To Hell And Back

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  1. To Hell and Back
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  3. To Hell and Back: From real life to reel life | Film | The Guardian
  4. To Hell and Back: Real life to reel life

The banter humorous, if a bit corny at times as it has aged over the years. There's no mistaking the action is packed and the story makes you feel like you are ducking bullets in the lines with the squad. Things get tense when you realize blessed Audie is going to make it and you're probably not, in one piece anyway, but at least you're not one of the Germans. Murphy preaches impersonal, unemotional, unhesitating killing, otherwise that one pause may lead you down the wrong path one day, and he is good at it.

At times dispatching Germans so brusquely that it's somewhat disturbing. Audie Murphy was one of those personae that you felt like you always knew who he was. Perhaps that's more for those of the American baby-boomer era. My father would always watch the old Westerns in which Murphy acted and he'd always point out, that's the most decorated GI.

And I remember as a kid watching the movie 'To Hell and Back' in which the reluctant Murphy was talked into playing himself. If you live in Texas, chances are you know someone who knows someone who heard someone else tell them a story about Audie, and it just might be true. If you visit the Capitol building in Austin, it is true that you can see Audie's portrait hanging there. Despite what almost became his full name 'America's most decorated soldier', there is no mention of the medals in his book, no boasting, just a tell it like it was tale, and I wished I'd read it sooner. Aug 10, Zil rated it really liked it Recommends it for: The thing that most set this war story apart from others that I've read is that Murphy neither glorifies nor vindicates the war throughout his memoirs.

The pages trudge on like a road march and seep through with exhaustion and pain peppered with camaraderie that's grimly accepted until it's over. In the Army, we're force-fed the name "Audie Murphy" until we're about sick of it. I was glad to find out that he wasn't a bombastic, self-aggrandizing bastard, to be honest. He was just a normal joe i The thing that most set this war story apart from others that I've read is that Murphy neither glorifies nor vindicates the war throughout his memoirs. He was just a normal joe in extraordinary circumstances.

Sep 19, Fred rated it it was amazing Shelves: Being the author and actor of the same title is great. It concentrates on the Platoon's growing mature, descriptions of battles and soldiers surviving injuries. Audie Murphy rises from private to lieutenant dealing with "brother" loses Brandon, Errigan, Novak, Swope and more. Dec 07, Justin Roberts rated it it was amazing.

This book is what made me start reading WW2 history and military books. Aug 14, Chris Watson rated it liked it. Audey Murphy was always a brave soldier. He began with weigh-the-odds courage, but ended up acting like what can best be described as a 'beserker'. He was first in action after Salerno, and was a gallant soldier. During the Italian campaign a lot of friends and comrades were killed, the Anzio beachhead being the worst place.

He even fell in love with a nurse at Anzio who was blown to bits by Anzio Annie.

To Hell and Back

By the time of the Allied invasion of Southern France, he had begun to 'lose Spoiler alert By the time of the Allied invasion of Southern France, he had begun to 'lose it'. He was convinced he was going to die, and was filled with hate and rage for the Germans. Of his two most fabulous exploits; in the first, his last remaining buddy from Italy was killed right next to him by a German machine gun. Murphy then became enraged, ran up a hill, directly at the machine gun position - the Germans presumably too surprised to react.

He killed the crew of the weapon, then made his way along the German position, killing the Germans with their own HMG. He basically wiped out a platoon or so of dug-in Germans, which is a pretty impressive feat. But the next one went beyond even that. His unit was attacked by a larger German force - I think it was a regiment.

Outnumbered, they retreated, but Murphy stayed behind, took up position in a burning tank tank destroyer actually , alternating between calling in artillery strikes using the vehicle's radio, and using its machine gun to fire on the Germans. The Germans couldn't work out where the firing was coming from, because they never imagined someone could be inside a burning tank that could blow sky high at any moment! This action ended up with him calling in artillery fire right on top his own position!

