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Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc--The Rangers Who Accomplished D-Day's Toughest Mission and Led the Way Across Europe

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It is said that the right man in the right place at the right time can make the difference between victory and defeat. This is the dramatic story of sixty-eight soldiers in the US Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion, Company D - "Dog Company”— who made that difference, time and again. From D-Day, when German guns atop Pointe du Hoc threatened the Allied landings and the men of Dog It is said that the right man in the right place at the right time can make the difference between victory and defeat. This is the dramatic story of sixty-eight soldiers in the US Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion, Company D - "Dog Company”— who made that difference, time and again. From D-Day, when German guns atop Pointe du Hoc threatened the Allied landings and the men of Dog Company scaled the sheer ninety-foot cliffs to destroy them; to the slopes of Hill 400, in Germany’s Hürtgen Forest, where the Rangers launched a desperate bayonet charge across an open field; to a “quiet” section of the Ardennes, where Dog Company suddenly found itself on the tip of the spear at the Battle of the Bulge; the men of Dog Company made the difference. America had many heroes in World War II, however, few can say that, but for them, the course of the war would have been very different. The right men, the right place, at the right time—Dog Company.


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It is said that the right man in the right place at the right time can make the difference between victory and defeat. This is the dramatic story of sixty-eight soldiers in the US Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion, Company D - "Dog Company”— who made that difference, time and again. From D-Day, when German guns atop Pointe du Hoc threatened the Allied landings and the men of Dog It is said that the right man in the right place at the right time can make the difference between victory and defeat. This is the dramatic story of sixty-eight soldiers in the US Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion, Company D - "Dog Company”— who made that difference, time and again. From D-Day, when German guns atop Pointe du Hoc threatened the Allied landings and the men of Dog Company scaled the sheer ninety-foot cliffs to destroy them; to the slopes of Hill 400, in Germany’s Hürtgen Forest, where the Rangers launched a desperate bayonet charge across an open field; to a “quiet” section of the Ardennes, where Dog Company suddenly found itself on the tip of the spear at the Battle of the Bulge; the men of Dog Company made the difference. America had many heroes in World War II, however, few can say that, but for them, the course of the war would have been very different. The right men, the right place, at the right time—Dog Company.

30 review for Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc--The Rangers Who Accomplished D-Day's Toughest Mission and Led the Way Across Europe

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Wants to be Band of Brothers and doesn't quite get there. First off, I have the greatest respect for what these soldiers went through. It's because of that respect that I give my honest opinion of this book. Those who served in WWII deserve recognition for all they did. The men of Dog Company deserve a better book than Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc--the Rangers Who Accomplished D-Day's Toughest Mission and Led the Way across Europe . That's not to say this is a bad book. However, the lega Wants to be Band of Brothers and doesn't quite get there. First off, I have the greatest respect for what these soldiers went through. It's because of that respect that I give my honest opinion of this book. Those who served in WWII deserve recognition for all they did. The men of Dog Company deserve a better book than Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc--the Rangers Who Accomplished D-Day's Toughest Mission and Led the Way across Europe . That's not to say this is a bad book. However, the legacy of Dog Company could have been better preserved. The writing herein is at times mediocre. Most of the time it's adequate. The lay-out of the story is what suffers the most. O'Donnell repeatedly points to Pointe du Hoc as the pinnacle of Dog Company's accomplishments during the war. REPEATEDLY. And then he describes the Pointe du Hoc event in the middle of the book and then goes on to tell the reader what D Company did for the rest of the war in Europe. Putting the climax in the middle of the book makes for a second half that drags. It seems like O'Donnell was stuck in the linear storytelling mindset and didn't know how to tell the tale otherwise. His characterization falls short of Band of Brothers as well. I didn't get the sense that I really knew these guys. O'Donnell tried to make them feel like old friends, but it never clicked. However, the subject matter itself provided the bond needed to make one feel heartbreak upon reading of the death of one of these valiant soldiers. It truly was an amazingly horrific time in recent history. If nothing else, Dog Company is yet another testament to the valor and horror.

