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The Texas Gun Club Kindle Edition
Two very different cousins head to Italy to fight in World War II in this absorbing novel, a winner of the Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal.
The first novel in the Texas Gun Club series, this is the story of two cousins and their journey from south Texas to the distant shores of wartime Italy.
Sam Taft is a rancher, fiercely devoted to his wife, Margaret, and intent on surviving the war and returning to Texas. Each skirmish, every battle, is one step closer to home. His cousin Perkin Berger was a student of history at the University of Texas, and is eager for adventure. The impulsive Berger finds the war a lark, a grand journey—until the harrowing realities of warfare begin to set in.
Set against the backdrop of the battle of Salerno, The Texas Gun Club is meticulously researched and faithful to the saga of the soldiers from Texas in 1943 Italy, written with rich authenticity by a retired naval officer.
About the Author
- ASIN : B0851MRB7S
- Publisher : The Small Press; First edition (November 6, 2009)
- Publication date : November 6, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 1601 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 322 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,405,908 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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The Texas Gun Club series is the story of Sam Taft and Perkin Berger--two cousins from South Texas. Sam is an Aggie and a rancher, is not an adventure enthusiast, and would rather be doing just about anything than be in the army. His cousin, Perkin, is what we'd call today an adrenaline junky. He's a graduate student at the University of Texas before the war, and finds himself transforming into what Sam calls "an egghead killer." While the novels are adventure and action-oriented, the relationship of Sam and Perkin is at the heart of the story, which also makes the Gun Club series the story of their journey through war together (Lonesome Dove's not just a western, right?).
The Texas Gun Club also tells the story of the famed 36th (Texas) Division in WWII. The Texans of the 36th were known as the hard luck division as they seemed to draw the really tough assignments. They first saw combat at the Battle of Salerno in September, 1943, which is the setting of TTGC. Two months later, they drew another tough assignment at San Pietro, which is the backdrop to the second book in the series, Victory Road. In January, 1944, the Texans were slaughtered at the Battle of the Rapido River, which was called at the time, the worst catastrophe since Pearl Harbor. This is the subject of the upcoming novel, For God and Country. The division fought until the very end of the war, and had one of the highest casualty rates of any unit. Future books will focus on the taking of Rome, the landings of the division in southern France, the story of the lost battalion, and the liberation of concentration camps and the capture of Hermann Goering.
So, if you like wartime adventure novels, or just good character-driven fiction, in a very self-serving manner, I'd like to recommend the award-winning Texas Gun Club series to you. I hope you enjoy!
Highly recommend it!!
THE TEXAS GUN CLUB is the story of the Battle of Salerno, told through the eyes and experiences of two cousins, both outstanding platoon leaders assigned to Able Company of the 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment: 1LT Sam Taft; and 1LT Perkin Berger, usually referred to as Perkin throughout the book. Their mothers, twin sisters, had been killed by a hurricane in 1919. Perkin's father died in the Battle of the Marne the year before. Both were raised by Perkin's grandparents as their children, and Perkin's grandfather is referred to as "Old Perk."
1LT Taft, a huge man whose size earned him the nickname "Bear," inherited a large ranch which he was expanding. Bear and Perkin enjoyed fishing for trout in the warm Gulf waters. When his father died, Bear dropped out of college to run the ranch. Fiercely devoted to his wife, Margaret, Bear is the more cautious of the pair.
1LT Perkin Berger, smaller than Bear, but still a large man, was a student of history working on his doctorate degree, when he talked Bear into joining the Texas National Guard. Perk is the wild child of the pair. Part daredevil, he is usually too quick with a retort. Both men are natural combat leaders. The author does a good job of filling in both men's history in clearly delineated sections in a manner that does not break up the rhythm of the story.
Able Company, part of the 1st Battalion, 141st Regimental Combat team of the 36th Division was assigned to land on Blue Beach. Things quickly began to go wrong. An ensign led part of the 141st's landing crafts to the wrong beach, which became know as Blue Beach South. General Clark, acting on his S-2 opinion that the Germans weren't ready, expected to achieve surprise and landed his troops with no pre-landing bombardment. Perkin planned to be the first American soldier to set foot on the continent. When his landing craft dropped its ramp, the Germans greeted with, "Soldiers! Come on in and surrender. We've got you covered." Perkin shouted to the men in his 1st Platoon and charged through the shallow water and onto the beach. While Perk was becoming the first soldier to step on dry land at 0330 hours, the company commander was having difficulty motivating the coxswain to take his landing craft through the wall of German shells falling along the beach. By then the ensign had found Blue Beach, and the remaining elements of the 1st Battalion had landed there. Forcing the battalion commander and Able and Baker Companies to fight their way north through 500 yards of German territory to Blue Beach. Vivid descriptions of squad and platoon battles carry the reader into the heat of the battle. Perkin climbs onto a German Panzer IV tank with the intention of dropping a grenade into it, but the hatches are locked. Not easily deterred, Perkin uses a sledgehammer mounted on the tank as a weapon.
The next day, Able Company is tasked to send a reconnaissance patrol south through German and fascist territory to make contact with General Montgomery's 8th Army. 1LT Perkin Berger is selected to lead the patrol. Italy is in turmoil. The fascist Italians support the Germans and will use any opportunity to betray the patrol. Patriotic Italians help. After the armistice is declared, some Italian soldiers return home, some join the Germans, and some become looters who rape and pillage the countryside. Using the patrol as his vehicle, the author takes the reader on a journey through a war-torn country, telling the story of Italy--its people, soldiers, police, clergy, and of course the Germans. Perkin and his men encounter fascist German sympathizers, Italians who welcome Americans, German patrols, and have several realistic experiences that give the reader a real world view of conditions in a country hosting a war. Perkin leads the patrol to British 5th Division Headquarters, meets several interesting British officers, and then starts back to join Able Company. On the return trip the patrol has more adventures. The author develops several enlisted men characters. Private Kluis, a small, bookish man becomes another Audy Murphy and appears throughout the story.
While Perk is leading his patrol southward, Bear is in the village Ogliastro Cilento, where Able Company is waiting for its next assignment. The 141st is an all Texan unit, and the men have personal relationships that extend beyond the Army. Captain Ronald Ebbins, a long time foe of Bear and Perk enters the picture. Ebbins is a rear echelon officer who pointedly avoids going to the sound of battle whenever possible. Ebbins attempts to use his position to harass Bear and Perkin. While in the village, Bear meets Antoniette Bernardi, a stunningly beautiful five foot-three, hot tempered, Italian fascist and German spy. Antoniette obtains most of her information by sleeping with enemy officers, and Ebbins wastes no time climbing into her bed.
The entire story takes place between 9 Sept and 14 Sept. Ebbins' and Antoniette 's stories are not resolved, however, I am confident they will appear in the next book in the series. Antoniette has the makings of a fine villainess.
THE TEXAS GUN CLUB is an excellent WWII war novel. Realistic, well plotted, and contains many actual events. It has found a place on my bookshelf. It describes the successes and failures of command and battle. Friendly fire, poor communications, death, destruction, courage, and valor. My only criticism is the title. I would have titled it: The Battle of Salerno, or Blue Beach South, and then added the tag, "a Texas Gun Club Novel." I am looking forward to the author's promised next novel in the series based on the 36th Division's exploits.
Top reviews from other countries
There are five books in the series at the moment but the last two are not on Kindle -You can buy them from Amazon or the author's website - it's well worth it! Can’t wait for the next book!!