From Boston to Berlin: One Man's War in Letters

From Boston to Berlin: One Man's War in Letters

by Robert Dahl

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These letters recount the day-to-day experiences of Robert Dahl during his year in Europe as part of the U.S. Army. He entered battle in October 1944 as a reconnaissance officer in the 71st Infantry Regiment, fighting almost continuously until the war’s end in May 1945. He then worked in the post-war military administration of Germany until he was able to return home in the fall of that year. These letters are unique in presenting the experience of combat as it happened. War is sometimes described as long periods of tedium interspersed with moments of intense fear. Because of Dahl’s deep intellect and curiosity, these letters are by no means tedious. He fills his down time reading whatever he can get his hands on – American magazines, French political broadsheets, Greek plays – and in the letters he comments and philosophizes not only on what he reads but what he sees around him and the events of the day. Of course, frequently he must “go to work,” leading his men across the front lines to scout enemy positions, sometimes facing enemy fire. Because he was writing these letters to his wife, his accounts are by and large low key. But he eloquently conveys the unique experience of combat and the intense bonds formed between those that fight together. After the end of the war Dahl was recruited to work for the Allied Control Commission, based in Frankfurt. From this vantage point – investigating Nazi assets – he observes the state of Germany – and Germans – in the months after the war’s end. Characteristically, he also surveys the range of opinions about how Germany should be treated by the victors. Overall, these letters are about much more than just combat; beyond hope and fear, they are a snapshot of a world-historical moment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781543909159
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication date: 10/13/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 326
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Robert A. Dahl was a Sterling professor of political science at Yale University. His work on political theory and practice spanned some six decades. He authored two dozen books, Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City (1961) being the best well known, and hundreds of scholarly articles. He was the first recipient of the Johan Skytte Prize, created in 1995 to remedy the lack of a Nobel Prize for Political Science, among many other awards and honorary degrees.

Table of Contents

Forward ix

Crossing the Atlantic, in Reserve, Meurthe-Et-Moselle: September 4 - October 21, 1944 1

Vosges Mountains, Maginot Line, Sarreguemines: November 14-December 20, 1944 45

On the German Border: December 22, 1944 - March 23, 1945 81

Into Germany, War's End, Completion of Infantry Service: March 26 - May 15, 1945 167

Post-War Service in Germany: May 18 - September 29, 1945 215

Endnotes 307

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