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Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc--the Rangers Who Accomplished D-Day's Toughest Mission and Led the Way across Europe

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Overview

An epic World War II story of valor, sacrifice, and the Rangers who led the way to victory in Europe

It is said that the right man in the right place at the right time can make the difference between victory and defeat. This is the dramatic story of sixty-eight soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion, D Company—Dog Company—who made that difference, time and again.

From D-Day, when German guns atop Pointe du Hoc threatened the Allied ...

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Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc--the Rangers Who Accomplished D-Day's Toughest Mission and Led the Way across Europe

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Overview

An epic World War II story of valor, sacrifice, and the Rangers who led the way to victory in Europe

It is said that the right man in the right place at the right time can make the difference between victory and defeat. This is the dramatic story of sixty-eight soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion, D Company—Dog Company—who made that difference, time and again.

From D-Day, when German guns atop Pointe du Hoc threatened the Allied landings and the men of Dog Company scaled the ninety-foot cliffs to destroy them; to the thickly forested slopes of Hill 400, in Germany’s Hürtgen Forest, where the Rangers launched a desperate bayonet charge across an open field, captured the crucial hill, and held it against all odds. In each battle, the men of Dog Company made the difference.

Dog Company is their unforgettable story—thoroughly researched and vividly told by acclaimed combat historian Patrick K. O’Donnell—a story of extraordinary bravery, courage, and determination. America had many heroes in World War II, but few can say that, but for them, the course of the war may have been very different. The right men, in the right place, at the right time—Dog Company.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Alex Kershaw, New York Times best-selling author of The Liberator

"Long admired for his powerful combat narratives, with Dog Company O’Donnell has produced his finest book yet. A fascinating tale of extraordinary heroism."

John C. McManus, author of September Hope

"An intimate history in the Band of Brothers tradition. Only a gifted combat historian like Patrick O'Donnell could bring Dog Company’s story to life with such stunning immediacy and well researched accuracy. Chock full of pulse pounding action and keen insight, this book is a true page-turner."

Joseph Balkoski, author of Omaha Beach

"No World War II historian can tell the story of the U.S. Army Rangers better than Pat O’Donnell, and in his book Dog Company he has managed to relate the remarkable history of a single Ranger company in an informative and entertaining way. It is a great read, and I recommend it highly, both to history buffs and those with only a passing interest in America’s past."

Flint Whitlock, author of If Chaos Reigns

"Wow! Another victory for Patrick O’Donnell, who really captures the spirit of this elite group of Rangers&mdashpossibly the toughest fighting force America has ever put together. Dog Company is every bit as good as Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, and likely even better.”

General Doug Brown USA (Ret.) Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command 2003-2007

"This is an incredible story of courage under fire, leadership at all levels and bravery beyond comprehension. The bravery and leadership of Dog Company lives on in today’s Army Rangers as they take the fight to America’s enemies in the Global War on Terror. This is the story of real American heroes and no one can tell the story better than Patrick K. O’Donnell."

Douglas Waller, author of Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage

"Patrick O’Donnell has set the gold standard for war histories rich in color, drama and detail. With Dog Company, he’s hit that high mark once more. Drawing on a trove of government reports plus hundreds of in-depth interviews with the men who fought, O’Donnell takes you from the scaling of Pointe du Hoc’s murderous cliffs on the Normandy coast to the Battle of the Bulge and into the rubble of Germany. World War II comes to life through the eyes of this one company of intrepid U.S. Army Rangers."

Clive Cussler, New York Times bestselling author

"A great American writer."

Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer prize winning author of Day of Battle

"Remarkable and very readable...vivid."

Kirkus Reviews, 10/1/12
“[An] inspiring story…O'Donnell engagingly describes how a dedicated team was built out of the specialist training it received, but he is at his best presenting the fortunes and shocks of battle as the months of planning and training were blown away in a series of mischances that also fortuitously safeguarded the unit from delayed pre-invasion bombing runs…A worthy tribute honoring each member of a small group of volunteers who responded to the call of duty.”

