Review of "Grunts: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience: World War II through Iraq" by John C. McManus

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McManus (Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology and historian for the US Army 7th Infantry) convincingly argues that "contrary to the predictions of techno-vangelists," history shows that "ground soldiers have done almost all of the fighting and dying" in US wars. Using official reports, diaries, letters, oral histories, and appropriate secondary sources, McManus offers gripping accounts of infantry combat from WW II to the current conflict in Iraq. The author chooses a variety of battles to describe the horrors of close combat, including the battles for Guam, Peleliu, Aachen, the Bulge, Dak To, and Fallujah. Chapters also detail combat involving counterinsurgency, techno-war, and air mobility. McManus's readable, engaging style reveals the human side of combat, reminding readers of the sacrifices of past and current generations and of generations to come. He concludes with a plea to learn from the experiences he describes, particularly that the US must not let its infatuation with technology come at the expense of ground troops.