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  • By Robert Laplander
    Apr 12, 2009
    "A truly memorable read..." As a historian and author of the First World War, I have read more than my share of books on the subject; many, many of them personal accounts. And while they all tell their story with as much truth and brutal detail as the writer was able (often only given within their state of mind in considering what they experienced), I found "They Called Us Devil Dogs" to be among the most frank and brutally honest accounts I have ever read. There are no frills here, no flag waving, no political pronouncements - just the simple, straight forward description of a man that went to hell, somehow lived through it, and then came back to tell the tale. His desription of his company crossing their portion of the wheat field before Belleau Wood that morning of June 6th 1918 is every bit as direct and stark as anything Captain John Thomason ever wrote - or anyone else for that matter - as is the description of him holding his dead buddies mangled corpse... I... More > have been to France several times, the last being in November 2005, and I have traveled and studied the battlefields there extensively. This of course includes Belleau Wood. Taking "They Called Us Devil Dogs" with me this last trip proved a a better than terrific idea. There is a special feeling in occupying the spot where great - or terrible - events happened; in knowing what took place right there on and around the ground you occupy. Climbing into some of the very spots the author wrote about (most especially his battalion HQ and the spot where he dressed his wounds) left me with an even deeper respect for what the Marines that came before me did. In my hotel room in Verdun the next night I read the book through again, for a third time. Already I was planning where I would go to find the 'author's ground' on my next trip to Belleau. This is a simple book that should not be missed - by anyone. Get it and read it, and truly realize what the 'Devil Dogs' of WW1 went through. You will not be disappointed. Robert J. Laplander Author of, 'Finding the Lost Battalion: Beyond the Rumors, Myths and Legends of America's Famous WW1 Epic'< Less
  • By Byron Scarbrough
    Nov 20, 2007
    "They Called Us Devil Dogs" This is the story of Jim Scarbrough, a Tennessean, who was working in Cincinnati, Ohio when war was declared in April 1917. It is told by his grandson, Byron, from Jim’s letters home and modest tape interviews that his father had sense enough to record before the passing of Jim to his reward. Undoubtedly, there was also some personal recollections by both son and grandson. It is another of those personal accounts by the fighting personnel of the 4th Marine Brigade that we World War One Marine aficionados relish. We, our happy group, that realize that modern USMC history began in 1917 and nearly ended in 1920. That was a time when the Corps came of age. Its personnel expanded at least five times and created a whole new breed of warriors. No longer concerned with machete wielding island natives, but rather with 88mm artillery shells and splashes of Maxim’s covering every solid inch of any battlefield they dominated. It took a very thin man to slid... More > through without losing his way forever. The personnel of the Corps managed, through those dark and miserable days of the 20's and 30's to hold on and become the "darlings" of amphibious warfare in the 1940's. Scarbrough has told a valuable story, the book is covered with details of Jim’s personal memories of life experiences. It is also well covered with selected photos, many from the family’s collection, others including famous personages whom Jim came into contact with. Examples abound, but one may interest you WWII Marine vets: MGS Leland "Lou" Diamond, another valued member of the company. There are many scenes from the battlefields in France. The story is extremely well-told by Byron. He is interested in making a career of writing, as well he should. It begins in Cincinnati and ends with Jim's trips back to the cemeteries where many of his comrades remained interred so many years after the war. His impressions of "Paris Island" which of course was its correct name in 1917-1919, are fun. The best part of the book, for me, are the many references to individuals. His memory included hundreds of his comrades and he tells their story as well as his own. Little things that the ordinary privates would find memorable and so infrequently get incorporated in a general history. I maintain that history is the biography of people. The book is softcover with 200 pages and has numerous photos.If you are interested in the Corps, its history, its personnel and are will to spend a little for that privilege, you will get many valuable and pleasant hours of reading from "They Called Us Devil Dogs." Good Reading George B. Clark (for Leatherneck Magazine) Here are some of the other things readers had to say about They Called Us Devil Dogs: Received the book last Thursday and finished reading the same day. Enjoyed reading what it was like to be a Marine during the WW1 era, lots of information that made you feel like you were there. Excellent, easy read. Great book. I didn’t plan on it for tonight, but I read the whole book. The story is excellent, you wrote it in a way that you get a glimpse into the man’s soul. Job well done! Jim Scarbrough was a Hell of a Man in a hell of a situation!< Less
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Product Details

Byron Scarbrough
July 26, 2006
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.82 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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