American Soldiers: ground combat in the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam

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Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
2010
Language:
English
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Some warriors are drawn to the thrill of combat and find it the defining moment of their lives. Others fall victim to fear, exhaustion, impaired reasoning, and despair. This was certainly true for twentieth-century American ground troops. Whether embracing or being demoralized by war, these men risked their lives for causes larger than themselves with no promise of safe return. Focusing on both soldiers and marines, Peter S. Kindsvatter draws on histories and memoirs, oral histories, psychological and sociological studies, and even fiction to show that their experiences remain fundamentally the same regardless of the enemy, terrain, training, or weaponry. Kindsvatter gets inside the minds of American soldiers to reveal what motivated them to serve and how they were turned into soldiers. He re-creates the physical and emotional aspects of war to tell how fighting men dealt with danger and hardship, and he explores the roles of comradeship, leadership, and the sustaining beliefs in cause and country. He also illuminates soldiers' attitudes toward the enemy, toward the rear echelon, and toward the home front. And he tells why some broke down under fire while others excelled. Here are the first tastes of battle, as when a green recruit reported that "for the first time I realized that the people over the ridge wanted to kill me," while another was befuddled by the unfamiliar sound of bullets whizzing overhead. Here are soldiers struggling to cope with war's stress by seeking solace from local women or simply smoking cigarettes. And here are tales of combat avoidance and fraggings not unique to Vietnam, of soldiers in Korea disgruntled over home-front indifference, and of the unique experiences of African American soldiers in the Jim Crow army. By capturing the core "band of brothers" experience across several generations of warfare, Kindsvatter celebrates the American soldier while helping us to better understand war's lethal reality-and why soldiers persevere in the face of its horrors.
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ISBN:
9781400199501
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Grouped Work ID 60205123-c693-0856-8a4c-54560393273f
full_title american soldiers ground combat in the world wars korea and vietnam
author kindsvatter peter s
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-11-24 04:42:43AM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Swanson, Joshua, 1978-
author Kindsvatter, Peter S.
author2-role Swanson, Joshua,1978-|Narrator, hoopla digital.
author_display Kindsvatter, Peter S
detailed_location_arlington hoopla
display_description

This book is the first to synthesize the wartime experiences of American combat soldiers, from the doughboys of World War I to the grunts of Vietnam.

Some warriors are drawn to the thrill of combat and find it the defining moment of their lives. Others fall victim to fear, exhaustion, impaired reasoning, and despair. This was certainly true for twentieth-century American ground troops. Whether embracing or being demoralized by war, these men risked their lives for causes larger than themselves with no promise of safe return. Focusing on both soldiers and marines, Peter S. Kindsvatter draws on histories and memoirs, oral histories, psychological and sociological studies, and even fiction to show that their experiences remain fundamentally the same regardless of the enemy, terrain, training, or weaponry.

Kindsvatter gets inside the minds of American soldiers to reveal what motivated them to serve and how they were turned into soldiers. He re-creates the physical and emotional aspects of war to tell how fighting men dealt with danger and hardship, and he explores the roles of comradeship, leadership, and the sustaining beliefs in cause and country. He also illuminates soldiers' attitudes toward the enemy, toward the rear echelon, and toward the home front. And he tells why some broke down under fire while others excelled.

Here are the first tastes of battle, as when a green recruit reported that "for the first time I realized that the people over the ridge wanted to kill me," while another was befuddled by the unfamiliar sound of bullets whizzing overhead. Here are soldiers struggling to cope with war's stress by seeking solace from local women or simply smoking cigarettes. And here are tales of combat avoidance and fraggings not unique to Vietnam, of soldiers in Korea disgruntled over home-front indifference, and of the unique experiences of African American soldiers in the Jim Crow army.

By capturing the core "band of brothers" experience across several generations of warfare, Kindsvatter celebrates the American soldier while helping us to better understand war's lethal reality—-and why soldiers persevere in the face of its horrors.

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subject_facet Combat -- History -- 20th century
title_display American Soldiers
title_full American Soldiers Ground Combat in the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam, American soldiers [electronic resource] : ground combat in the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam / Peter S. Kindsvatter ; foreword by Russell F. Weigley
title_short American Soldiers
title_sub ground combat in the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam
topic_facet History, Nonfiction