Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat, 1945

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Random House, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 176 pages
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Many narrative accounts of men in combat during World War II have conveyed the horrors and emotions of warfare. However, not many reveal in such an intimate way the struggle of innocent youth to adapt to the primitive code of "kill or be killed," to transform from lads into combat soldiers.
"Another River, Another Town is the story of John P. Irwin, a teenage tank gunner whose idealistic desire to achieve heroism is shattered by the incredibly different view of life the world of combat demands. He comes to the realization that the realm of warfare has almost nothing in common with the civilian life from which he has come.
The interminable fighting, dirt, fatigue, and hunger make the war seem endless. In addition to the killing and destruction on the battlefield, Irwin and his crew are caught up in the unbelievable depravity they encounter at Nordhausen Camp, where slave laborers are compelled to work themselves to death manufacturing the infamous V-rockets that have been causing so much destruction in London, and that are expected one day to devastate Washington, D.C.
At the end of the war, the sense of victory is, for these men, overshadowed by the intense joy and relief they experience in knowing that the fighting is at last over.

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ANOTHER RIVER, ANOTHER TOWN: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The last days of WWII in Europe as seen—deftly, and not without its measure of absurdity—from inside a Sherman tank, by its gunner.The Battle of the Bulge created a need for personnel in the Allied ... Read full review


The Education of a Hero
First Lessons
Closing the Rose Pocket

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About the author (2002)

John P. Irwin was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, in 1926, and enlisted in the army in August 1944. He was honorably discharged in July 1946 and went on to Ursinus College in 1952, eventually earning his Ph.D. in philosophy from Syracuse University. He taught philosophy at Lock Haven University from 1964 until his retirement in 1990. He lives in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.

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