The 344 days of combat of the 88th Infantry Division were part of the bitterly contested struggle for supremacy in Italy during the Second World War. Here is the gripping story of the first selective service division committed to battle in the European Theater, seen from the unique vantage point of a battalion physician.
Using notes hastily scribbled on the backs of maps and finished out whenever he was rotated to rear areas for rest, Dr. Klaus Huebner captured in his diary the frustration, fear, boredom, devotion, and anger that were the daily portion of combat infantrymen. The result is a remarkably sustained exposition of combat life. Dr. Huebner traces the 88th’s activities from final staging preparations at Fort Sam Houston to North Africa and on up the Italian peninsula to the Brenner Pass in Austria, just fifty-five miles south of the Bavarian hamlet where he was born.
Combat began for the Division just north of Naples, Italy. During combat, the medical aid station was set up in any available farmhouse, barn, cave, or clump of trees that offered some protection for treating the wounded. There the battalion surgeon and his aides did what they could under adverse circumstances, gave by their presence alone moral support to the casualties, and came to know well the miseries, emotions, and human drama of infantry soldiers in combat. Dr. Huebner writes: “I walked with the men who carried guns and slugged it out on foot. I treated the wounded where they fell.” His story is terse and often tense, a memorable view of battle and the men who tried to heal its wounds right in the field
|Publisher:||Texas A&M University Press|
|Series:||Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series , #4|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.52(d)|
About the Author
DR. KLAUS HUEBNER, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, twenty-five years before the outbreak of U.S.-Nazi hostilities, served as battalion surgeon to the U.S. 3d Battalion, 349th Infantry Regiment, 88th Infantry Division, from 1943-1945. After the war he went into general practice in North East, Maryland, from which he took occasional leave to pursue his interests in tropical medicine. In early 1986 he retired from the practice of medicine and, at the urging of an old army buddy, prepared his wartime diary for submission for publication.