  2. 4 out of 5

    A.L. Sowards

    This book follows a group of rangers through training, D-day, the campaign to liberate Brest, and time in the Hurtgen Forest. A few things really stood out to me. Dog Company’s assignment on D-day was Pointe du Hoc, between Omaha and Utah beaches. They were to scale the steep cliffs despite the machine-gun fire and grenades being dropped on them, and then destroy six large artillery pieces that could fire on either of the American landing zones. The guns weren’t where they were supposed to be, b This book follows a group of rangers through training, D-day, the campaign to liberate Brest, and time in the Hurtgen Forest. A few things really stood out to me. Dog Company’s assignment on D-day was Pointe du Hoc, between Omaha and Utah beaches. They were to scale the steep cliffs despite the machine-gun fire and grenades being dropped on them, and then destroy six large artillery pieces that could fire on either of the American landing zones. The guns weren’t where they were supposed to be, but two rangers managed to find them and destroy five of the six in an orchard about a mile from the beach. Then the rangers set up a road block and held it—longer than they’d been told they’d have to. There were supposed to be more rangers at Pointe du Hoc on D-day. The plan was for Dog and a few other companies to land, and when they had a foothold, others would join them. But a navigation error made them late, so their reinforcements went to Omaha beach instead. Turns out the reinforcements were needed (think opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan—yep, those rangers saved the day on Omaha beach instead of reinforcing Pointe du Hoc). Being late had another bonus—it prevented Dog company from being bombed by their own air force, also running a little late that morning (though there was, sadly, still plenty of friendly fire). Another favorite part was when four rangers convinced a German colonel to surrender the Lochrist battery, even though they were outnumbered. (They held a live grenade between his legs and gave him to the count of three.) The rangers were better-trained than the average infantryman, and they got a lot of tough assignments. Casualty rates were high. In one haunting scene, O’Donnell quotes one of the ranger’s thoughts as he and a buddy look over the corpses of their comrades: “Are we the only survivors?” In another part, one ranger threw a wounded friend over his back to carry him to an aid station and the wounded ranger threw up all over his friend. Then his friend got shot in the butt. What can you expect from this book? Competent writing and thorough research, stories of brave men doing their best to in difficult situations. It’s sad, as you’d expect a war book to be, but also inspiring. I recently read an article by the author, and he mentioned that one of the last survivors of the group, 92-year old Tom Ruggiero, is trying to get the unit awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their efforts in taking and holding Hill 400 on December 7, 1944. I hope they get it. I think they earned it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    'Aussie Rick'

    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 O’Donnell is a stirring account of some of America’s finest soldiers of WW2 in the European theatre. The author introduces us to a close knit “band of brothers” who would do anything for one another, even give their lives to save their buddies, which sadly many do. We read about the formation of the 2nd Ranger Battalion and the men of D – ‘Dog’ Company in the Un 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 O’Donnell is a stirring account of some of America’s finest soldiers of WW2 in the European theatre. The author introduces us to a close knit “band of brothers” who would do anything for one another, even give their lives to save their buddies, which sadly many do. We read about the formation of the 2nd Ranger Battalion and the men of D – ‘Dog’ Company in the United States. We follow them through training and then their preparation for one of the toughest missions allocated to Allied soldiers on D-Day – the storming of a highly defended German gun position on Pointe du Hoc, situated on towering cliffs between the invasion beaches of Utah and Omaha. The Rangers, against all odds, manage to land under heavy defensive fire, scale the cliffs, storm the German defensive positions, destroy the targeted artillery pieces and then stand firm and hold off numerous German counter-attacks until relieved some days later. We then follow these brave men through the campaign in France until the allied armies reach the borders of the Third Reich, then, what is left of the Battalion is thrown into the hell of the Hurtgen Forest battling against elite German Fallschirmjager and other German troops until they secure their objective – Hill 400. The book is filled full of first-hand accounts from the Rangers themselves; stories of comradeship, humour, sadness and death. Pat O’Donnell let’s these brave men tell the story of what they and their buddies did. The book is not an in-depth military history or campaign study and has limited maps but provides numerous black & white photographs to help the reader follow the story. This is a book about brave men doing their job under terrible conditions and I am sure anyone who enjoys a good historical account will enjoy this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    happy