Bookviews blog, November 2012

“The story of the heroism of the men defies the imagination, but it is real and told well by a distinguished military historian.”

Politics & Patriotism blog, 11/7/12
“A fast-paced read that’ll redefine your understanding of the U.S. Army Rangers in Europe during Word War Two.”

RoanokeTimes, 11/9/12

“A fine tale of heroism and sacrifice marked by many personal interviews with the very few present-day survivors.”

Kingman Standard, 11/7/12
“Carefully documented and researched…[O’Donnell’s] interviews of many surviving veterans have captured their stories in fitting detail…This is a 5-star book and one which every veteran can be proud of having on their bookshelf!”

WomanAroundTown.com, 11/18/12

“No one doubts the bravery of the gallant men of Dog Company…And no one is more qualified to tell the tale than Patrick K. O’Donnell.”

InfoDad.com, 11/29/12
“Fine and finely detailed…There is plenty of action here, plenty of detail about battles major and minor, plenty of heroism to contemplate, and plenty of material to keep readers fascinated by the events of World War II interested.”

PhiladelphiaTribune, 11/18/12

“Thoroughly researched and vividly told.”

Reference and Research Book News, December 2012

“Written in a dramatic narrative style for general readers and WWII history buffs, the book emphasizes the roles and relationships of individual members of the company.”

Midwest Book Review, November 2012

“[An] excellent contribution to military history shelves, thoroughly accessible to scholars and lay readers alike.”

San AntonioExpress-News, 12/21/12

“The daring combat actions by ‘boys’ from America’s heartland comes to life in Dog Company…O’Donnell captures the intensity of the mission.”

MarionSentinel, 12/20/12

“Tells [Tom Ruggiero’s] D-Day story in tight detail. It also provides fresh and intimate looks at how the Plymouth native and others in Dog Company went on to fight their way across France and into Germany. O’Donnell’s story captures the essence of bravery in a man we can all still proudly honor.”

Milwaukee Public Library blog, 12/28/12
“If you enjoyed Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers, then this new book on D Day…will be right up your alley. Well researched and written, the story of a company of US Army Rangers and their near impossible mission is a tale of honor, gallantry, persistence and death.”

Seattle Times, 1/6/13
“O’Donnell skillfully tells the tale of the 68 soldiers who made up the 2nd Ranger Battalion… Though there have been hundreds of books that tackled D-Day, none have given so much detail to this one company or to Pointe du Hoc… O’Donnell does an admirable job presenting the story of the Rangers in such minute detail that you feel you are there during the assault… Dog Company helps keep that sacrifice alive with the cinematic telling of a small story that forever changed history.”

inReads.com, 12/11/13:

 “[O’Donnell] writes vividly about war…Readers of Dog Company will be immersed in the soldiers’ lives from training all the way to the battles they fought.”

Lima News, 2/10/13

“O’Donnell paints a vivid picture of the valor possessed by the 68 soldiers of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, D company during World War II. If you enjoyed ‘Band of Brothers,’ this story is for you.”

The Key Reporter, 3/12/13

“Powerful, immediate and poignant.  The men of Dog Company richly deserve this remembrance of their valor.”

Midwest Book Review, March 2013

“A powerful account of World War II and a 'must' for any military history holding.”

America in WWII, April 2013

“O’Donnell effectively captures the story of these Dog Company Rangers in combat…A fast-paced personal story…It blows away the dust of history.”

WestLife, 3/27/13

“Provides an hour-by-hour account of Dog Company’s stand against a much larger German force.”

World War II, May/June 2013

“Dog has found a fitting chronicler in Patrick O’Donnell…A unique reconstruction of a special kind of war fought by a rare breed of soldiers…A gripping account…[An] understated but eloquent tribute to service beyond any call of duty.”

Defense Media Network, 6/5/13

“A vivid narrative of rare power. Personal details, so important in an account like this, add an intimacy to the triumphs and trauma of life in the service and survival on the battlefield, and O’Donnell’s narrative is rich with them…[An] amazing story.”

