World War II was not known as a great "singing war"; but it has been said by a famous general that if all the soldiers had known "Dogface Soldier", it would have been. General Lucian K. Truscott called it “the best battle song of the war”.
The story of “Dogface Soldier” is one of the strange tales of the war. Written early in 1942 by two musically illiterate infantrymen as a protest against the very commercial war songs then being published, it was sung around among a few friends and soon forgotten – by the authors. They were sent to other branches of service, one in South America and the other in the Pacific. Meanwhile, the song had been carried to North Africa by a fellow with a guitar.
It struck home – catching and spreading from mouth to mouth with no help from radio, sheet music, or records. During the amphibious invasions of Italy “Dogface Soldier” surpassed all other songs as great morale ionic, and was actually sung during battle – not just neat it, or before it, but in it!
One of the “Dogface Soldiers” who chanted the tune was Audie Murphy who was destined to become America’s most decorated soldier of World War II. In preparing the film of his career, “To Hell And Back”, it was natural that Universal-International pictures should include the authentic and boisterous ballad of the foot soldier.
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