So he clearly had a death wish. The Germans were forced to retreat; this is the one he won the Congressional Medal of Honour for. All of this from an year old kid! He suffered terrible shell shock and psychological trauma after the war. The book he co-wrote is very honest; there's no glorification or melodrama, and he describes his mental state very frankly. It's a real glimpse into what it means to experience battle; and a fascinating study of the state of mind we the guys we call heroes.

May 13, Ray Pierson rated it it was amazing. I've read and re-read this book many times. For several years I worked with a fellow who had been a scout in Murphy's platoon Irv Tischler and who was present when Murphy intiated the action that led to his Medal of Honor. Anyone with any sense, Tischler said, got up and ran in the opposite direction. Murphy was convinced that nothing would ever happen to him, and he was almost right. A number of times he was the sole survivor or sole officer survivor of incidents that killed everyone else. Dec 02, Bon Tom rated it it was amazing.

I'll have to go back and reduce a star for some other war memoirs, because this one is on another level. That's how good it is. Actually, it's right there with Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer, almost a twin book. One man surviving against all odds on Allied side, the other fighting for Germans. This one has its own specialty though: Insane amounts of humor interspersed with tragedies of war. There's so much wisecracking lines documented from soldiers, one comes to think war is one hell of a catal I'll have to go back and reduce a star for some other war memoirs, because this one is on another level.


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There's so much wisecracking lines documented from soldiers, one comes to think war is one hell of a catalyst for stand up comedians. I found myself laughing out loud several times. If those dialogues and monologues really happened, the humor must be kind of a defense mechanism that enables the mind to hold on to the last traces of sanity. Otherwise, it's damn easy to go down the road to what the soldiers in this book ironically call "battlefield happy" state. This is great book.

TO HELL AND BACK

Thinking about how good of a movie script the whole book would be, I just found there's indeed a movie of the same title, with Murphy in the role of himself, from ! Can this day get any better? Jul 23, Connie rated it really liked it. Growing up I remember watching Audie Murphy Westerns with my Dad and had no idea of his life before becoming a movie star.

That changed when as a teenager I watched "To Hell and Back" and found out that this was his own story! He was the most decorated soldier of WW2. It had been on my wish list ever since. I recently read this book and it was interesting to read of the war from his perspective. When all of his friends, one by one, are killed you can see why soldiers retreat and isolate themselv Growing up I remember watching Audie Murphy Westerns with my Dad and had no idea of his life before becoming a movie star.


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  • When all of his friends, one by one, are killed you can see why soldiers retreat and isolate themselves from making new friends. In those days there was no diagnosis of PTS Syndrome, they called it shell shock. Sadly he was killed in a plane crash while only in his 40's. Jan 14, Kristen rated it it was amazing Shelves: I loved this book.

    Sometimes I would stop enjoying it as a well written story and remember that this was an auto-biography. When one of the guys killed his good friend by accident it was heart wrenching. The way that these men are so close, honest, and crude when death is always at hand, is a side of life we rarely live. Audie is witty and the characters are incredibly colorful and real. View all 4 comments. Jan 24, Brandon rated it really liked it.

    Really different from any other war book I've read. It's all first person, reads more like a series of extended journal entries. There's no backstory, no history, no maps. You're just there, experiencing the war day to day with Audie Murphy. Makes you really appreciate the soldiers that went through this and other wars, and very thankful that I haven't had to.

    Jun 04, Chanda rated it it was amazing. I looked him up and was intruigued. He was the most decorated soldier of WWII. This is his biography and reads like a war movie. I couldn't put it down. I can't believe people can experience those kinds of things and move on. Jan 13, Joe rated it really liked it. This is an excellent depiction of what a Soldier and a leader experience in combat, and it comes from the best. If you're going to read any autobiographies or first-hand accounts of war, then read this one.

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    Apr 16, Margaret rated it liked it Shelves: You get a real sense of what it is like to be in the midst of war. Sometimes I felt that it read more like a movie script than a memoir but then it gave the book life. Aug 16, Christopher Taylor rated it it was amazing. Every so often you find a book that stands above most of the rest you read. I've been trying to go back and read older books that I missed or should have by now in my life, and for the most part great books are great no matter how old they are. But some are simply exceptional, and this is one of those books.


