Read We Were Innocents: An Infantryman in Korea by William D. Dannenmaier Online


Known as the Forgotten War, the police action in Korea resulted in almost as many American combat deaths in three years as the Vietnam War did in ten Yet for many Americans today, the Korean War brings to mind nothing than the television series M.A.S.H William Dannenmaier served in Korea with the U.S Army from December 1952 to January 1954, first as a radioman and then as a radio scout with the Fifteenth Infantry Regiment Eager to serve a cause in which he fervently believed the safeguarding of South Korea from advancing Chinese Communists he enlisted in the army with an innocence that soon evaporated His letters from the front, most of them to his sister, Ethel, provide a springboard for his candid and wry observations of the privations, the boredom, and the devastation of infantry life At the same time these letters, designed to disguise the true danger of his tasks and his dehumanizing circumstances, reflect a growing failure to communicate with those outside the combat situation Woven through the letters is Dannenmaier s narrative account of his combat experiences, including a vivid re creation of the bloody battle for Outpost Harry, which he describes as trivial and insignificant except to the men who fought it A high intensity, eight day battle for a hill American forces would abandon three months later with the signing of the truce, Outpost Harry was largely ignored by the press despite heavy casualties and many official citations for heroism From his vantage point as an Everyman, Dannenmaier describes the frustration of men on the front lines who never saw their commanding superiors, the exhaustion of soldiers whose long promised leaves never materialized, the transitory friendships and shared horrors that left indelible memories Endangered by minefields and artillery fire, ground down by rumors and constant tension, these men returned if they returned at all profoundly and irrevocably changed This intimate, revealing memoir, a rare account by a common soldier, is a tribute to the Americans who served in a conflict that has only recently begun to gain a place in official public memory....

Title : We Were Innocents: An Infantryman in Korea
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0252024494
Format Type : Hardcover
Language : English
Publisher : University of Illinois Press 1St Edition edition February 1, 1999
Number of Pages : 230 pages
File Size : 995 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

We Were Innocents: An Infantryman in Korea Reviews

  • Tom L. Huffman
    2019-04-26 20:14

    First, this book is very well written and an enjoyable read. Dr. Dannenmaier's style is informal and engaging. It also offers a very good description of the many petty aspects of military life: the pointless regimentation, the boredom, the friendship, and the physical discomfort and depravation.

  • J. Dillon
    2019-05-05 19:11

    Great read!!

  • Malcolm Muir, Jr. (
    2019-04-29 19:02

    The Korean War has sometimes been labelled the "Forgotten War," lying as it does between the titanic conflict of World War II and the contentious struggle in Vietnam. For many Americans today, the term "Korean War" only brings to mind episodes from the television series MASH--a fact deeply resented by veterans of this savage fight that cost almost as many American combat deaths in three years as the Vietnam War did in ten. True, within the past few years, the Korean War has begun to creep back into the public eye. From the belated dedication in the nation's capital of a Korean War memorial to a spate of books and a (most controversial) television series, the conflict is finally attracting attention as a watershed event in its own right. It remains the only occasion since 1945 in which the armies of two great powers have met on the battlefield. It is filled with military drama (e.g. the destruction of Task Force Smith; the United Nations drive to the Yalu) and an extraordinary cast of characters, such as Harry Truman, Douglas MacArthur, and Matthew Ridgway. Largely missing from the recent literature has been the story of the soldier, sailor, and airman--an absence all the more curious because one of the most prominent trends in recent military history has been a sharpened focus on the human being confronting the chaos of war. It is here that William Dannenmaier's manuscript promises to make a decided contribution. Based largely on letters that Dannenmaier wrote to family members during the conflict, the memoir skillfully weaves these primary documents with the author's later analysis to make an account that is often captivating in its immediacy and thought-provoking in its reflectiveness. A highlight at one end of this spectrum is the author's riveting description of the brutal fight for Outpost Harry. In the broader sphere, the author's observations on the reaction of fighting men to the challenges of combat and to the incredibly harsh environment present the reader with certain eternal verities. The fact that Dannenmaier's comrades came from a society that seemed largely unconcerned with or even dismissive of them --when coupled with the reality that even their own army was all too often indifferent to their fate--adds poignancy to this story. Transparently honest, occasionally touching, and frequently humorous, "The Korean War: A Citizen-Soldier's Reality" is war literature of a high order.

  • None
    2019-05-20 22:16

    Bravo!!! This is one good book. At one time I read a lot of the 'my personal point of view' vietnam books and this is better than those. They all had a discernable 'hook' or angle which was entertaining but also tried to masquerade as substance and didn't quite pull it off. Dannenmaier's story is substance. Innocents is a simple and straightforward account of a real experience in war and it rings so true.... I am not so much impressed as thankful for the enlightenment of this experience - one I came close to but didn't have.

  • Amazon Customer
    2019-05-17 20:46

    This book gave me information about my husband's tour of duty in Korea that he never shared with me. I have been lucky to become a friend of the author.

  • Michael M. McKone
    2019-05-20 20:04

    Having read several Civil War, World War II and Vietnam autobiographies (e.g Seven Roads to Hell) I found this one to be among the best. Easy to read and interesting from beginning to end. I wholeheartedly give it 5 stars and recommend it for any history buff.

  • Eugene Gorbacz
    2019-05-24 22:54

    Fantastic book.I passed this book to a friend and he loved it as much as i did.I would love talkimg to the author.