    This is a very good look at company level and lower combat is World War II ala Band of Brothers. Mr. O’Donnell does a very good job of conveying the sights and sounds of combat. He doesn’t sugar coat the effects that combat had on the men and lets the reader know that they were not the perfect soldiers they are sometimes portrayed. (view spoiler)[ He recounts incidents of fratricide, and the killing of surrendering Germans, people freezing in combat and its aftermath. At Pointe Du Hoc the comman This is a very good look at company level and lower combat is World War II ala Band of Brothers. Mr. O’Donnell does a very good job of conveying the sights and sounds of combat. He doesn’t sugar coat the effects that combat had on the men and lets the reader know that they were not the perfect soldiers they are sometimes portrayed. (view spoiler)[ He recounts incidents of fratricide, and the killing of surrendering Germans, people freezing in combat and its aftermath. At Pointe Du Hoc the commander of the assault force is relieved of command just prior to the assault going in. (hide spoiler)] He follows D/2nd Ranger Bn from its formation and training the United States thru their major battles, Pointe Du Hoc on D-Day, the capture of Brest, Hill 400 in the Hurtgen Forest (one the most overlooked campaigns the US Army fought in WW II) and their assault into Germany. He obviously follows the few survivors of the initial members of the Company. Their casualty rate was exceeding high. After Pointe Du Hoc there was only something like 15 men in the company who were not wounded/killed/missing. The battle at Hill 400 produced similar casualties. In addition to the combat scenes Mr. O’Donnell gives a flavor of the intense training these men received, both physically and mentally. Many who volunteered for the Rangers were weeded out before they went into combat, both at Pointe Du Hoc and later as they received replacements. Mr. O’Donnell does an excellent job of cross referencing the survivor’s accounts with the after-action reports done immediately after the actions described. One of the many touching scenes is when the Rangers are moving up into the Hurgten, their commanding officer, LTC Rudder has just been ordered to 1st Army (He took over a Regt of the 28th ID) he is standing in the road as the trucks roll by wishing them all the best. All in all an excellent look at Company level combat in the ETO during WW II.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marie Lawson

    My dad is Ellis Lawson, and this is the story of his unit and it is told very well. I've lived all of my life with the knowledge of this unit, the brotherhood, the motto of "Rangers lead the way" and the fine example that my father set with his 30 years of military service, beginning with Dog Company. If my dad were alive today he would love this book. He told me once that they were the best men he ever knew, ever served with, and he served in many combat tours post WWII, like Korea, Cold War mi My dad is Ellis Lawson, and this is the story of his unit and it is told very well. I've lived all of my life with the knowledge of this unit, the brotherhood, the motto of "Rangers lead the way" and the fine example that my father set with his 30 years of military service, beginning with Dog Company. If my dad were alive today he would love this book. He told me once that they were the best men he ever knew, ever served with, and he served in many combat tours post WWII, like Korea, Cold War missions that were "hot", and Viet Nam. Mr. O'Donnell has my gratitude for telling the facts of this often-ignored unit with such clarity and detail. It is where my family history merges with national and world history. It is a testament to the man I've been proud to call Daddy all of my life and the men he served with. Read it, if you want to meet these men and understand what a Ranger is. Much, much more then an average solider and an average man. This is the only book that tells their story in such detail.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    No matter how many books I read about WWII, and any war, really, I am still constantly amazed at what the soldiers of the Greatest Generation accomplished, despite sometimes impossible odds.The stories of the actions on D-Day, and then the battles throughout Europe, read like a novel or a movie script. What our great soldiers did there, must never be forgotten. We, the many, owe those brave few everything enjoyed in our lives since then. Chuchhill said "Never was so much owed by so many to so few No matter how many books I read about WWII, and any war, really, I am still constantly amazed at what the soldiers of the Greatest Generation accomplished, despite sometimes impossible odds.The stories of the actions on D-Day, and then the battles throughout Europe, read like a novel or a movie script. What our great soldiers did there, must never be forgotten. We, the many, owe those brave few everything enjoyed in our lives since then. Chuchhill said "Never was so much owed by so many to so few". He got that right!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gordon

