Wednesday, March 16, 2011



Several American novelists who had served in WWII wrote only a single book, usually based on their war experiences. Van van Praag is a particularly good example. His 1949 novel "Day Without End" [retitled "Combat" in 1951] is an authentically-written story that follows a US Army platoon in Normandy, 1944. Its accuracy and characterizations are spot-on, unmistakeably a soldier's tale, more than likely based on actual incidents during the war.
Born in New York City in 1920, van Praag was a truck salesman, a World's Fair lecturer, before he volunteered for miltary service. Van van Praag spent five years in the United States Army, was promoted up through the ranks, and commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. He fought in France as a platoon leader, was severley wounded, and returned home a
I read "Combat" many years ago, and I still remember it vividly. It sold 500,000 copies, but far as I know, it was the only book van Praage ever wrote.

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