The Combat Story of Ed Shames of Easy Company
I’ve read many of the Easy Company mens books over the years. From Major Winters to Don Malarkey. From Buck Compton to Shifty Powers. This time was the turn of Ed Shames.
Over the years, and over the many books that we all have on our collective bookshelves, the story of a man volunteering for the airborne, completing his training and heading into combat, is almost legendary. The devil is in the details. This book puts the reader front and centre, straight into familiar territory, but new eyes are telling the story.
Ian Gardner, our esteemed author, has chronicled Ed’s story with painstaking detail. The narration of the book is beautifully done by our author, but what is special, is the directness and clarity that is added throughout from Ed Shames himself, as he adds to the story. Ed adds his details in a meticulous manner. Nothing is left out. As Ed shares parts of his story, he ensures that names are not left out. A reflection of the memorialising of Easy and the other companies.
The campaigns fought are detailed elaborately and discuss areas that Easy Company books don’t have. We hear about the attack on Foy and those involved. The labour camp discovery is discussed. We hear about likes and dislikes that Ed had of others.
I’ve seen a review that said “it’s a decent if unremarkable story of WW2 “. I disagree with that review. How any story from the war and be considered ‘unremarkable’ is a strange concept to me? Everything these soldiers did. Volunteering, training, combat, knowing they may never come home…that’s pretty remarkable to me.
For me, I’m going to be honest, and say this one didn’t do much for me. It just didn’t keep my attention as other memoirs have. I did love the narration inserts from Ed. That added to the original work of the author.
Even with Ed’s input, I didn’t find this one as personable as some of the others. I have read some of the Easy memoirs where, because I have heard the subjects voice, I can almost hear them reading it to me. I have read some where I have seen the subject on interviews and can relate more to the book. This one I couldn’t.
I will re-read again, probably next year.