – December 1, 1996

4.6 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Buccaneer Books (December 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0899666132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899666136
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,153,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I may be the only reviewer who read the original paperback (in the early 50s - I remember a postscript referred to Ross Carter's death from cancer - I recall it was a melanoma on his back, for war author trivia buffs - and he's buried on a hillside in rural Virginia, I think). To this day I remember how devastated I was to read this vivid, image-rich book and then learn at the end that its author died so young, but so ironically peacefully (I hope it was peaceful...he earned it). His frank, honest,human account of what he and his fellow soldiers experienced has stayed w/me for more than 40 yrs. It's an incredible book and I for one am very thankful the rough edges of Carter's literary artistry were not smoothed, that his story, apparently, was published so soon after it happened that no "smoothing" editor had time to polish it. Folks, I read this book four decades ago and HIGHLY recommend it. Wish my Mom hadn't tossed that paperback.
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Format: Hardcover
Ross Carter, a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne wrote this story almost 60 years ago. He then abruptly died shortly after WWII because of a "bad" mole which caused his melanoma cancer to metastisize. Too bad, because his story as told in this book is worthy enough to merit a follow-on.

His personal story is presented as a series of vignettes. Considering the arduousness of his task as a soldier, it must have been a tall order to write it down contemporaneously with living it. It starts with his tales of parachute training in North Africa followed by a prolonged bloody stint in Italy, circa the autumn of '43 followed by his units' subsequent experiences in the Battle of the Bulge in the Fall of '44. They were in frontline combat under the most difficult of conditions for over 300 days while suffering a >200% replacement rate. It's a miracle that anyone could live through the descriptions of combat as laid out in the book, meaning Carter was remarkably fortunate to have "made it". The core of the story reflects the self sacrificing nature of these men who carry the mantle of American greatness on their collective shoulders. When you compare their heroics to the carping classes in today's America the contrast is glaring. It makes me reflect on the attutudinal differences between the time of Rome's greatness and the time of its collapse.

I've read many stories of combat such as "Fields of Fire" by Webb, "Face of Battle" by Keegan, "Dispatches" by Herr, "A Rumor of War" by Caputo, "Once an Eagle" by Myrer, "Goodbye Darkness" by Manchester, and "Soul of Battle" by Hansen, to cite a few, but to my mind none are as relentless or as compelling as this story.
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Format: Hardcover
History books rarely get into the everyday lives and thoughts of soldiers during war. This book does that and more by chronicling the exploits of Company C, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division during its 6 European Campaigns during World War II. The book is a little rough around the edges because Ross Carter, a member of Company C, died of cancer in 1947 before he could rewrite the original draft. Still, it conveys the thoughts and actions of this elite force like no history book can. Especially compelling is the Battle of Cheneux during the Battle of the Bulge which has been compared to the final battle in Saving Private Ryan but with many more casualties.
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Format: Hardcover
In two years of researching my father's involvement in the
Second World War, I found Carter's personal history to be
by far the most honest account of combat I've ever read.
In telling the story of himself and the men in his platoon,
the author provides the reader with an up close and personal
look at the comraderie, the terror, and the horrors of war.
From North Africa, to Sicily, Italy, France, and Belgium,
where he is severely wounded at The Battle of the Bulge,
Carter tells a deeply moving story of a small group of brave,
honorable men of the 504 Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Casting his fellow soldiers as simply young men doing their
jobs, the author's account will bring to frequent tears any
reader with a sense of duty, honor, and country.
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Format: Hardcover
Heartbreaking, the only word I can think of when I think back of the book. It was because Ross Carter fought his last battle (Cheneux) not to far from where I live, that I bought the book.

It's so different from Megellas' great book "All the way to Berlin", mainly because Carter wrote his book just after the war on his sickbed, just before he died of cancer.

Maybe it's not a pageturner as Megallas'book, but it's so genuine, so real. Heartbreaking...
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Format: Hardcover
Much like Company Ach to Civil War buffs, this novel is more of a memoir about the experiences in battle of an enlisted soldier. One may not find scholarly prose, but the first hand accounts are a good source of professional historical authorship.

Frankly, the book reads astoundingly well for a guy that didn't have more than a year to synthesize his thoughts after the actual battles had taken place - mostly, it seems, from memory. He died in 1947 of cancer, of all things. The person who rated this book as one star (above) must be a quite well read, and I would like to see his book list of four star ratings.

One takes away from this a sense of what the comaraderie of being a member of the elite 82nd would have been like, and that the members prided themselves not only on the valor of their volunteer status (actually, the definition of an elite troop), but an affinity to other paratroops, whose Airborne bond is the stuff of legend.
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