Collected Miscellany, 5/27/13

“Adds to the rich history on the 2nd Ranger Battalion…One of O’Donnell’s strengths is his ability to capture the story of the individual soldier in the midst of a larger battle…O’Donnell adds another layer to the rich history of Ranger warfare in World War II.”

Hudson Valley News, 12/4/13

“With first-hand accounts from the survivors of Dog Company, the author recreates the European campaign.”

StrategyPeople.com
“A very readable, vivid, and often insightful look at the Rangers who stormed Pointe du Hoc on D-Day…An excellent treatment of men in combat, Dog Company is worth reading for anyone interested in D-Day, the war in Europe, or special operations forces.”

 

Kirkus Reviews
Inspiring story of the Army's 2nd Ranger Battalion, Company D ("Dog Company"), from battle historian O'Donnell (Give Me Tomorrow: The Korean War's Greatest Untold Story--The Epic Stand of the Marines of George Company, 2010, etc.). The 200-plus volunteers who made up the initial complement of Dog Company assembled at Fort Meade in March 1943. The author has worked with veterans of the unit--e.g., the late Len Lomell and other "great Ranger friends"--to trace survivors and organize their stories and memories into the Drop Zone Oral History Project, which provides one of the sources for this book. The soldiers were trained to assault and capture high points from the sea, and the cliffs and heavy gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc were their target from the beginning. The assignment was considered to be "a suicide mission," and top officials "projected casualties would top 70 percent." O'Donnell engagingly describes how a dedicated team was built out of the specialist training it received, but he is at his best presenting the fortunes and shocks of battle as the months of planning and training were blown away in a series of mischances that also fortuitously safeguarded the unit from delayed pre-invasion bombing runs. The author also highlights the courage of Ranger Lt. Bob Edlin and his three companions, who organized "the unbelievably audacious bluff" that secured the surrender of the German garrison of the Lochrist Gun Battery at Brest in August 1944. A worthy tribute honoring each member of a small group of volunteers who responded to the call of duty.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306822643
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 11/5/2013
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 171,818
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick K. O'Donnell is a military historian and the award-winning author of seven books, including the bestseller and William E. Colby Award winner Beyond Valor, Give Me Tomorrow, and We Were One, the highly acclaimed account of the Battle of Fallujah. He has provided historical consulting for DreamWorks' award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers and for documentaries produced by the BBC, the History Channel, and Fox News. Visit him at www.patrickkodonnell.com and at www.facebook.com/patrickkodonnell

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Table of Contents

Prologue xi

1 Dog Company 1

2 "Rangers? Bullshit!" 12

3 Big Jim 15

4 Fort Pierce and Overseas 21

5 Bude 29

6 The Needles 34

7 The Mission 37

8 Final Preparations 42

9 A Tough Spot for a Landing 47

10 "Into the Valley of Death" 51

11 "The Sky Was Burning" 57

12 The Landing 61

13 The Climb 70

14 Atop the Fortress 74

15 Bunkers and Farms 79

16 The Guns of Pointe du Hoc 86

17 Swimmers 91

18 The First Counterattack 95

19 Nighttime Attacks 102

20 June 7 116

21 The Relief of Pointe du Hoc 123

22 Survivors 126

23 The Assault on Brest 136

24 Hill 63 145

25 The Fabulous Four 151

26 Interlude 158

27 A Factory of Death 161

28 Moving Out 175

29 Bergstein 180

30 Counterattack 182

31 The Church 186

32 The Charge 192

33 Hill 400 198

34 Their "Longest Day" 205

35 Nightfall 215

36 December 8 218

37 Final Assault on Bergstein 222

38 Relief Finally Arrives 225

39 The Bulge 227

40 Back to Hürtgen 235

41 Crossing the Roer 237

42 The Last Act 244

Epilogue 249

Notes 253

Acknowledgments 287

Index 289

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    The Best War Book I've Read..... I love a great story and this b

