A Review Of Citizen Soldier Essay Research

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A Review Of Citizen Soldier Essay, Research Paper A Review of Stephen Ambrose?s Citizen Soldiers Prologue Stephen Ambrose introduces us to his book by setting the scene on the morning after the Allies begin their assault on the European continent. We are introduced to Lt. Waverly Wray, the XO for Company D of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Through the next few pages of the prologue Ambrose illustrates heroism within Lieutenant Wray demonstrating a certain strength that would carry the U.S. and her allies through the War. In terrain unfamiliar to American soldiers Lt. Wray moves through thick hedgerows unbeknown to several enemy officers Wray suprises them and kills eight Germany soldiers with a single shot to the head. Later in this section Ambrose asks the question

?how well General George C. Marshalll and that relative handful of professional officers serving in the U.S. Army in 1940 had done in creating and army of citizen soldiers…??. From his utilization of Lt. Wray, Ambrose seems to indicate that the American men of this decade would rise to this task. Chapter 2 After Allies established themselves on the beaches of the European Continent the difficult push through the French countryside began. As the American Army advanced they became hindered by the unexpected nature of this terrain. From ancient times French farms had been separated by tall thick brush known as hedgerows. These Hedgerows proved difficult for an advancing infantry to move through. The difficult nature of movement was further enhanced by the excellent covered

defenses the hedgerows provided to the Germans. The fighting in these terrain features had not been expected by the U.S. Army, intelligence had overlooked these obstacles and soldiers as a result did not receive the proper training needed. Techniques to overcome these obstacles had to be learned as the infantry advanced. This inadequate preparation cost lives and time. Slowly, American ingenuity prevailed as tank crews and infantry members tested methods to defeat the encountered obstacles. Working together, the tank and infantry developed successful methods of breaching these features. One such improvement that would latter proves to essential to American success, was that of improved communications between armor, infantry and aircraft. In truly united fashion the infantry

supported tanks, aircraft supported infantry all in a combined efforts to push toward Germany. Chapter 3 Once the push out of the hedgerows had succeeded, the Allies had the Germany Army on the defensive closing the distance toward Germany. The communications that developed from the hedgerow fighting worked at near perfection devastating enemy positions. Ambrose illustrated this teamwork in the example of Hill 317. Lieutenant Robert Weiss and the men of the 2nd Battalion held a key position on Hill 317. As German forces surrounded these men for five days they successfully held with the help of air support and artillery. From their vantage point on the hill 2nd Battalion was able to observe enemy movements and call for supporting fire. As the days went by and ammunition supplies

dwindled it seemed that the men of the 2nd would be forced to surrender. Attempts to resupply the 2nd failed, batteries were near dead eliminating their capability call support, at almost the last minute the 2nd Battalion was relieved by elements of the 35th Division. The efforts of those on Hill 317 halted the German thrust to the coast. The wounded German Army was forced to retreat or be annialhated. The retreating Army soon became a running mass of individuals. The combined efforts of air and ground forces tormented the retreating Germans at an unstoppable pace. As one Corporal from the 2nd Panzer Division recalled, the only thought many had was ?Out! Out! Out!?. As thousands of Germany?s most rugged were running for the protection of their border, many chose to exit the war