The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992

1 12 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Smith has included the 1946 congressional investigation into the Rapido fi-
asco, which was pre-judged by Secretary of War Robert Patterson and a gaggle
of congressmen. Division records had not been declassified and the investiga-
tion was superficial. Even though Clark was culpable, he was part of the vic-
torious military establishment and thus untouchable. This matter, however,
was best left to the judgment of historians.
The biggest criticism of Smith's work is the inclusion, verbatim, of the 36th
Division casualty reports. These losses were compiled immediately after the
Rapido crossing and are filled with error; accurate battle figures are elusive
even after the passage of years. The text of A Rzver Swzift and Deadly is in length
not much more than a long essay, so this inclusion suggests an attempt at pad-
ding. There are a few other irritating shortcomings, such as one misreading of
the combat records and the attribution of the founding of the Benedictine
Abbey of Monte Cassino to the sixteenth century instead of the sixth.
All in all, though, Smith has done a workmanlike and honest job of recreat-
ing those melancholy events in Italy of January 1944. Her book will take an
honorable place in the combat history of the Italian campaign of World War II.
Austzn, Texas ROBERT L. WAGNER
One Woman's War: Letters Home from the Women's Army Corps 1944-1946. By
Anne Bosanko Green. Foreword by D'Ann Campbell. (St. Paul: Minnesota
Historical Society Press, 1989. Pp. xxiv+308. Foreword, introduction,
photographs, illustrations, notes. $22.50.)
Anne Bosanko Green has given us a unique collection of revealing letters
concerning her experiences as a member of the Women's Army Corps in the
World War II era. This delightful, handsomely produced, and well-illustrated
volume, as D'Ann Campbell suggests in the excellent foreword, challenges the
historical neglect of the lives and experiences of military women in World War
II. Not only are these engagingly written and spirited letters worth reading for
the sheer joy of discovery, they will prove invaluable to those historians inter-
ested in understanding women's role in the war effort and to those who admit
the need to reassess the impact that the war had on women's subsequent lives.
Green enjoyed a warm and supportive relationship with her midwestern par-
ents. Thus, the weekly letters back home to Minnesota are characterized by
candor, humor, and somewhat graphic descriptions of how she spent her rec-
reational hours. On the whole the letters offer tender insight into the private
areas of white middle-class family relationships. But there is more. Green's
letters give a palpable account of the boredom, the homesickness, and the rou-
tine that was so much a part of army life. Beneath the surface of the cheerful
musings and glib concerns about money, parties, and presents, however, was
the poignant reality of the war. That the war was synonymous with death, in-
jury, and suffering seeps through the silent spaces. Green confided to her fam-
ily on August 22, 1945, "Death has really been stalking the halls of B[irming-
ham] G[eneral] H[ospital] lately. Sunday, even though I wasn't on call, I had to
go over to Surge to help" (p. 187).

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117153/. Accessed July 12, 2014.