3 June 2012
Audie Murphy: To Hell and Back Book Report
Lt. Audie L. Murphy’s name stands as one of the most prominent in American military history. He was a figurehead of leadership and the epitome of the seven Army Values (Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage). He was a model for every soldier to follow, one that overcame every odd that was ever against him and rose to conquer every challenge. In his personal memoir “To Hell and Back”, he expressed a very personal view of what it takes to embody these characteristics which would eventually encourage anyone who reads it. In the next few paragraphs I will expound on his leadership and analyze what it really takes to be a leader.
His autobiography oddly starts off not in the humble beginnings of a poor sharecropper from Hunt County, Texas. Rather it starts where he was most suited, on the battlefield. Having spent months in Third Infantry Division in N. Africa (Casablanca, Morocco) training for his big break into the war, he finally got it in the form of orders for his Division to participate in the assault on Sicily on July 10, 1943 and eventually into Italy to drive German forces further to the rear. He expressed every emotion of excitement that a young proud warrior would express entering into battle, but soon these emotions would be replaced with coldness and fear. Nevertheless he rose above every emotion to rise to every occasion and do what was needed. During his assault on Sicily and the main Italian peninsula he made his first kill. As two Italian officers attempted to escape on horseback he let off two deadly shots, killing both of them. Having carved great marksmanship skills hunting as a young child and building great work ethic from picking cotton, plowing, and garage work, he had been molded for this specific purpose. Throughout the beginning of this book he has several flashbacks alluding to the foundation of his...