marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Up Front

Up Front by Bill Mauldin

This is a semi-humorous work about the war.

The cartoons are indeed funny, sometimes with an edge, but the text of the work is about the army life in World War II.  Ranges all over.  How the men in the army didn't hate the Germans until they got there, and never got passion the Europeans did -- though there were some who did (he cites an exiled German), and some who just loved the fighting (whose peacetime occupations were swamp hunter and mafia bodyguard). Dugouts and barns (especially the hay).  How to tell how a town was taken.  Mules used for transportation of supplies.  The problems with the front.  Drinking, and why handing out a ration would be much better.  Interactions with civilians, down to the guy pacing in front of the medic's station just like in a maternity ward.  Scrounging.  Officer/men interactions, and non-coms. And much more.
Tags: history reviews: world war ii era, primary source review

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