Men of War: The American Soldier in Combat at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima

Random. Jun. 2015. 496p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780553805185. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780812996869. HIST
Journalist Rose's (Washington's Spies; American Rifle) latest work follows a similar pattern to John Keegan's classic The Face of Battle, for which Rose professes admiration. Relating to its title, Rose's book appropriately focuses on the individual soldier's experiences at Bunker Hill (1775) in the Revolutionary War, Gettysburg (1863) in the Civil War, and Iwo Jima (1945) in World War II: battles chosen because they were iconic rather than decisive. Chapters contain summaries of the events and maneuvers at the relevant battles, interspersed with depictions of those who fought. Some of the details include descriptions of soldiers' backgrounds, professions, and motivations, as well as equipment and supplies such as weapons, clothing, and even food. There is occasional emphasis on biological reactions to combat—heart rates, adrenaline, eye dilation, fatigue, and overall bodily control. In addition to weapons carried and operated on the field, Rose describes resulting wounds in detail along with the fates of those who suffered them, both immediately and in the long term.
VERDICT This worthy homage to The Face of Battle puts an American twist on Keegan's formula. Recommended for anyone interested in U.S. military history.
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