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Jocko Willink (Founder / Echelon Front)
I Remember the Last War by a guy named Bob Hoffman [...] Again, it’s not always clear that oh, here’s the leadership principle; here’s what you should be doing. No, it’s not always clear like that. But when you understand what people are going through emotionally and you start to get a glimpse at human nature and how people react in certain situations and how their egos flare up, that’s what makes these books good. Because it gives you a frame of reference.
I was phenomenally lucky, so I will tell our story, will try to tell you something of what happened over there. There have been war books written by other men who were better writers than I—more fitted to place what they saw upon the printed page. But I don't believe a book about America's participation in the war has been written by a man who spent days, weeks and months in intensive fighting at or in front of the front, as my comrades and I did. There is nothing beautiful or particularly glorious about this story. I have told it as well as I could, but have been able to give you only a faint idea of the conditions we encountered during the five worst days any unit of the American army experienced in France—the five days of our battle of Fismette. You could fully appreciate its horrors only if you were there. Never was a group of men harder pressed by superior forces of the enemy, or more ill equipped to fight off those attacks than were we. No artillery support during most of the fighting, no trench mortars, no hand or rifle grenades, just a moderate amount of pistol, rifle and machine gun ammunition. No food, proper medical attention, or the opportunity to bury the dead. Our men in that battle, the handful who held the front of the front lines, covered themselves with undying glory. The telling of this story will give a better idea of what we did in France than have other war books I have seen. It tells the unvarnished truth about how we lived, slept, hiked, fought and died over there. There is another generation of men since those distant days of 1918. If this book does its part in showing them the folly, the uselessness, the tragedy of war, I'll feel well repaid for the time I spent in writing it. -Bob Hoffman
This is a 6 by 9 original version, restored and re-formatted edition of Bob Hoffman's 1940 classic. The text remains exactly as written.
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