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Dogface Soldiers

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Dogface Soldiers

The Story of B Company, 15th Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division


From Fedala to Salzburg: Audie Murphy and His Brothers in Arms

  • by Daniel R. Champagne
    • Merriam Press World War 2 History Series
    • Fourth Edition 2012
    • 262 6x9-inch pages
    • 36 photos
    • 2 illustrations
    • 32 maps
This story begins in November 1941 and recounts B Company’s march through French Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, and Southern France. From there, it traces the company’s advance over the Vosges Mountains, through the Colmar Pocket and across Germany to Austria. For many of the B Company veterans, the battles left lasting impressions on their memories. They spoke vividly of Casablanca, Licata, Mt. Rotundo and Bloody Anzio, where they held the beachhead for four brutal months. They related with pride the operations in the Colmar Pocket, the smash through the vaunted Siegfried Line and the capture of Salzburg in May 1945, which led to the ultimate surrender of the German Third Reich.

B Company was comprised of men from a multitude of backgrounds. They were farmers, grocery clerks, mechanics, high school, and college graduates. They hailed from different geographical regions throughout the United States. Most of them were between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. They were either drafted, or enlisted on their own. Not all of them wanted to be there, but they accepted it as part of their duty. The men from B Company didn’t see themselves as heroes; they went to war because it was the patriotic thing to do.

Deservedly so, the starring role in this story is played by Audie Murphy. However, the major focus of the book is on the spirit of B Company. It is the author’s hope to reveal the true thoughts, words, and souls of these brave men so that the reader will identify with them in a personal way. This is the story of the B Company foot soldiers—a moving and vivid account told primarily by the characters themselves, through their own eyes and their own experiences.

This book is the culmination of a three-year study on B Company. In his pursuit to arrive as near as possible to the truth, the author has thoroughly examined both secondary and primary sources, including: war memoirs, letters, journals, diaries, witness statements, and interviews with B Company veterans. He’s also included several illustrations from his extensive collection of maps and photographs, many of which were personally shot on location.

Contents

  • Foreword by Dr. Keith E. Bonn 
  • Preface
  • Cast of Characters
  • Introduction
  • North Africa and Sicily (1942-43)
    • The Truscott Trot
    • Destination Messina
  • Italy (1943-44)
    • The Craggy Apennines
    • Bloody Anzio
    • The Liberation of Rome
  • France (1944-45)
    • Operation Anvil
    • Through the Vosges
    • The Colmar Pocket
  • Germany (1945)
    • Smashing the Siegfried Line
    • Victory at Last
  • Afterword
  • Acknowledgments
  • Bibliography
  • The Author
The Author

Daniel R. Champagne has been an avid student of history all of his life; learning about important people and events has always been his passion. He has a B.S in Psychology, a B.S. in Secondary Education/History, and a M.Ed. in Social Studies Education/History. He taught U.S. History, World History and American Government in the public school system for ten years. Champagne has also written two articles about B Company, 15th Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, which appeared in World War II Magazine. The author is currently writing a biography on Major General Keith L. Ware, and working on his MA in history at the American Military University. Champagne is forty-two years old and married to the former Valerie Johnston. They have three children: Elaine, Olivia and Jake.

Reviews

Received the book promptly and in good condition. My uncle will be thrilled as he will be 80 this year and served in the 3rd Infantry, 15th Regiment—a Dogface Soldier with many stories! —Darice Grzybowski

My father served with Co. B of the 15th Infantry during World War II; his first day of combat was the day Audie Murphy earned the Medal of Honor outside of Holtzwihr. In fact, he talked of walking through the battle site only minutes after it ended, seeing the destroyed tanks and tank destroyers burning, hearing the wounded soldiers moaning for help, and thinking he would never live through the war. He turns 80 on March 8, and I'd like to give him the book for a birthday present.
Stan Finger

The Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum
is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the American cotton industry, as well as the history of Hunt County, Texas and the northern Texas Blackland Prairie. Located in historic Greenville, Texas on ten acres of Texas Blacklands, the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum physical plant includes the Ende-Gaillard House, the oldest house in Greenville, a working cotton patch, picnic areas, and native grass and herb gardens. Founded in 1987 as the Hunt County Museum, Greenville’s nationally known Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum. Widely known as home to the Audie L. Murphy Hunt County Veteran’s Exhibit, a large collection of military memorabilia relating to Audie Murphy and other Hunt County veterans, as well as many temporary local history exhibits. They carry Dogface Soldiers in their Gift Shop.

The Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum
600 Interstate 30 East
P.O. Box 347
Greenville, Texas 75403

Visit the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum web site.

903-450-4502
Fax: 903-454-1990

Open Tues. - Sat. 10:00-5:00

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