Cover image for A ramble through my war : Anzio and other joys
A ramble through my war : Anzio and other joys
Marshall, Charles F., 1915-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
x, 300 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


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Material Type
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D810.S7 M274 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Charles Marshall served in the US army from 1943 to 1946. This memoir by Marshall describes his experiences during those years, including participating in the battle of the Anzio beachhead and the conversations he had with many high ranking German officers.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A fluent German speaker, Marshall was assigned to the intelligence section of the U.S. Army's Sixth Corps. He wound up in the hellhole of Anzio, entered liberated Rome, took part in the August 1944 invasion of southern France and followed the advance through Alsace and across the Rhine into Germany. Throughout it all, Marshall kept the clandestine diary that forms the basis of this book. Marshall's task was to assess captured German documents; often, his detachment actively explored liberated villages and towns, searching for papers that would shed light on the German army. His men also interrogated prisoners of war and integrated all their information into daily reports. (Readers will learn the refined techniques developed to glean important details from prisoners who did not know they were helping their captors.) Marshall was able to read Erwin Rommel's letters and reports and was the first to interview his widow; in the process, the young American learned the truth about Rommel's death and about the subsequent cover-up. He developed a rapport with Lucie Rommel and, after the war, interviewed her and the general's staff, finally publishing Discovering the Rommel Murder in 1974. Conversations with generals, descriptions of concentration camps and vignettes of soldiers and civilians also figure into this engrossing, perceptive memoir. Includes b&w photos from the author's private collection. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Marshall's very informative personal memoir convincingly demonstrates the contributions of a group of conscientious, dedicated US Army intelligence officers in determining the outcome of battles in Italy and southern France during WW II. Marshall entered the army in 1942 and was assigned to intelligence because of his fluency in German. His specialty was analyzing the German army's order of battle. This involved the study of the enemy's organization and equipment and the evaluation of collective intelligence gained from all possible sources, such as captured field orders, codes, maps, letters, photographs, field manuals, and newspapers, and the interrogation of POWs. From this cumulative data, much was gleaned about the enemy, its capabilities, and often its plans--all crucial elements in determining outcomes on the battlefield. In addition to arguing the case for contributions made by the order of battle personnel, Marshall, a pacifist, continually reminds the reader about his views on the futility, destructiveness, and waste of war. No sources. Photographs are included. All levels. R. E. Marcello; University of North Texas