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The cleanest man in the Filthy Thirteen
on October 5, 2015
The author of this book ends it in a most curious way. He tells us the reason he wrote this book is so future generations will not forget his generation.
I don’t think he should worry about any of us forgetting him or his generation. His book is the kind that will be read a hundred years from now because it is an uncommonly good read.
The author first starts off in the 29th Infantry Division in a musical. Yes, a musical, but Pearl Harbor ended that recruiting technique.
He then volunteers for extremely dangerous work as an Army Ranger. Sadly the 29th disbanded this highly technical unit before D-Day. The author volunteered for the 101st Airborne.
Ironically, a non-drinking man who does not smoke, is attached to the demolition unit known as The Filthy Thirteen. He was the only man in his unit who didn’t shave his hair into a Mohawk and paint himself like an “Indian” before the assault on Normandy.
His descriptions of his actions in Normandy are excellent as are his descriptions of every other battle the 101st experienced in the war.
In particularly I enjoyed reading about how he used his training as a Ranger to rescue a large number of paratroopers who landed in a swampy area of Normandy. Many readers may not know the Germans flooded the region in hopes of slowing down vehicles and killing paratroopers.
I truly enjoyed this book. I learned a lot of things I didn’t know. And even had a laugh when the author described how he parachuted with a flame thrower during a training exercise. He never carried one in combat but had a lot of fun with in training.
However, if you want to learn more about paratroopers in World War Two, I would strongly suggest reading the entire four book series written by Don Burgett. The author’s book Currahee!: A Screaming Eagle at Normandy is a classic. His book on Bastogne is nothing less that stunning.
I would also suggest reading Band of Bothers by Steven Ambros, All the Way to Berlin by James Megellas, not to be confused with On to Berlin: Battles of an Airborne Commander 1943-1946 by James M. Gavin.
Both books are worth reading. I would also suggest The Simple Sounds of Freedom by Joseph Beyrle and Parachute Infantry by David Webster.