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Publisher's Summary

As a newly commissioned captain of a veteran US Army regiment, MacDonald's first combat experience was war at its most hellish - the Battle of the Bulge.

In this plainspoken but eloquent narrative, we live each minute at MacDonald's side, sharing in all of combat's misery, terror, and drama. How this green commander gains his men's loyalty in the snows of war-torn Europe is one of the most unforgettable war stories of all time.

©1947 Charles B. MacDonald (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Company Commander

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Real Look At Combat Command

Excellent book on what war is like on a Company level . Honestly told, warts and all. Captain MacDonald saves the best for the last two chapters. I have read other books that describe the effect of the end of the war but the emotion of how the troops felt when they liberated towns made me feel a pride in those troops that transcends the "thank you for your service " comments of today. Very well communicated.

Triston Morris did a very good reading. Doubt it could have been improved upon by anyone else.

4 people found this helpful

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Bad Bad Bad editing

I don't know how so many first and second takes wound up being recorder. But to make the final cut with double lines, so many I lost count, is unreal.

3 people found this helpful

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Inspirational, same as Band of Brothers

I read this book 50 some years ago, before I joined the USMC and became a rifle platoon commander and then a rifle company commander, so when I listened to it this time the words seemed just as fresh today as it did then, but this time I knew them to be true. I would recommend this to anyone thinking of accepting a commission in any of the uniformed service but especially into one of the combat components. Especially noteworthy are his observations on officer-enlisted dynamics. While you can never be their friend, you can and should treat them with respect and dignity, and look out for their welfare--and they will look out for yours. One thing I noticed this time around is how similar in context it was to the Band of Brothers, though it pre-dated BofB (1947 v 1990), and maybe a bit more home-spun and less polished, but even more than the literary comparison is that while the 506th Parachute Infantry of the storied 101st Airborne Division was an elite unit, the 23rd Infantry of the 2nd Division was just a regular grunt outfit with no pretensions to elite status, but the sacrifices, the attention to duty and the sheer elan was every bit as great as any Airborne Unit. Both books are about a single infantry company, fighting in the same theater, even the same terrain, and while the 101st gained much glory as the Battling Bastards of Bastogne, the 2nd ID held the flank of the "Bulge" and prevented the expansion of the German Offensive, with a lot less fanfare, but with just as much effectiveness (at several points the company even had to resort to searching the dead for ammunition in order to hold their positions). In the final analysis Companies E and I of the 23rd Infantry was every bit as "elite" as Company E of the 506th Parachute Infantry, and they had a Medal of Honor winner and the Regiment was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation to boot!

3 people found this helpful

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Small unit combat

Narration is clear although rhythm does not vary, rather sing song. Tenor tonality incompatible with gravity of descriptions.

Much interesting detail and descriptions of small unit combat.

I find it incongruous to hear vivid descriptions of combat spoken by narrator whose voice is that of an adolescent. If that does not bother you then this is a fine selection.

2 people found this helpful

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Great book if you have an interest in WWII!

It was all about the GI’s learning how to deal with a new commander and he them.

2 people found this helpful

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Worth your time

This is a very moving record of two infantry companies during the last year of the war in Europe.

2 people found this helpful

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Exceptional story

An incredible first person account of a company commander in a World War II. The story brings to life the actions of the 2nd division in the final year of the war with riveting action.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable read

I listened to the book 4x before claiming I was finished with it because there are parts of it where the narrator speaks too fast and key information is lost. The storyline itself is well told and the performance is gripping. If you're looking for your next listen and you want an entertaining story that dives into and develops the characters, then this one may work for you. I'll most likely listen to it again in a few weeks just to make sure I got it all.

1 person found this helpful

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Good story, wimpy narration

Solid history and insight. However, narrator’s effeminate reading was a constant distraction. Good articulation and pacing, but totally inappropriate for a combat commander. Every sentence hinted at upward inflection or tailed off softly. If reading the book is out, then go ahead and buy this narration, the story is worth accessing. Reading should be your first choice.

1 person found this helpful

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Exciting and moving

This was interesting , well narrated and believable. A great free selection. I will share. Now on to the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kevin foley
  • 10-27-21

Great book

Really enjoyed the book, great narration, drew me in and wasn’t full of the usual technical information, just a well rounded personal perspective of one man’s war, I recommend

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-26-21

Brilliant

Used this as a bed time thriller but ended up binging one or two chapters! Definitely a book to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nicole Jordan Gutierrez
  • 01-04-22

Moving & insightful

This is a fantastic first hand account of life in the front line during the final 12 months of the war.

I found myself really attached to Captain Charles B. Macdonald & his men in what was a beautifully written contemporary account.

Excellent narration really brought the characters to life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • deltavee
  • 05-02-22

A slow start builds to a great story

There are many, many books of the experience of soldiers in World War II. What makes this one unusual is the viewpoint. It’s written by someone very close to the action, who clearly wrote it while his memory was fresh. It does start a little slow but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with a great story worthy of your time and attention right to the end.

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  • bill
  • 04-01-22

Great book to understand war from a soldier’s perspective

Great narrative. Hard to understand how such people could live and die for such a cause.

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  • Red
  • 02-23-22

Great account from the European ww2 theatre

All good, brings you in closer to the humanity of the collective experience.

Technically there are a few faults in the audio production, duplicate phases etc where the post production has missed an edit. Nothing distracting.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-18-22

US Soldier's experiences

Fascinating account of American troops fighting their way across France and Germany in WWII. Why did the German army continue to fight on, though they faced overwhelming odds?

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  • Ian Smith
  • 02-02-22

Interesting personal view of infantry warfare

I enjoyed this book, which gave me an insight into how US infantry warfare in WW2 was managed and lead. The author, as a young officer, clearly had a very active part, leading two different companies of infantrymen in the closing stages of the war.
Very much a personal account, and very much of its time (1947). How an African American combat unit is referred to is a little startling today, and I suspect the author left out a personal incident or two in an intention to be discreet.
I respect him for admitting to his apprehensions and fear, and his concerns about whether he could be a decent commander in his mens' eyes.
I was rather bemused by the number of times he names comrades and details their places of origin in the US, as it seemed to be a bit too much detail. There was a lot of repetition too, but that made it seem more personal and less "ghost-written".

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  • Martin
  • 01-29-22

Company Commander

Magnificent. An understated account of American infantry soldiers in the European theatre of WW2. No gung ho nonsense and no false modesty. Having been a Company Commander myself ( in much easier times ) I can recommend this book to anyone who wants to know a REAL story from WW2.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-26-22

Plight of a young and fresh, American Captain, thrown in straight at the deep end

This audiobook is well performed and straight to the point. An insight into what life was like as a young replacement captain, as the allies pushed the axis back to Berlin. This marks my first audiobook that I have listened to fully and enjoyed throughout. Never a dull moment, always interesting and informed. I would recommend this audiobook to anyone, especially if you have an interest in history. This story depicts the day to day troubles and tasks of a captain commanding his men. It shines a light on the thoughts and feelings of a young man having to order his men into potential death.
Give it a go, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.