Book Report On If You Survive By George Wilson

1606 Words7 Pages

Three years of service, fifteen months overseas, five major campaigns, three purple hearts, two bronze stars, and one silver star. The time served and decorations awarded belong to former First Lieutenant George Wilson of the 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division of the United States Army. Wilson recounts his time in the European Theater in his book titled If You Survive. This immersive book takes the reader to the front lines of a few operations that occurred in the final few years of World War II. These operations include breaking through at Saint-Lô, fighting through the Siegfried Line, securing the Hürtgen Forest, and providing support in the Battle of the Bulge. The path ahead is one of valor, forged through the eyes and …show more content…

The original intention of securing the forest was speculated to be a preventative measure to protect a floodgate from being opened, which would have bogged down any forces operating downstream. However, this was not the case and this battle of the overall Siegfried Line Campaign was a fruitless mistake and a German defensive victory. One feature that helped Germany claim so many American casualties was the artillery usage. Wilson and his platoon were constantly being shelled and many men lost their lives. Since the forest was heavily wooded many trees would splinter from artillery shells causing even more death and destruction compared to a normal artillery attack. However, this did not stop Wilson. He continued to advance through the forest with his platoon and eventually took the lead of F Company—both drastically in need of men and supplies. When caught in battles, Wilson quickly reacted to the situation and employed the ‘fire and movement’ tactic he knew. This had a group of men move to the next position while the rest of the men laid down suppressing fire. Once the first group of men arrived at the position, the second group moved while the first group laid down suppressing fire. Wilson also realized that the only way they could successfully advance towards their objective would be if they quickly dodged the incoming artillery after pushing the Germans back. These two maneuvers are what allowed Wilson and F Company to quickly get through the Hürtgen forest and reach their objective with minimized casualties. This battle for 4.5 miles of forest to reach the Cologne plains resulted in a success for Wilson’s platoon, but an overall defeat for the Allied forces. The land the Allies gained was never exploited—likely due to the Battle of the Bulge. Either way, the losses here were the most expensive per ground gained throughout

Show More
Open Document