Cover image for Death ground : today's American infantry in battle
Death ground : today's American infantry in battle
Bolger, Daniel P., 1957-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Novato, Calif. : Presidio Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 359 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
UA28 .B65 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"In Death Ground professional soldier and historian Daniel P. Bolger describes today's American infantry from an insider's perspective. Through his lucid examination of seven recent American infantry campaigns, Bolger explains what happens when young soldiers clash by night with rifle, grenade, and bayonet in hand. Welcome to the world of combat riflemen. Welcome to death ground."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

Daniel P. Bolger is a career army officer currently serving at the Pentagon following a two-year brigade command in the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Colonel Bolger speaks from experience about the infantry. The commander of a brigade in Korea, he writes clearly, intelligently, and eloquently about the various types of infantry making up the thin line, less than 100,000 strong, that the U.S. can put into the field; those types range from heaviest (mechanized and subordinated to their Bradley infantry carriers), to lightest (the Rangers). Bolger also gives superior accounts of less-known aspects of well-known campaigns (e.g., Panama, the Gulf, Somalia) and of actions few nonspecialists have heard of, such as that of U.S. Marines in Liberia. He is passionately convinced that the infantry is now being asked to do too much with too little, as the U.S. maintains an armored force suitable only for a cold war long thawed. Both the writing and the extensive references carry conviction that casual readers and serious students alike will appreciate. The colonel continues to serve his country and his readers honorably. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bolger, a serving army colonel, is an established writer of military fiction (Feast of Bones) and military analysis (The Battle for Hunger Hill). This is his most significant work to date, important both for students of the contemporary U.S. Army and for general readers‘even those normally uninterested in military matters. Bolger documents the infantry's change, over the past 60 years, from a mass force of citizen soldiers to a small body of elite professionals. He presents each currently existing type of infantry‘paratroopers, air assault, mechanized, light, rangers and marines‘in recent action. For the paratroops, it's the jump into Panama during Operation Just Cause. The helicopter-borne air assault battalions and the mechanized infantry are showcased, along with the rangers, in Operation Desert Storm. The light infantry's finest hour was in Mogadishu, where its flexibility and fighting power saved a trapped American raiding party. The marines appear as peace enforcers in Liberia. In each case study, Bolger emphasizes the importance of quality and preparation, making it quite clear that will without skill and motivation without competence are certain routes to disaster. His style is colloquial and his tone triumphalist, but his message and his subtext are both clear: the grunt has evolved into a warrior, but the gain in expertise brings its own perils. While praising today's infantry as the best the country has ever fielded, Bolger raises the prospect that the U.S. military, by emphasizing technology and economy, will leave the country with an elite infantry too small to sustain heavy losses and too specialized to be quickly replaced. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Prologue: A Few Good Menp. 1
1 Death From Abovep. 36
2 Stormbringersp. 75
3 Hell on Wheelsp. 118
4 Direct Actionp. 161
5 Brave Riflesp. 203
6 Africa Corpsp. 244
Epilogue: The Last Riflemenp. 296
Appendix Active Army and Marine Infantry Battalionsp. 335
Indexp. 345