If You Survive by George Wilson

If You Survive

"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 an...

Details If You Survive

TitleIf You Survive
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Military, Military History, War, Military Fiction, World War II

Reviews If You Survive

  • Jennifer
    3.5*This was a difficult book for me to rate. On one hand I would give it 5 stars because of the glimpse you get into what it's like to be a soldier on the western front in WWII. The horrible atrocities these men endure is one not always told because it's difficult for them to relive the trauma. So for that I'm grateful to George Wilson for sharing his story.On the other hand the arrogance and lack of feeling toward his comrades made it difficult...
  • Adrian
    A superb read! I just could not put this book down,it grabbed hold of me from thevery first page and never let me go(hence,it only took me a few days to read it). A riveting and totally engrossing read that will stay in your thoughts for a verylong time. I am going to read it again straight away. Thats how good this book is.Will write a proper review after I have read it for a second time.
  • Margaret Elder
    This was a great, quick read. I was drawn to it because my father fought in the 22nd Infantry Regiment of the Fourth Infantry Division from D Day through V-E Day, and so the author's accounts of the battles had to be like those that my father endured. What brave men! My Dad once told me that his group had 350% casualties, and I certainly can understand how that happened now. I now know so much better what fighting was like in the Hurtgen Forest a...
  • happy
    good look at what a jr officer's experiences during WWII
  • Ryan
    If I could rate this book 6 stars I would. It was one of if not the best book I have ever read. I am obsessed with history and war. The most interesting aspect of war to me is how a normal person could witness so much horror and danger and still be able to execute their mission. This book is a perfect example of how many people simply couldn't handle that and also how the author Lt George Wilson could. This book is written by a true leader who ne...
  • Jerry
    Wilson served with F Company of the 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division, joining about a month after D-Day. His book is an excellent depiction of the Americans at war in the ETO. Wilson was present for the liberation of Paris. He was also on the front lines as a platoon commander for many historic encounters: St. Lo, the Siegfried Line, Hurtgen Forest, and the Battle of the Bulge.Wilson's account doesn't sugar-coat anything. As yo...
  • Dubysa
    Geras kovinukas - asmeniniai kariniai amerikiečių leitenanto, vadovavusio 4 pėst. divizijos kuopai, atsiminimai. Iš savo kuopos, kuri 1944 liepą išsilaipino Normandijoje iki 1945 m. vasario, kai ir jį "susirado" skeveldra, buvo likęs paskutiniu.Daugybė kurioziškų situacijų, kaip pvz., leitenanto kelionė į bataliono štabą, kai"Prieš vieną iš pastatų stoviniavo keli vyrai. Jie nepasivargino paklausti slaptažodžio. Toks apsilei...
  • Mike Harbert
    George Wilson's book is one of the best first person accounts of the war in Northwest Europe that I have ever read. As a young infantry lieutenant in the US Army, Wilson is sent to war as a replacement officer only a few days after the Normandy landings. His regimental commander tells the group of replacement lieutenants that if they survive their first battle he will promote them. Thus begins Wilson's combat journey, which is too intense and div...
  • Danielle
    I'm giving this five stars for the impact it had on me personally. Even without that, it's a solid four-star book. The writing was matter-of-fact; interesting and conversational without wasting my time. The inevitable death, both the senseless and heroic casualties, was handled with due emotion. Unlike Catch 22 and Slaughter-house Five which handled the topic with a kind of numb cynicism, the attitude in this book toward the atrocities of war was...
  • Karen
    This book is a gripping account of a Lieutenant infantryman in Europe during World War II. He relates his experiences of fighting and leading men to war through several major European campaigns including the Battle of the Bulge. This one will make you feel war in the pit of your stomach
  • Nooilforpacifists
    Innocents abroad; get drafted, take France via Saint-Lo, Hurtgen and Bulge, but never make Captain. Good detail.
  • Beatriz
    This book is a good read because it gives a first hand account from a soldier's point of view. It gives glimpse of combat conditions and what life was like. the problem i had with this book was that it had little in-depth discussion of who the people were, with little description was going on around his a well. This book lacks the detail needed to really understand and get emotionally involved with the characters who are in the story.
  • Ido
    A good book overall in that he describes his experiences from Normandy through the Battle of the Bulge in great detail. He definitely brings his story to life and provides a glimpse of the infantry soldier in the American army in World War II that you don't normally see. Typically, the general perspective I've heard is that the average U.S. infantryman was not as effective a fighter as the German infantryman but that was made up through the use o...
  • Jill Ortner