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    • Both hilarious and deeply tragic, fascinating and awful, Audie Murphy's account is very well written and engaging. Its one of those books I read slowly, to savor as opposed to ripped through Every so often you find a book that stands above most of the rest you read. Its one of those books I read slowly, to savor as opposed to ripped through because they are so fun I can't wait for the next page.

      Murphy is incredibly humble and even goes so far as to credit one of his fellow soldiers for a poem he apparently wrote. His accounts of his jaw-dropping heroics come across not as heroics or even jaw-dropping but grim and in the moment, simply someone doing what they had to do often in a moment of madness. His book is written more as a testimony and honor to the friends and soldiers he served with, to their quiet courage, their raw heroism, and their strength in almost unbelievable adversity.

      Sometimes it is hard to believe such men could have ever existed, but they were commonplace in the fight against the Axis. Men who did what they had to do, no matter how tired, awful, terrified, or empty they felt. Men who were there and did what was right at all costs. The interplay between the different characters is simply amazing, often gut busting. Murphy's often unflattering, unflinching portrayal of himself is similarly amazing. I recommend this book to everyone. Nov 13, Cindy rated it really liked it Shelves: Audie Murphy was a poor farm boy from a little dirt town in Texas.

      His mom died when he was young and his dad took off. He scrambled a living until war broke out and he wanted to sign up. Too skinny to be a Marine, too short for a paratrooper, he finally got taken on in the infantry. They shipped him off to North Africa, but by then, most of the fighting was over. So he didn't get in on the war until Italy, but he made up for lost time once he was there. He was wounded several times, but kept ru Audie Murphy was a poor farm boy from a little dirt town in Texas. He was wounded several times, but kept running off from the hospital to rejoin his unit.

      This is a raw book, not necessarily full of profanity exactly, but lots of talk about VD and that's not V-Day, either , chasing women, killing, and getting drunk.

      To Hell and Back: From real life to reel life | Film | The Guardian

      It also feels very real. The copy I read has a rather lurid cover, but I'm glad I didn't let that put me off. I couldn't help but feel like I was right in the middle of the fighting. This is going to be another top read of the year. May 13, Doug DePew rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone interested in military history or memoirs. I've seen the movie many times, but I only recently bought the book. It always amazed me watching him on-screen realizing he really did these things.

      Many of the characters in the book seem like stereotypes. They were all real. Much of this book would seem cliche being written today. What we have to keep in mind is the fact that most stereotypes began as types. The reason these characters appear in so much fiction about war is because they appeared in the reality of Audie Murphy's war. Writers and film makers have copied Audie Murphy's story repeatedly over the years. He set the standard. I don't think any book has ever been written that better captures what war feels like from the perspective of the men fighting it.

      There isn't a whole lot I can add to what's already been said. I will only say that this is a book that should be read by anyone with an interest in World War II or the men who fought it. I recommend it highly. Apr 23, Joel rated it really liked it Shelves: Audie painted himself as a self-righteous punk early on in the book, likely with the point of contrasting how the war changed his outlook, his demeanor, and his attitude.

      His fearlessness and loyalty to his fellow soldiers was as amazing as any stories I've heard, and as far as I know these stories have been regarded as true. The writing was decent, the story fantastic, and a much more 'real' look behind our lines in the war. Not focusing quite as much on the terrible aspects of the war as other Audie painted himself as a self-righteous punk early on in the book, likely with the point of contrasting how the war changed his outlook, his demeanor, and his attitude. Not focusing quite as much on the terrible aspects of the war as other books, yet pushing across a very vivid picture of just how bad it was for our soldiers, as well as for the German soldiers and civilians.

      To Hell and Back: Real life to reel life

      A good read, one any military history fan should have already consumed. Apr 10, Shaleen rated it it was amazing Shelves: The scales of war bravery humbles you. If you believe in books that will change the way you see the world, this book is right among them. It is a story of a transformation of a baby faced infantry soldier, slowed down by a malaria bout, to a battle hardened trigger happy veteran who sees no honour in a dead body, believes war to be an extended mexican standoff where the trick is to be the first one to pull the trigger.

