First published in 1948, when the memories were fresh, by a Jewish soldier, this is a wonderful novel, and thinly disguised memoir of life in the British Army in the days leading up to D-Day. One of the very few written in this period from the point of view of a regular soldier, rather than an officer or historian. A well-educated soldier, to be sure, and the observational skills of this author are such that he can draw portraits and landscapes with great vividness and intensity. The farmers and city boys who make up this battalion ring true, and this book was Highly praised by veterans as being a truthful account of the unexpected strengths and weaknesses of men in this situation. It's not long, and well worth the read if you're at all interested in war, men under stress from waiting and then going into battle, and a great introduction for teenagers to the history of WW2.