    A story long over due for publication. O'Donnell has done a superb job in recounting the incredible story of the Rangers who took Pointe du Hoc on D-Day and then fought across Europe, including their toughest fight (hard to imagine something tougher than Pointe du Hoc) - taking and holding Hill 400 in the Hurtgen Forest. It is a wonderful story of the forming of an elite unit through volunteer selection, tough training, great leadership, and the continuous hardship of close, brutal combat and pe A story long over due for publication. O'Donnell has done a superb job in recounting the incredible story of the Rangers who took Pointe du Hoc on D-Day and then fought across Europe, including their toughest fight (hard to imagine something tougher than Pointe du Hoc) - taking and holding Hill 400 in the Hurtgen Forest. It is a wonderful story of the forming of an elite unit through volunteer selection, tough training, great leadership, and the continuous hardship of close, brutal combat and personal loss. I remember watching President Reagan with some of these men on 6 June 1984 speaking atop Pointe du Hoc while I was on my honeymoon in France. Years later I visited the site and sought out the entire speech of which I had heard only a few chosen words in 1984. It was stories of men like these and especially the paratroopers of WWII that had motivated me to seek an Army career and then numerous assignments with elite units. We owe the victory of WWII and many wars and battles after and, more importantly, the freedoms and prosperity we enjoy today to men like those of Dog Company - men who were willing to fight against incredible odds, endure incredible physical, mental and moral challenges, and ultimately die, if required. We are blessed to continue to have men and women in their mold volunteering to do so in today's military. May we never forget the importance of growing them and honoring the service they provide. Stories like these should be mandatory reading for high school students.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jerome

    A vivid and well-written work. O’Donnell ably covers the Rangers’ slog across western Europe as they defeat some of Germany’s toughest troops. He does a good job putting a human face on many of the individual Rangers. He ably describes how the Rangers were trained and how the units were formed, as well as how their missions were planned and how those plans were often ruined. The narrative is mostly fluid and engaging, and O’Donnell does a good job integrating the story of the war, the personal det A vivid and well-written work. O’Donnell ably covers the Rangers’ slog across western Europe as they defeat some of Germany’s toughest troops. He does a good job putting a human face on many of the individual Rangers. He ably describes how the Rangers were trained and how the units were formed, as well as how their missions were planned and how those plans were often ruined. The narrative is mostly fluid and engaging, and O’Donnell does a good job integrating the story of the war, the personal details, and his own analysis. He admires the Rangers’ courage and accomplishments, of course, but his prose isn’t overly gushing, and he also discusses their shooting of surrendering Germans, for example. There are only a few quibbles, but nothing major. The narrative can get a bit disjointed or repetitive at times, and some of the chapters are very short. There’s occasional typos here and there. At one point O’Donnell writes of a Spitfire armed with .50-caliber machine guns. A solid, readable well-researched work overall.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Terry Cornell

    Excellent book about Dog Company, the Army Rangers that were assigned to destroy the German positions on Pointe du Hoc during D-Day. The book starts with the the formation of the Army Ranger unit, continues through D-Day and other engagements during World War II. O'Donnell relies heavily on the oral histories of survivors of the unit, as well as the German soldiers that opposed them. As a result what is sometimes a dry historical account is brought to life, resulting in the reader feeling he is Excellent book about Dog Company, the Army Rangers that were assigned to destroy the German positions on Pointe du Hoc during D-Day. The book starts with the the formation of the Army Ranger unit, continues through D-Day and other engagements during World War II. O'Donnell relies heavily on the oral histories of survivors of the unit, as well as the German soldiers that opposed them. As a result what is sometimes a dry historical account is brought to life, resulting in the reader feeling he is embedded with the men of Dog Company. During O'Donnell's extremely well done research, he also visited the battlefields where Dog Company fought.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Lindstrom

