Academic journal article Military Review

Grunts: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience World War II through Iraq

Academic journal article Military Review

Grunts: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience World War II through Iraq

Article excerpt

GRUNTS: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience World War II through Iraq, John C. McManus, Penguin Books, New York, 2010, 518 pages, $25.95.

Few authors capture the essence of the human dimension of war as well as John C. McManus. Combining an engaging, highly descriptive writing style with exhaustive research, McManus provides readers with a true "foxhole" perspective. It is a perspective that has enabled previous efforts such as The Deadly

Brotherhood and The Americans at D-Day to garner praise from critics and readers alike and a perspective clearly present throughout the pages of his latest volume, Grunts: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience World War II through Iraq.

As the title aptly suggests, Grunts pays tribute to the American infantryman (Army and Marine Corps) fighting in 10 superbly chronicled battles and operations conducted since World War II. They range from the marines on the island of Peleliu to the air cavalry soldier in the jungles of Vietnam to the mechanized infantryman in the deserts of Iraq and Kuwait to the grunt in the streets of Fallujah.

Using the same formula that has made him so successful, vivid writing and meticulous research, McManus honors the accomplishments of the American infantryman, emphasizes his indispensability on the battlefield, and dismisses the notion that technology will make the infantryman obsolete.

McManus's writing style conveys the emotions, sights, and smells of battle well. He places his reader in the middle of the infantryman's environment and into the thoughts and feelings of the soldier on the ground during combat, enabling readers to grasp the human dimension of war. …

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