I just finished reading Dog Company by Patrick K. O’Donnell. A couple of years ago, on 11/11/11, my wife and visited the Beaches of Normandy and Pointe du Hoc. What an emotional event that was. Having visited the scenes described in this book, it became much more personal. I have no known family who might have served in Europe during WWII so I lean on verbal descriptions. O’Donnell does a wonderful job putting you in time and space. He has written several previous books on military subjects.
Dog Company, formed in 1943, was an element of the 2nd Ranger Battalion. Their mission and training focused on scaling the 90-foot cliff of Pointe du Hoc and rendering useless the 6 big cannons located there. They went on to capture another battery near Brest (a story that is truly remarkable/unbelievable and should be made into a movie), the Hurtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge. They returned home in October 1945. Out of the original 225 men less than 100 survived the war. That only one man won a Medal of Honor for their heroics is a travesty of military justice.
This book does for Dog Company and the rest of the 2nd Ranger Battalion what Band of Brothers did for Easy Company of the paratroopers. The author used interviews with Dog Company survivors, original German sources and official documents of the U.S. military. I cannot urge you strongly enough to read this book.
Make sure that you tell your kids and grandkids “to never forget” what the “Greatest Generation” did to preserve world peace and our freedom.
GO! BUY! READ!
—Jim Harris, retired book sales rep
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