The Last Hill: The Epic Story of a Ranger Battalion and the Battle That Defined WWII

St. Martin’s. Nov. 2022. 416p. ISBN 9781250247162. $29.99. MILITARY HIST
In their latest work of military history, best-sellers Drury and Clavin (Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America’s First Frontier) discuss “Rudder’s Rangers,” the United States Army battalion in World War II that they describe as the Allied Forces’ “spearhead into Germany” in December 1944 who finally carried the battlefront inside the borders of Hitler’s homeland. About the founding of this battalion of Rangers, the book explains that several voices in the Allied Forces foresaw the utility of a military unit modeled on the British Commandos and consisting of highly trained men capable of executing raids and operating behind enemy lines—what we would now call “irregular warfare.” In preparation for invading Nazi Germany, the Rudder’s Rangers soldiers, all volunteers, underwent extreme physical and martial training. Ultimately, two Ranger battalions were fielded; Drury and Clavin focus on the record of the Second Battalion, who climbed the cliff at Point-du-Hoc and silenced a German battery as the Allied D-Day fleet approached. Later in the war, the Second Battalion fought in the Hürtgen Forest, which was nearly destroyed—all recounted here in detail.
VERDICT Most libraries with World War II collections will want recent works, like Drury and Clavin’s, on the accomplishments of these famous Army Rangers.
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