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I finished Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc - The Rangers Who Accomplished D-Day's Toughest Mission and Led the Way Across Europe by Patrick K. O'Donnell.
This is an ultimately well done history of the Rangers who took on some of the toughest and most deadly missions of the invasion of Europe, starting with scaling the massive cliffs of Pinte du Hoc under heavy fire on D-Day to go after a set of heavy artillery pieces that had command of the Normandy beaches.
I actually started this book with a bit of trepidation, as the author is described on the inside back cover as a "combat historian, bestselling author and renowned leadership speaker." It was that third item that raised my defenses a bit, as I feared I'd be reading a motivational tome rather than a good and accurate military history. There is a bit of ham-fisted writing, especially in the book's early going as the assembling and training of the group is described. The lessons of that training are described as seeping into the soldiers' "every bone and fiber," for example.
Once the men go to war on D-Day, however, that sort of rah rah bravado gets mostly left behind. O'Donnell clearly did a lot of research and conducted as many interviews with veterans of the company as he could, along with walking all of the battlefields. I don't want to give the wrong idea. The achievement of these men was truly impressive and, well, inspirational in many ways. And O'Donnell does not stint from intense, detail-filled descriptions of the moment by moment fears and horrors of combat, particularly the effects of trying to survive, physically and mentally, one prolonged and terrifying artillery barrage after another for days on end. I learned a lot.