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To Hell and Back Paperback – May 1, 2002
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From Library Journal
Texan Audie Murphy was the most highly decorated G.I. of World War II, being awarded almost every medal the Army could offer as well as the Congressional Medal of Honor. His memoir of the war is a classic, still retaining some popularity. Tom Parker brings this terse yet vivid and articulate memoir to life. Able to give each of Murphy's comrades credible accents and characterizations, Parker's clear and well-paced reading is a joy. For popular and military collections.AMichael T. Fein, Catawba Valley Community Coll., Hickory, NC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Audie Murphy was the most decorated American soldier during World War II. He went on to a long film career, starring in The Red Badge of Courage, The Quiet American, and his own To Hell and Back. He was killed in a plane crash in 1971 at age forty-six.
Top customer reviews
Murphy tells the tale of his time during WWII, his missions, the men he fought with, and the thoughts he had through out the war. Never once does he draw attention to himself in a "look at me manner". The missions he was awarded medals for appear as just another day in the life of a soldier, and i had to go online to other places to read about his heroism.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in WWII, Audie Murphy from a personal point, or just the camaraderie of soldiers fighting together in a bleak situation.
One thing I have noticed from most of the books I've read about people awarded the medal of honor, is that they don't seem to dwell on the actions of themselves. They seem to see it as they just doing their jobs, and most feel like they don't understand how they were the ones to survive. This book is no different.
I would have like to have met Mr. Murphy in real life. I think he must have been inspirational, even without the war.
I read this book rather fast, two evenings, and I have a real problem reading books that I buy all the way through. I was especially interested in his supposed choice of weapons, seems I have a more vested interest in all things m1 carbine, the nice little rifle that shot the non rifle cartridge ".30 m1 carbine" to be not confused with the M1 Garand. The m1 carbine was given to support personnel and it seems in the book we find out that Audie Murphy had an M1 Carbine alot, likely due to his stature of only five foot six inches tall, or it could likely have been that was due to his ever increasing rank, but he did use the carbine alot. Since I am also the same height, and strangely half of my family came from Texas as well from that same time period, I too would likely have been issued an m1 carbine in ww2, it was a popular weapon with a removeable 15 round box magazine, and soldiers carried more than just one mag. Seems Audie Murphy, not mentioned in the book, actually killed seven snipers with an m1 carbine, though in the book it does mention some work on several snipers with an m1 carbine, to include the day he was shot in the hip and just barely shot the german sniper in time with his carbine when he raised it up with one arm and shot pistol style, of which he was taken to a medic tent for three days before casualties could be evacuated, by that time he formed gangreane in the wound and for a month they pumped him full of penicillin and carved away dead flesh, GASTLY details, he actually returned to combat after that!
You find out in the book that it almost seems his survival for three years of combat was sure luck of the draw, and the acts he performed were nothing anyone else couldn't have performed. The more I read of the book, I feel that there was a fact one can pick up to combat tactics, it seems alot of the guys that got picked off either exposed themselves, or were not in a good position to keep from catching shell fragments from artillery, and oh that is so true supposedly, one must not expose themselves and must take cover, and the parts in the book about keeping his mouth open for explosions is to prevent concussion death/injury, like popping lungs like a ballon instead of squeezing the air out of an open mouth, I learned that in the army.
So yeah, if a young or older person is in the miltary or considering military service, this book could in theory save their life by learning basic combat survival skills.
I guess I will need to read another book or account of the records of how or for what he received all his medals, just for good reading, cause it aint covered in his book, but that is good, cause those who likely seek glory get it posthumously anyway, I mean, seems all CMH awardees in the last ten years got it awarded after death. Its good that his awards and suffering got him a movie career, though by the time he died in a plane accident, his career was in decline and the vietnam war was in full swing(1971), you could say that the cmh and his awards left him dead prematurely, where as he could have become a humble farmer or such and died much later a regular citizen. People should read the book along with seeing the movie, since the movie is a little different, but hey, it's Audie Murphy himself in the movie, a priceless treat never again to likely ever be repeated, soldier to actor, later portraying himself.
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