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Darby's Rangers: We Led the Way by William…

Darby's Rangers: We Led the Way

by William O. Darby

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(posted on my blog: davenichols.net)

The story of Darby's Rangers, an elite group of specially-trained US Army soldiers which took part in Operation Torch in Africa, Operation Husky in Sicily, and the invasion of Italy during WWII, is one well-deserving of a comprehensive retelling. This version of that story is largely the result of a first-draft style set of notes and interviews conducted with Bill Darby, the leader of these Rangers, just before his death in combat in Italy.

The experiences of these rangers, from going ashore in North Africa and driving the invasion of Sicily, and on to the difficult and oftej disastrous days in mainland Italy, are fascinating military history, and show how an elite unit can take on and accomplish important missions. However, this version, which features a brief introduction to each chapter by its coauthors providing background and context to Darby's text, remains very raw and does not offer a robust, colorful treatment of the subject.

To be fair, Darby's text was never expected to go to print in this format, and given that it would usually have gone through many revisions and improvements before publication under normal circumstances, the cohesion is reasonable and readable. Still, compared to most popular military history memoirs on the market, it falls flat in many ways. It is a decent read and an important history to take in, but don't expect to be blown away by the pace or narrative. Three stars. ( )
  IslandDave | Dec 2, 2009 |
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To the Rangers who gave their lives for their country
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William Darby was born 9 February 1911 and grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas; his family had been part of the nineteenth-century westward migration.
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