    Rangers lead the way!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Devyn

    A decent book if you don't mind reading only the bare bones of the story. Impersonal to a fault, I thought this book lacked that distinctive in depth bare-your-soul personal touch by the surviving Rangers. A decent book if you don't mind reading only the bare bones of the story. Impersonal to a fault, I thought this book lacked that distinctive in depth bare-your-soul personal touch by the surviving Rangers.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I was disappointed in this book, having been very interested in the subject having served in the 2nd Ranger Battalion. It just seemed that the first person accounts that were used in the book missed the mark. Accounts seemed jumbled and disjointed and the author didn't seem to do a very good job of tying it all together to give a coherent story to follow. It tried to be like Band of Brothers but seemed to miss the mark. I was disappointed in this book, having been very interested in the subject having served in the 2nd Ranger Battalion. It just seemed that the first person accounts that were used in the book missed the mark. Accounts seemed jumbled and disjointed and the author didn't seem to do a very good job of tying it all together to give a coherent story to follow. It tried to be like Band of Brothers but seemed to miss the mark.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Why This Book: I knew I’d be visiting Pointe du Hoc, famous for the Ranger raid at the commencement of D-Day, and this book would give me the background to better appreciate that experience. Summary in 3 Sentences. This book reads almost like a we-were-there, since it is based primarily on interviews with the guys who survived the war, which includes the funny, tragic, and heroic versions of their experiences. It begins with intensive training for nearly 8 months in the UK in the lead up to the i Why This Book: I knew I’d be visiting Pointe du Hoc, famous for the Ranger raid at the commencement of D-Day, and this book would give me the background to better appreciate that experience. Summary in 3 Sentences. This book reads almost like a we-were-there, since it is based primarily on interviews with the guys who survived the war, which includes the funny, tragic, and heroic versions of their experiences. It begins with intensive training for nearly 8 months in the UK in the lead up to the invasion, and then the initial phases of the assault and climb, and the battle once they got to the top. After about June 8th they were relieved at Pointe du Hoc, and the remainder of the book is about the Ranger operations moving East into France, Belgium and Germany until the end of the war. My Impressions: This book is similar to Maj Dick Winters Beyond Band of Brothers, but it is different in that it is not the personal account of the commander – Patrick O’Donnell is a military historian, researcher and writer, though indeed O’Donnell knew many of the people he wrote about and felt tied to them. O’Donnell not only honors the men and what they did, but provides perspectives on the horrors that the individual combat soldiers faced in the sustained combat of WW2. O’Donnell did an enormous amount of research to write a very engaging history of this one ranger company that succeeded in one of the most famous missions during the Normandy invasion. In addition to researching memoirs, and archives, and finding previous interviews, he was able to personally interview several of the key D-Company rangers, as well as others who participated in D-company operations at Pointe du Hoc and later. As in Dick Winters’ Beyond Band of Brothers we get to know the soldiers personally through their own voices in the interviews, we follow them through their training and rehearsals, and we get their versions of the operations. Few of the original Boys of Pointe du Hoc were with Dog Company at the end of the war. Many were killed or seriously wounded, and most of those who were with them at the end, had been wounded, evacuated, and had returned to continue fighting. To read the rest of my review, go to : https://bobsbeenreading.wordpress.com...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steve Brannon

    I am so torn about this book. It was written by Patrick K O'Donnell, the well known and highly respected historian and writer. I really wanted to like it, but I am rather cool toward recommending it unless you are doing research on Dog Company. I say that because it was about exactly what it says in the title: the Ranger unit known as Dog Company. But that's the problem, it was about the Ranger unit known as Dog Company. The story starts with the formation of the company, follows it through trai I am so torn about this book. It was written by Patrick K O'Donnell, the well known and highly respected historian and writer. I really wanted to like it, but I am rather cool toward recommending it unless you are doing research on Dog Company. I say that because it was about exactly what it says in the title: the Ranger unit known as Dog Company. But that's the problem, it was about the Ranger unit known as Dog Company. The story starts with the formation of the company, follows it through training, through the brutality of their many, many actions during WWII, then closes with the closure of the company and a short Epilogue about the surviving members. So, if you want to learn about the company, and not focus on a human story, or a specific battle, I suppose you would love this well researched book. Perhaps part of my opinion is colored by the fact that I listened to Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc as an audiobook and did not have access to the physical book. This means my review is colored by the narration and what I can recall. The narration, by the way, was exceptional, reminding me of the narrator of With The Old Breed, by E.B. Sledge. Patrick K. O'Donnell clearly researched the unit in detail, interviewing a number of living survivors. As with many military narrations the cast of characters is wide, and the events and movements can be confusing. Such is the nature of warfare. Once the battle begins, clarity and planning fade, leaving battles to be won or lost on the critical decisions made by men on the ground. Unfortunately, in Dog Company the details and descriptions go on and on. Some will view this as wonderful. Some, including me, will not.

