“If you survive your first day, I’ll promote you.”
So promised George Wilson’s World War II commanding officer in the hedgerows of Normandy — and it was to be a promise dramatically fulfilled. From July, 1944, to the closing days of the war, from the first penetration of the Siegfried Line to the Nazis’ last desperate charge in the Battle of the Bulge, Wilson fought in the thickest of the action, helping take the small towns of northern France and Belgium building by building.
Of all the men and officers who started out in Company F of the 4th Infantry Division with him, Wilson was the only one who finished. In the end, he felt not like a conqueror or a victor, but an exhausted survivor, left with nothing but his life — and his emotions.
If You Survive
One of the great first-person accounts of the making of a combat veteran, in the last, most violent months of World War II.