- 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)
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Those Devils in Baggy Pants Hardcover – December 1, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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...
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book about what it was like to be a private in WW2 in the great 82d Airborne Division.Published 2 months ago by Stealth Dog
I was also one of the lucky ones to read the original paperback in the 1950s, and this book is one of the many that inspired me to read every WW II book I could find that was... Read morePublished 10 months ago by C. Lauver
This is an amazing book. I own quite a few books from members of or about the 504th PIR in World War II. This is my absolute favorite. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dahlgren
I wanted this book because my grandfather picture was in the book was a copy poor at that and no pics I couldn't wait to show my son was very disappointed doesn't even deserve... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Kelly Bell
This story is written by a paratrooper who trained and fought with the 82nd Airborne Division during the major battles of World War II. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Alan P. Madden
Probablly the best 1st person WWII account I've read. Excellent source for 504th PIR information and a great read, I plan on re-reading it again soon.Published 23 months ago by impasko
Not an easy read. His recall is good but congested.
I sent it to a uncle who was in the same theatre during WW11
From a historical perspective, this book does not enlighten the reader on grand strategy. This is an intimate account of an 82nd Airborne Division platoon and their sacrifices. Read morePublished on January 19, 2014 by Ghengis