The Crash of Ruin : American Combat Soldiers in Europe during World War II

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The Crash of Ruin : American Combat Soldiers in Europe during World War II

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  • 製本 Paperback:紙装版/ペーパーバック版
  • 言語 ENG,ENG
  • 商品コード 9780814798072
  • DDC分類 940

Full Description


In the ruined Europe of World War II, American soldiers on the front lines had no eye for breathtaking vistas or romantic settings. The brutality of battle profoundly darkened their perceptions of the Old World. As the only means of international travel for the masses, the military exposed millions of Americans to a Europe in swift, catastrophic decline. Drawing on soldiers' diaries, letters, poems, and songs, Peter Schrijvers offers a compelling account of the experiences of U.S. combat ground forces: their struggles with the European terrain and seasons, their confrontations with soldiers, and their often startling encounters with civilians. Schrijvers relays how the GIs became so desensitized and dehumanized that the sight of dead animals often evoked more compassion than the sight of enemy dead. The Crash of Ruin concludes with a dramatic and moving account of the final Allied offensive into German-held territory and the soldiers' bearing witness to the ultimate symbol of Europe's descent into ruin--the death camps of the Holocaust.The harrowing experiences of the GIs convinced them that Europe's collapse was not only the result of the war, but also the Old World's deep-seated political cynicism, economic stagnation, and cultural decadence. The soldiers came to believe that the plague of war formed an inseparable part of the Old World's decline and fall.

Table of Contents

Dedication                                         v
Abbreviations ix
List of Endnote Abbreviations x
Preface xi
Acknowledgements xiii
Part I Nature
Nature 3 (26)
Earth 4 (2)
Vegetation 6 (3)
Light and Darkness 9 (3)
The Seasons 12 (17)
Summer 12 (2)
Autumn 14 (4)
Winter 18 (4)
Spring 22 (7)
Part II The Soldiers
The Soldiers - Introduction 29 (2)
The Allies 31 (19)
The British 32 (9)
The French 41 (9)
The Enemies 50 (53)
The Italians 50 (6)
The Germans 56 (47)
The Ghost from the Past 57 (5)
The Valiant Foe 62 (10)
The Fiendish Foe 72 (12)
The Burned-Out Foe 84 (19)
Part III The Civilians
The Civilians - Introduction 103 (6)
The Labyrinth of Nations 109 (40)
Great Britain 109 (6)
French North Africa 115 (5)
Sicily and Italy 120 (4)
France 124 (7)
The Low Countries 131 (6)
Belgium 131 (4)
The Netherlands 135 (2)
Germany 137 (9)
Austria 146 (1)
Czechoslovakia 147 (2)
The Limits of Communication 149 (42)
The Language Barrier 149 (7)
The Quest for Food 156 (8)
The Need for Tobacco and Alcohol 164 (7)
The Aid to the Sick 171 (3)
The Attraction to Children 174 (3)
The Longing for Women 177 (14)
The Totality of War 191 (27)
The Civilian Intrusion 191 (4)
The Encroachment of Battle 195 (11)
The Natural Environment 195 (3)
The Civilian World 198 (8)
The Perversion of Tourism 206 (12)
The Old World 218 (33)
The Weight of Age 218 (3)
The Constraints of Space 221 (1)
The Shackles of Tyranny 222 (5)
Stagnation ... 227 (6)
... And Decline 233 (18)
Part IV The Apocalypse
The Apocalypse 251 (14)
The Strange 251 (1)
The Genocide 252 (5)
The Horsemen of the Apocalypse 257 (8)
The American Victors 258 (2)
The Soviet Victors 260 (5)
Epilogue 265 (3)
Notes 268 (40)
Bibliography 308 (14)
Index 322