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Sixty Days in Combat

An Infantryman's Memoir of World War II in Europe

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“The infantryman’s war is . . . without the slightest doubt the dirtiest, roughest job of them all.”

He went in as a military history buff, a virgin, and a teetotaler. He came out with a war bride, a taste for German beer, and intimate knowledge of one of the darkest parts of history. His name is Dean Joy, and this was his war.

For two months in 1945, Joy endured and survived the everyday deprivations and dangers of being a frontline infantryman. His amazingly detailed memoir, self-illustrated with numerous scenes Joy remembers from his time in Europe, brings back the sights, sounds, and smells of the experience as few books ever have. Here is the story of a young man who dreamed of flying fighter aircraft and instead was chosen to be cannon fodder in France and Germany . . . who witnessed the brutality of Nazis killing Allied medics by using the cross on their helmets as targets . . . and who narrowly escaped being wounded or killed in several “near miss” episodes, the last of which occurred on his last day of combat.

Sixty Days in Combat re-creates all the drama of the “dogface’s” fight, a time that changed one young man in a war that changed the world.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 01, 2004 – When author Joy joined the army in 1943, he hoped to avoid"the dreaded infantry--in his mind the dirtiest, least glamorous military service imaginable," and instead win the glorious mission of flying P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft. But like so many other young men, he ended up on solid ground, as a mortarman in the 71st Infantry Division. This modest and clear account follows his reluctant entry to the war, his stateside service and thrilling but brief 60 days of combat in the European Theater. After conversion from a"Light" to a regular division, the 71st joined Patton's Third Army and carved a frontline across Europe from March 1945 to V-E Day. Joy provides a vivid account of the unsung mortarmen, operators of the infantry's pocket artillery, and details their 60-mm short range, muzzle-loading cannons--able weapons for inflicting harm on friend or foe. In the field, he also encountered the famous all African-American 761st Tank Battalion and eccentric characters such as the macho Wilson, who rammed his bare fist through a window to impress his comrades, and a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, Willie Burns, who, in a champagne rage, nearly shot a German boy to avenge his company's heavy casualties. The author's 50 pencil sketches add immediacy and drama even if they lack sophistication or technical detail. Altogether, this personal history enriches the memory of the WWII infantryman--the average man, or boy, who did his duty and came home to tell about it.
Sixty Days in Combat
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Military
  • Published: Mar 02, 2004
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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