  15. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is the dramatic true story of the creation of special forces during WWII known as the US Army Rangers. It follows the selection, formation, training, and assignments given to this elite group of warriors who were given the crucial assignment on D-Day, 6 June, 1944, to storm the beaches at Pointe Du Hoc in Normandy, France. This was the most difficult task that involved scaling the sheer ninety foot cliffs to knock out the German gun emplacements on top that threatened the bulk of the allied This is the dramatic true story of the creation of special forces during WWII known as the US Army Rangers. It follows the selection, formation, training, and assignments given to this elite group of warriors who were given the crucial assignment on D-Day, 6 June, 1944, to storm the beaches at Pointe Du Hoc in Normandy, France. This was the most difficult task that involved scaling the sheer ninety foot cliffs to knock out the German gun emplacements on top that threatened the bulk of the allied troops coming ashore. Their success came with heavy casualties but was a testament to their bravery. They then went on to additional successful missions that may have been beyond the capability of the regular troops and this provided proof of the value of all the special training and the determination of the Rangers to take down the enemy. This included a key role that they played in blunting the German advances during the Battle of the Bulge. If not for the contributions in lives and blood by the Rangers, the outcome of the war could have been far different. I especially liked the gritty descriptions of the traning as well as the actual missions. WWII buffs should be sure to read this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    David

    Quick and interesting. I am skeptical of any claim of the toughest mission on D-Day. I don't think he was able to justify that claim. The Rangers certainly were impressive, taking on a very difficult mission. Who can't forget the film adaptation in the film, The Longest Day? This is a nice addition to a growing body of works which attempt to tell the story through the eyes of the men who fought there. I do appreciate that he seems to handle his military terms admirably. Too often, writers don't Quick and interesting. I am skeptical of any claim of the toughest mission on D-Day. I don't think he was able to justify that claim. The Rangers certainly were impressive, taking on a very difficult mission. Who can't forget the film adaptation in the film, The Longest Day? This is a nice addition to a growing body of works which attempt to tell the story through the eyes of the men who fought there. I do appreciate that he seems to handle his military terms admirably. Too often, writers don't really understand the military arcana, and that distracts from the narrative. I think it opens a question in a knowledgeable readers mind, whether he lack the ability to understand what his interviewees told him, and therefore, introduced problems in to the narrative. In this case, he handled it well.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    This is an action-packed account of D Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion during WWII. The book covers their history from the buildup to D-Day all the way through to the armistice. I read the book for the D-Day account but really liked that the book continued on past that. Many books just focus on D-Day and it was great to get some perspectives on parts of the European war that I wasn't familiar with. The book also covers battles to take Brest and battles in the Hurtgen Forest. I was most surprised by This is an action-packed account of D Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion during WWII. The book covers their history from the buildup to D-Day all the way through to the armistice. I read the book for the D-Day account but really liked that the book continued on past that. Many books just focus on D-Day and it was great to get some perspectives on parts of the European war that I wasn't familiar with. The book also covers battles to take Brest and battles in the Hurtgen Forest. I was most surprised by the number of men that Dog Company lost, especially when fighting to hold Hill 400. If all Rangers are like Dog Company, it's easy to see how they've earned their reputation.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Feiraco

    The cover is a bit misleading, as it looks like some sort of war movie, but the story of the Dog Company is absolutely real. And very well told by Patrick O’Donnell. The sub-title, The Boys of Pointe du Hoc, reveals the battle for which they are best known: the heroic conquest of the steep cliff near Omaha Beach. That part of their European journey takes up about thirty percent of the book. Less-known are their participation near Brest and, above all, their fight in the notorious Hurtgen Forest The cover is a bit misleading, as it looks like some sort of war movie, but the story of the Dog Company is absolutely real. And very well told by Patrick O’Donnell. The sub-title, The Boys of Pointe du Hoc, reveals the battle for which they are best known: the heroic conquest of the steep cliff near Omaha Beach. That part of their European journey takes up about thirty percent of the book. Less-known are their participation near Brest and, above all, their fight in the notorious Hurtgen Forest which seems to have been a much tougher battle than Pointe du Hoc. O’Donnell has written a very much readable book which keeps the reader focused from start to finish.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bambi