    The Best War Book I've Read.....
    I love a great story and this book has it in spades. The author weaves a compelling narrative develiping the men of Dog Company like movie characters. He takes the reader through their training (some of the toughest of any Allied unit prior to D-Day) as these intrepid Rangers climb 100-300 foot cliffs without safety harness in full-equipment. In their boots, you scale Pointe du Hoc under murderous German-machine gun and grenade fire. Fighting through a maze of tunnels and minefields two men neutralize a crucial gun position 700 tons of Allied bombs and thousands of naval shells failed to destroy. Moving through France to the battle for Brest, a small group of Rangers miraculously seize another Guns of Navarone-like gun battery after a gutsy Ranger forces his way into the massive underground fortress and puts a grenade between the German officer's crotch and compels the entire 800-man garrison to surrender. Like a crescendo, the book builds to a bayonet charge and an against-all-odds assault/defense of Hill 400. The combat scenes in this book are incredible and the author's lyrical prose brings an intimacy to WWII combat that I have never experienced in any other combat book.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    One hazards to repeat the words of Shakespeare when reading Dog

    One hazards to repeat the words of Shakespeare when reading Dog Company...."old men forget yet all shall be forgot but he will remember with advantages
    what feats he did this day." Patrick O'Donnell's Dog Company is a poorly written piece of hagiography built on the recollection of soldiers forty plus years removed from events. While there is no doubt the rangers were great soldiers, the fact remains that 1) the guns at Pointe du Hoc had been removed from their emplacements and when found later, were neither manned nor registered therefor presenting no real threat to the Omaha and Utah landings. Did the success of the Normandy landings rest on the shoulders of Dog Company. Hardly. At Brest, the author provides more of the same leading us to believe that had the Rangers not taken the outer coastal defenses, Brest would not have fallen. Again not true. The Germans retained Brest until nearly the third week in September 1944 and when they surrendered it, did so after demolishing the port facilities rendering them unuseable until close to the end of the war. The entire book reads like something slapped together with little or no analysis. If the author took the time to read the Army Green Book series let alone much else in the current historiography of the European theater, there is little here to suggest that reality. Dog Company is a dog of a book.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    Dog Company: Beautifully written.   I couldn't put the book down

    Dog Company:
    Beautifully written.   I couldn't put the book down and read it to the point my wife was wondering if I'd ever get any "honey-dos" done!.  Dog Company brought to light a hidden side of WWII I was unaware of. The author, who was involved in combat I believe from another books of his I read,) seems to understands it and brought me on quite a 
    ride.  As a combat vet myself, my hairs went up from the detailed writing.  I'd have to say for me this was better than Band of Brothers (which I really loved )

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    needed editing

    needed editing

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    So so

    Loved the war heroes but felt the author did a poor job piecing the stories/events together

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2012

    Magnificiantly written, cinematic story of an amazing band of Ra

    Magnificiantly written, cinematic story of an amazing band of Rangers whose sheer guts, courage, patriotism, loyalty, and fierce competitiveness help turn the tide of the war in the ETO. This book is unique, in that it is one of the few military books that brilliantly blends extensive historical research with the words, thoughts, feelings, and actions of the incredible men of Dog Company. They are real life action heroes, whose oral histories were captured by Mr. O'Donnell - just in time - since there are only a few of them still living. I had the pleasure of listening to Patrick O'Donnell on NPR's Here and Now. I am happy to say that he is as real and engaging as the men whose stories he tells in this gem of a book. There is something in Dog Company for everyone - which is why I am buying several to give as gifts for the holidays.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2012

    Brought together by chance and necessity the men of Dog Company

    Brought together by chance and necessity the men of Dog Company form bonds and comradeship that last them to this day.
    From Pointe du Hoc in France to Germany’s Hurtgen Forest their display of courage devotion to one another, for which many paid the full measure.
    Mr. O’Donnell’s portal of events thru his oral histories and combat narratives give the reader a view of cinematic proportions in the GI own words.
    A great read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    Well done

    A great retelling and account of extraordinary men.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    Jaycie

    London. Its pretty fun. XD

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    Hannah

    Omg ur so lucky!!! I wud love to go to london!!! British people are my fave... escpecially one direction! Luv them!

    0 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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