    Right to the pointThis book reads almost like a field report. There is no unnecessary embellishment, just dramatic reporting of the battle action, tactics and movement of the military units. The unmatched determination of the soldiers in some of the most dramatic battles of the last year of combat in the European theater speaks for itself. The author keeps the reader completely captivated with a deft touch.
  • David
    Well done narrative. I'm struck by a point made in another book, which would be that Lt Wilson was probably quite lucky to join the hedgerow fighting AFTER progress had been made in solving the problem of breaking in to the hedgerows. The author seems to be a true professional with all that entails, including a good deal of modesty. He covers a lot of important ground from the Normandy hedgerows through the Battle of the Bulge.
  • Rgauthie
    A well told war memoir. Worth reading, though did not stand out against the others in this class.
  • Louis Barbier
    If You Survive is one of the best first-person accounts of making of a combat veteran. The writer participated in almost every campaign his unit was involved during the assault on fortress Europe, which in the end brought down Hitler and his dream of conquering the world. If you decide to read this true account, which is very well research you will experience the horrors of war. The author states that of all the men and officers who started out i...
  • Maren
    There were some things I really liked about it. It was a firsthand account of the day to day life of a combat soldier and you really get a feel for what it was like. It was accessible and interesting to see it through his eyes. But he was an amateur writer, and he threw around a lot of military terms that I'm only vaguely familiar with. The dealbreaker for me though, was he reflected a lot of the prejudice and racism that although was probably pr...
  • MJ Rephlo
    A good story well toldI enjoyed this personal story from someone who was there on the ground fighting in France and Germany during WW II. I am grateful the author took the time and effort to write about his experiences in such a cogent and thoughtful manner. The book really illustrates the horrific, difficult and brutal nature of war, and the imperfect nature of the military. Thank goodness this nation had men like him to defeat Hitler and to rem...
  • John D. Cornwell
    Damned good read!I've been in combat myself, as a platoon sergeant and a tank commander. Lt. Wilson perfectly tells of the fear, the heartache, the confusion, the stupidity, the frustration and, yes, the heroic of that experience. I recognized and remembered much of that experience. My "enemy" really didn't want to "play," for which I am most grateful, and the Lt. brought home to me what meeting a real enemy could be. I don't know if I, as an age...
  • Tyler
    This book was an entertaining and eye opening experience for me. It was a fast read that didn't waste any time before jumping into the war. The author was an officer during the war so his perspective frequently includes tactical analysis of the battlefields and I felt he was especially good at painting mental maps for the reader. I also really appreciated how Wilson didn't shy away from discussing the psychological tolls war put on the soldiers. ...
  • Mark Rose
    George Wilson piants war.Wilson piants the horrors of ground war like no other. His honest and selfless approach, the truthfulness in story telling and frankness describing action is classic. Thank you Captian for your service. God used you to defeat the enemy, ssve lives and thwart the plans of an evil regime. What the commited US soldier can achieve strikes fear and terror into the heart of the enemy for love of God and country across this eart...
  • John Stieven
    Phenominal read -- fills in many gaps I had in my knowledge from WW II -- highly recommend. That George survived after many close calls just goes to show how "fickle" fate is as some were killed before they even got to the front lines yet he survived 8 months in some of the fiercest fighting there was.
  • Douglas E Dorain
    A fine personal view of the warrior on the front lines !T truly believe that anyone interested in a true and rather honest ... narrative memoir of WW II, in European theater GUNT Officer should read this book. Written straight to the point. There is not much George Wilson softens .
  • Greg Oaster
    Great BookIf you enjoyed band of brothers, you will definitely enjoy this book. Lt. Wilson and Major Winters have a lot in common. Their leadership styles were similar. This was a great read and I always enjoy first person accounts. You get the true essence of combat and leadership.
  • Josh
    After diving into several WWII documentaries this was an excellent memoir of the life of one of the soldiers that went through Europe. A must read if you want to explore the type of life that an infantryman had to live during those terrible times. Also puts a very strong perspective on how most of life’s problems today are so minute.
  • thomas jarvill
    I good I was there book.This a good book. A good first person account of the combat of world war II. It lacks some descriptive details of the action. If you're looking for graphic accounts of battle. This isn't a book for you.
  • Larry Don Block
    Tale of war as seen by a 90-day wonderThe real story of George Wilson a WW2 army officer thrown into the chaos of the Normandy Hedgerow battles as brand-new platoon leader. The story follows his path from Normandy to Germany.
  • Matt Wright
    In a similar vein as "Company Commander" by McDonald, this is a very easy to read memoir by an exceptionally lucky US Army Officer that covers his 15 months in European combat operations during WWII (1944-1945).