    Wow, this is an incredible story about the bravest bunch of men you could imagine. Having visited Pointe du Hoc and seeing the scars in the land that are still visible to this day, and the height of the cliffs these rangers climbed with every conceivable form of weaponry targeted against them, I'm in awe. But what's even more inconceivable is that once this battle was over, they fought another one ... and another one. The author has spent years collecting the actual stories from these heroes and Wow, this is an incredible story about the bravest bunch of men you could imagine. Having visited Pointe du Hoc and seeing the scars in the land that are still visible to this day, and the height of the cliffs these rangers climbed with every conceivable form of weaponry targeted against them, I'm in awe. But what's even more inconceivable is that once this battle was over, they fought another one ... and another one. The author has spent years collecting the actual stories from these heroes and shares them in this book, along with the incredible mental and physical toll that World War II took on Company D. This book is a great piece of American history.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    There have been other stories written of the accomplishments of these men, as well as their travails. This one was well done and seemed to capture the story closer to the men who played a role in it; parts of it were taken from oral histories done by the men in, I believe, the 1980s. Hard to comprehend the impact that these had on the participants; how many suffered undiagnosed PTSD for years, etc.?

  21. 4 out of 5

    FatherBenjamin Ross

    Historical, well written, fast paced story telling. A bit of bravado, because that's what the book is about in one sense: indomitable Army Rangers during D-Day and following. But there are sweet moments and shocking realities of war included so as to not glorify war too much; I'm glad they included the effects of war on the men who were "shell shocked," or suffered PTSD. There's always a cost to war, even if one "survives". Historical, well written, fast paced story telling. A bit of bravado, because that's what the book is about in one sense: indomitable Army Rangers during D-Day and following. But there are sweet moments and shocking realities of war included so as to not glorify war too much; I'm glad they included the effects of war on the men who were "shell shocked," or suffered PTSD. There's always a cost to war, even if one "survives".

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robert B

    My personal favorite aspect of a history book is the human condition within. These men went through an experience that woupd psychologically crush most people and did it all for their country. Reading it pays tribute and warms the heart that such courage was displayed in the face of evil. Great read in general but very well organized as a treat rare in ww2 books.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    An excellent account of Dog Company's heroic service. I never knew that Pointe du Hoc wasn't the worst battle they faced in the war. Hill 400 was hell. After reading about it, I don't understand how any of them survived or maintained their sanity. O'Donnell is a very through researcher and his personal interviews with the men of Dog Company make the book very engaging. An excellent account of Dog Company's heroic service. I never knew that Pointe du Hoc wasn't the worst battle they faced in the war. Hill 400 was hell. After reading about it, I don't understand how any of them survived or maintained their sanity. O'Donnell is a very through researcher and his personal interviews with the men of Dog Company make the book very engaging.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roger

    Very detailed account at the personal level of the key players of Dog Company and the key roles they played in some of the biggest military challenges of World War II. These highly trained and selfless men were the elite soldiers of their day. The challenges of scaling Pointe du Hoc in particular were extraordinary.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matias Myllyrinne

    A passable book on the history of this interesting unit. The writer sadly exaggerates with some comparisons, gnawing at his own credibility. (“Like Stalingrad” when describing a battle between a few hundred soldiers in an urban setting in France etc.) An enjoyable light read for fans of military history.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Curtis Dean Martin

    Really good read! From the perspective of the ones on the ground, fighting the good fight, going through hell on Earth, losing their best friend in battle, living through some miserable conditions; making it home. I actually toured Pointe du Hoc, puts it all into context.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Great book. Follows the history of a company of Rangers tasked with taking Pointe Du Hoc in France on D-Day. It follows them through the end of the war, where only a fraction of the original Dog Company men still were involved in the war. Great read, well told stories.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    I walked these battlegrounds last month and thus could imagine each move the Rangers made as the book progressed. I can't imagine what kind of courage these men must have had to do what they did. The greatest generation, for sure. I walked these battlegrounds last month and thus could imagine each move the Rangers made as the book progressed. I can't imagine what kind of courage these men must have had to do what they did. The greatest generation, for sure.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Isaac

    Maybe I had more hope for this book than I should have. It could have been really good but unfortunately the battle descriptions were lose and chaotic.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ray Allen

    This book kept me locked in. These men in the book were real warriors

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