      Three hundred and forty seven frigging germans. If I could quantify what one ca The scales of war bravery humbles you. If I could quantify what one can contribute for their country, I would consider myself immensely proud of myself if I could do a ten thousandth of what he did. Oct 26, Joseph Wengerd rated it really liked it.

      The story is filled with action throughout with occasional reflections on the nature war and the men who serve. I would have liked to learn more background information about Murphy and his comrades to help connect more with those fighting. Apr 29, Michael rated it really liked it. Started out okay, but after getting used to the style of righting mostly in the first person , I really enjoyed it.

      The author wrote of his and his units exploits in a very unassuming way, never blowing his horn, but always mentioning the exploits of others in the unit when with him. A leader that lived his leadership, always looking out and giving credit to his men. May 30, Bill Largent rated it really liked it. Very good WW II journal written in You will appreciate all of those who served in keeping the United States free.

      If you are not grateful when finished reading you don't appreciate your own freedom. Mar 18, Mgsmith rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: American history, World War 2 fans, Those interested in Heroes. The story of a man who wanted to do what he could for his country. After the Allied breakout of Operation Shingle, Murphy eventually receives a battlefield commission in the rank of second lieutenant. The action for which Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor is depicted near the end of the film.

      In January , near Holtzwihr , France, Murphy's company is forced to retreat in the face of a fierce German attack. However, Murphy remains behind, at the edge of a forest, to direct artillery fire on the advancing enemy infantry and armor. As the Germans close on his position, Murphy jumps onto an abandoned M4 Sherman tank he actually performed this action atop an M10 tank destroyer and uses its. Although wounded and dangerously exposed to enemy fire, Murphy single-handedly turns back the German attack, thereby saving his company. After a period of hospitalization, he is returned to duty.

      The film concludes with Murphy's Medal of Honor ceremony shortly after the war ends, as Murphy remembers Kovak, Johnson and Brandon, who were killed in action. When Universal-International picked up the film rights to Audie Murphy's book, he initially declined to play himself, recommending instead Tony Curtis , with whom he had previously worked in three Westerns , Sierra , Kansas Raiders and The Cimarron Kid. However, producer Aaron Rosenberg and director Jesse Hibbs convinced Audie to star in the picture, despite the fact the year-old Murphy would be portraying himself as he was at ages 17— Originally, several generals who served in World War II were considered to perform the voiceover opening for the movie, among them Maxwell D.

      The date of the premiere was also the tenth anniversary of Murphy's army discharge at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Reviews from critics were generally positive, with Murphy receiving good notices for his performance. Weiler of The New York Times wrote that Murphy "lends stature, credibility and dignity to an autobiography that would be routine and hackneyed without him. Fighting or funning, they are believable. The war action shown is packed with thrills and suspense. Coe of The Washington Post was positive, writing that Murphy "brings an emotional poignancy that stems partly from our knowledge that he did these daring, unbelievable acts of courage and partly from the skill he has achieved as an actor.

      However, the events described in the picture have a factitious air about them. Maybe the spontaneity of actual heroism just can't be duplicated in the movies. Commonplace, 'B' picture direction and a reliance on familiar Service types make the lavishly staged battle scenes appear monotonous, confused, and, at the climax—with Murphy wiping out scores of the enemy singlehanded—not a little ridiculous.

      The film was a huge commercial success, further advancing Murphy's film career. Army foot soldiers, " dogface ". Many of the battle scenes were reused in the Universal film The Young Warriors. Murphy tried to make a sequel called The Way Back dealing with his post-war life but could never get a script that could attract finance.

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Davis as British Soldier uncredited. Retrieved June 25, Retrieved 8 November To Hell and Back. Henry Holt and Co. The New York Times: The Monthly Film Bulletin. Archived from the original on Murphy Memorial VA Hospital. To Hell and Back Film. Films directed by Jesse Hibbs.