My Comrades and Me: Staff Sergeant Al Browns WWII Memoirs

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The author recounts scenes of misery and terror as he shivers in a foxhole filled with stinking water while shells whistle overhead, plays cat-and-mouse with an enemy patrol that has him pinned down with machine-gun fire and cowers in a bomb crater while a German tank looms overhead.


There are also exhilarating spectacles as he watches American bombers flying through storms of flak, a warm interlude with French peasants, a hair-raising encounter with Army dentistry and a generous sampling of bawdy GI poetry. There are magnetic commanders who sacrifice themselves for their men as well as arrogant officers, greener than the soldiers they give orders to, who waste lives through incompetence.

And there is horror when a maimed German prisoner blows himself up with a grenade to end his pain, and quiet anguish when the author spends Christmas Eve sitting in a room with a dying comrade. The pathos he conveys is all the more moving because it emerges on its own from his clear-eyed depiction of the business of war.

A restrained yet evocative account of life on the front lines.

My Comrades and Me

Starting his career on March 12, , with the war already in full swing, the young Brown recounts his basic training exploits in an almost halcyon tone. This lack of pretension or existential dread will surprise many readers weaned on Vietnam-era satire and the first 40 minutes of Full Metal Jacket. Brown delivers his choice experiences matter-of-factly and makes no apologies for doing so. However, into these sunny memories Brown deftly weaves the telling wisps of death. When digging an ominously measured 6x6x6-foot hole in the ground as punishment during training, Brown discovers a small cache of ordinance.

After Brown finds a stray grenade, his commanding officer orders him to dig more and see what else is there. Brown moves the reader brusquely to Italy and here the war proper begins.

My Comrades and Me

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Throughout the memoir, Brown explains that the charge of his book comes from the many children of veterans looking for information about their very reticent fathers. Brown admits his generation is in its twilight, and so these chronicles are more important and rewarding than ever. Many of the soldiers he met and wrote about in his memoir, My Comrades and Me, did not.

Their tragic and not always heroic fate fills many pages in this very candid account of men at war. He honors the men who performed those deeds, some of whom he gratefully acknowledges allowed him to make it through his trial alive. Getting out of the hell of war alive, Brown frequently reminds the reader, is the single most important thing on the mind of every combat soldier. Those who forgot that, even for a moment, never made it home.

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Many of the more than seventy very short chapters in My Comrades and Me describe brushes with death. He chillingly relates the sight of a tank round coming at him. My Comrades and Me, however, is not all grime, gore, and grit. The result is an engaging, authentic, and very human story. Meredith Barthel rated it really liked it Apr 28, Nicole rated it really liked it Aug 05, Matthew rated it it was amazing Jul 02, Louis Pofi rated it really liked it Dec 15, Tom Bartels marked it as to-read Dec 11, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

I am not a literary person by design or desire.


I am extremely inactive when it comes to reading. As for the daily news, I skim the captions to get a summary of what is going on and only read beyond the caption if it appears to be critical to my well being, in which case I will read beyond the caption. The sports pages get much more attention. I always check four comic strips: My reading interests are more in factual works, i.

My Comrades and Me

Payne was a great Christian and great sportsman who was a credit to his profession, family and friends. He cared for his men above all else.

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Author Al Brown, like a few million others, was a civilian one day and a serviceman the next. In My Comrades and Me: Staff Sergeant Al Brown's WWII Memoirs. My Comrades and Me: Staff Sergeant Al Brown's WWII Memoirs [Al Brown] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Sergeant Brown joined the.

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My Comrades and Me.

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