Military history

Grunts: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience, World War II Through Iraq

Grunts: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience, World War II Through Iraq

From the beaches of Normandy and the South Pacific Islands to the deserts of the Middle East, the American soldier has been the most indispensable- and most overlooked-factor in wartime victory. In Grunts, renowned historian John C. McManus covers six decades of warfare, examining ten critical battles-from the Battle of the Bulge to counterinsurgency combat in Iraq-where the skills and courage of American troops proved the crucial difference between victory and defeat.

Based on years of research and interviews with veterans, this powerful history reveals the ugly face of war in a way few books have, and demonstrates the fundamental, and too often forgotten, importance of the human element in serving and protecting the nation.


Chapter 1: Guam, July 1944: Amphibious Combat Against a Self-Destructive Enemy

Chapter 2: Peleliu, September 1944: Amphibious Combat Against a Clever, Defensive-Minded Enemy

Chapter 3: Aachen, 1944: Knocking ’Em All Down on a Politically Unrestrained Urban Battlefield

Chapter 4: Scenes from the Northern Shoulder of the Bulge: Men Against Tanks and Everything Else

Chapter 5: Operation Masher/White Wing: Air Mobility, Attrition, and the Big-Unit Grunts of Vietnam

Chapter 6: Counterinsurgency from the Barrel of a Gun: The Marine Combined Action Platoons

Chapter 7: Attrition and the Tears of Autumn: Dak To, November 1967

Chapter 8: Eleven Mikes and Eleven Bravos: Infantry Moments in the Ultimate Techno-War

Chapter 9: Grunts in the City: Urban Combat and Politics—Fallujah, 2004

Chapter 10: “Watch Out for IEDs!” Twenty-First-Century Counterinsurgent Warfare Through the Eyes of One Infantry Regiment in Iraq

EPILOGUE: A Plea for Change