The 45th Infantry Division - From SICILY to DACHAU. by Flint Whitlock. "The very best, from a historical and factual standpoint, that has been written about the 45th Division." Brigadier General (Ret.) William Rex Wilson, National Secretary, 45th Infantry Division Association.
One of America's greatest divisions in WWII, the 45th Infantry suffered 18,521 casualties, the fourth highest of any U.S. division, and fought continuously for over two years through Sicily, Italy, France and Germany. This well documented work captures the humanity, the personality, and the individuality of GIs who went into the crucible of battle and stood unshakable in the face of death. It conveys their accounts -- horrific and heroic -- and puts the reader right onto the battlefield and shows war through the eyes of ordinary men called upon to perform extraordinary deeds. 496 pages. SOFT COVER edition.
Anzio was one of the greatest battles of World War II, a desperate gamble to land a large amphibious force behind German lines in Italy in the hope that the war could be shortened by capturing Rome. It also turned out to be one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. military history.
Allied forces quickly found themselves trapped on the Anzio beachhead, forced to endure unimaginable hardships, and subjected to four months of constant German attacks. While the Germans decimated most of the Allied units at Anzio, they threw their strongest efforts against one American division...the 45th Infantry Division.
The 45th Infantry Division was a National Guard unit made up of "citizen soldiers" from the Southwest, including thousands of Native Americans. Through sheer determination and against overwhelming odds, the 45th Division "Thunderbirds" saved the beachhead at Anzio from annihilation, just as they had done at Salerno six months earlier, breaking the back of the German onslaught. Eight members of the 45th including the first three Native Americans so honored earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for the division's 511 days of combat.
From Italy, the 45th went on to blaze a distinguished path through France and Germany, suffering some of the heaviest casualty rates of any U.S. Army unit in World War II. And in the war's final days, the 45th Infantry Division liberated the notorious Dachau concentration camp, resulting in a controversial incident in which Nazi camp guards were executed by outraged American soldiers, a shocking story told here in complete detail for the first time.
Based on extensive research into archives, photos, letters, diaries, previously classified official records, and scores of personal interviews with surviving veterans of the 45th, The Rock of Anzio is written with an immediacy that puts the reader right onto the battlefield and shows us war through the eyes of ordinary men called upon to perform extraordinary deeds.
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