S. L. A. Marshall is justly famous for his unique method of battle analysis and for the series of books about combat that have resulted. In Battle at Best he applies this method -the assessment of data gleaned from on-the-spot interviews with the troops themselves - to eight critical actions of World War II and the Korean War that, taken together, attest to the infinite variety of combat experience and reveal new truths about soldiers under fire.From the Korean War, Gen. Marshall highlights the role of Easy Company in attack on Hill 180 (“Fix Baynonets and Follow Me”) and two phases of Ist Marine Division experience in the far north-the Chosin Reservoir operation and the desperate fight to hold the line while a bridge was built at Koto-ri. From World War II come the title sequences, the fight against overwhelming odds of one platoon in the battle at Best and, most movingly, the self-sacrifice of Private Joe Mann; a searing account of the fate of the 29th Infantry/Division at Omaha Beach; two episodes from the Pacific theater, and finally, a surprising view of the liberation of Paris and of Ernest Hemingway, who participated.
Such are the insights that distinguish this exceptional book.
Author: S.L.A. Marshall