Daniel Butler

First Jihad

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This candid memoir of a GI serving under General Patton offers a rare glimpse into the realities of life and combat in Europe during WWII.
Though General Patton’s army is famous for dashing armored attacks, some of the most intensive fighting of World War II was done by Patton’s infantry—the foot sloggers who were deployed to reduce enemy strong points. This candid account of the US infantry in the European theater takes the reader from the beaches of Normandy to the conquest of Germany—all through the eyes of an infantryman who had the unique perspective of speaking the enemy’s language.
A fluent German speaker, Michael Bilder was called upon for interrogations and other special duties. As a combat lifeguard, he also played a key role in successive river crossings. Here, Bilder relates his experiences of infantry life, from German snipers to intoxicated Frenchwomen, to the often morbid humor of combat. He also describes the Battle of Metz in all its horror, as well as the 5th Infantry’s drive into the Bulge, where they faced their first winter battle against enemy veterans of Russia.
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354 printed pages
Original publication


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