Yet no definitive history of his life has been compiled. Wilson Heefner corrects that with the first authoritative biography of this distinguished American military leader. Heefner has undertaken impressive research in primary sources--as well as interviews with family members and former associates--to shed new light on this overlooked hero. He presents Truscott as a soldier who was shaped by his upbringing, civilian and military education, family life, friendships, and evolving experiences as a commander both in and out of combat. Heefner's brisk narrative explores Truscott's career through his three decades in the Army and defines his roles in key operations. It also examines Truscott's postwar role as military governor of Bavaria, particularly in improving living conditions for Jewish displaced persons, removing Nazis from civil government, and assisting in the trials of German war criminals. And it offers the first comprehensive examination of his subsequent career in the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served as senior CIA representative in West Germany during the early days of the Cold War, and later as CIA Director Allen Dulles's deputy director for coordination in Washington.
Dogface Soldier is a portrait of a man who earned a reputation for being honest, forthright, fearless, and aggressive, both as a military officer and in his personal life--a man who, at the dedication ceremony for the Anzio-Nettuno American cemetery in 1945, turned away from the crowd and to the thousands of crosses stretching before him to address those buried there. Heefner has written a definitive biography of a great soldier and patriot.
- ISBN-13: 9780826218827
- ISBN-10: 0826218822
- Publisher: University of Missouri Press
- Publish Date: May 2010
- Page Count: 377
- Reading Level: Ages 14-22
- Dimensions: 9.34 x 6.52 x 1.24 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.68 pounds
Series: American Military Experience (University of Missouri)
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 62.
- Review Date: 2010-03-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Lucian K. Truscott Jr. (1895–1965) was one of America's finest WWII combat commanders, building a reputation second only to George Patton as an inspiring and gifted leader. Today he is remembered only by specialists. Hefner, a retired army colonel and physician turned historian (Patton's Bulldog: The Life and Service of General Walton H. Walter), corrects that by combining extensive archival and printed sources with perceptive analysis. Truscott served in secondary theaters: the Mediterranean and southern France. But from Sicily and Anzio to the 1944 drive up the Rhône valley and the successful concluding of the Italian campaign as 5th Army's commander, Truscott showed comprehensive skills in defense and attack, in amphibious landings and mobile operations. Hefner's Truscott is not a genius, but rather the master of a craft painstakingly studied between the world wars and applied no less painstakingly in combat. He shared the hardships of his men; he drank like a Texan, and a gentleman; he never hesitated to question orders he thought would cost unnecessary casualties. To call him “a faithful and consummate soldier”—as Hefner does in this model general-officer biography—does Truscott no more than justice. 15 illus.; 23 maps. (May)