By Leon C. Standifer
In his hugely acclaimed Not in Vain, Leon C. Standifer stated his reports as a small-town Mississippi boy who at age nineteen came across himself scuffling with as a strive against infantryman in international conflict II France and Germany. Binding up the Wounds incorporates the tale past V-E Day to explain what the writer observed, heard, felt, and realized as a member of the yank profession military within the fatherland of its defeated enemy.
Standifer, who served within the 94th Infantry department in western Germany, the Sudetenland, and Bavaria within the first yr of profession, chronicles that distinctive and chaotic time from the point of view of a regular GI. Germany was once an epic panorama of human want, and towns lay in ruins. however the warfare used to be over, mild and laughter have been once more attainable, and, as Standifer remembers, "we had a ball in the course of that first year." one of the issues he skilled or witnessed have been black-market operations huge and small (American cigarettes served as a common foreign money, and some oz. of mess-hall grease or used espresso grounds have been worthwhile commodities); the spectacle of gung-ho officials trying to flip wrestle troops into spit-and-polish paraders; the exploitive video games performed among American squaddies and German girls; a gut-wrenching stopover at to a displaced people camp; and the problems inquisitive about guarding captured infantrymen who have been not the enemy.
Perhaps so much revealing, and infrequently superb, are the attitudes Standifer found between usual Germans towards the conflict, the Nazis, the "Hitler occasions" in general-not simply through the career, but additionally many years later whilst he revisited Germany and spoke with aged survivors of these occasions. For there are fairly voices telling the story of Binding Up the Wounds. One is that of the combat-hardened yet differently naive twenty-year-old who lived the stories. the opposite is that of the writer as retired university professor in retrospect over part a century and perplexing out what these studies intended for himself, for the US, and for humankind.
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Extra resources for Binding Up the Wounds: An American Soldier in Occupied Germany, 1945--1946
The new jacket was also called the "Eisenhower jacket" because General Eisenhower had proposed it be issued to combat units as warm clothing similar to the British "battle jacket" and the German general-purpose tunic. Page 8 The idea of its being used in combat had not gone over well because the troops, wanting to have a good dress uniform, were drawing jackets that fitted too tightly for the demands of the field. The combat boot had a similar history. Originally proposed for combat use under wet conditions to reduce the risk of trench foot, the boots proved to be a disaster with respect to wet feet but were prized by troops as part of a dress uniform.
Growing up in Clinton, Mississippi, I had heard countless stories of the occupation after the Civil War. On summer nights when it was too hot to sleep, the neighbors would all gather on the Pattersons' big front porch, where you could sometimes catch a breeze. We kids would be lying on quilts. I don't remember any exciting tales being told on those hot, humid nights, just the old-time, hand-me-down stories. "I remember Grandma Mills telling about when the damnyankees first came into Leake County.
Bill Henry saw what was happening and suggested that I might want to walk around town with him. Bill was an old friend who had joined First Platoon when I did. He had been transferred to company headquarters after the fighting at Nennig. When Captain Warren took over, he needed a messenger who knew the company well and was reliable under any conditions. Lieutenant Westmoreland recommended Bill as the best man for the job. During the next two months of hard combat, Bill was Warren's messenger, bodyguard, and companion.