Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience, World War II Through Iraq
“A superb book—an American equivalent to John Keegan’s The Face of Battle. I sincerely believe that Grunts is destined to be a classic.”—Dave Grossman, Author of On Killing and On Combat
From the acclaimed author of The Dead and Those About to Die comes a sweeping narrative of six decades of combat, and an eye-opening account of the evolution of the American infantry.
From the beaches of Normandy and the South Pacific Islands to the deserts of the Middle East, the American soldier has been the most indispensable—and most overlooked—factor in wartime victory. In Grunts, renowned historian John C. McManus examines ten critical battles—from Hitler’s massive assault on U.S. soldiers at the Battle of the Bulge to counterinsurgency combat in Iraq—where the skills and courage of American troops proved the crucial difference between victory and defeat.
Based on years of research and interviews with veterans, this powerful history reveals the ugly face of war in a way few books have, and demonstrates the fundamental, and too often forgotten, importance of the human element in serving and protecting the nation.
Praise for Grunts
“A superb book—an American equivalent to John Keegan’s The Face of Battle. I sincerely believe that Grunts is destined to be a classic.”—Dave Grossman, Author of On Killing and On Combat “Few authors capture the essence of the human dimension of war as well as John C. McManus. Combining an engaging, highly descriptive writing style with exhaustive research, McManus provides readers with a true ‘foxhole’ perspective.”—Military Review “Another demonstration of [McManus’s] skill at narrating infantry combat…. an argument for a strong presence of well-trained infantry operating ‘up close and personal’ with heavier firepower available as support but not substitute. Both readable and persuasive.”—Booklist “Grunts is hypnotic history writing: honest, savage, heartbreaking and, ultimately, inspiring.”—Ralph Peters, Fox News Strategic Analyst and author of The War After Armageddon “John C. McManus’s Grunts contains some of the most vivid accounts of close combat ever recorded in literature. The reader has the sense of being actually present in the battles. His descriptions show precise details of combat at the closest personal levels and with absolute authenticity.”—Bevin Alexander, Author of Inside the Nazi War Machine “McManus captures—with gritty, ‘muddy boot’ authenticity—the horrors of the real war fought by America’s front-line soldiers and Marines. Reading Grunts is the closest you will get to experiencing actual infantry combat without getting shot at.”—Colonel Jerry D. Morelock, Editor in Chief of Armchair General “A literary and historical achievement of the highest order, Grunts illuminates the experience of the American GI better than any book I have read in years. Using battles such as Peleliu and Fallujah, John McManus brilliantly proves, using the participants’ own words, that the American warrior, not technology, wins wars.”—Patrick K. O’Donnell, Author of Washington’s Immortals “Too frequently historians take humanity out of war. McManus skillfully puts man back into the history of America’s recent wars, reminding us that man is still the determining factor.”—Adrian R. Lewis, Professor, University of Kansas From the Hardcover edition.