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Fighting Fascism in Europe

The World War II Letters of an American Veteran of the Spanish Civil War

David Cane

Publication Year: 2003

On his first day in basic training in 1942, Lawrence Cane wrote his wife Grace from Fort Dix, New Jersey. I'm in the army now?really!he wrote, complaining, I don't have enough time to write a decent letter.Three years later, Capt. Lawrence Cane went home from World War II. He'd landed at Utah Beach on D-Day, helped liberate France and Belgium, and survived the Battle of the Bulge. He won a Silver Star for bravery. And he still managed to write 300 letters home to Grace. This book is a different kind of war story--both an powerful chronicle of life in battle and a unique portrait of courage fueled by a life-long passion for political justice.Cane's fight for freedom began well before D-Day. In 1937, joined the Abraham Lincoln Battalion and got wounded fighting for democracy in Spain. In 1942, at age 30, he enlisted in the new war against fascism, and as an officer with the 238th Combat Engineer Battalion, went ashore in Normandy to clear mines, destroy fortifications, and open roads from Normandy to the Siegfried Line. Of the 400 Spanish Civil War veterans in World War II, Cane was the only one to go ashore on D-Day.After the war, Lawrence Cane fought for civil rights and peace until his death in 1976. Discovered in 1995 by Cane's son David, his letters are not only classic accounts of war and unforgettable expressions of love for family. They are the fiercely patriotic words of a left-wing, working-class New York Jew (and one-time Communist Party member) who knew exactly why we fought---to create a better world by destroying all forms of fascism, one battle at a time.With a fascinating introduction by David Cane, detailed notes, and much additional material, these letters add a new dimension to the meaning of American patriotism and an invaluable chapter to the history of the greatest generation.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

G. Kurt Piehler, professor of history at the University of Tennessee and general editor of Fordham University Press’s World War II Series, has provided us with invaluable guidance. His prodding questions and careful attention to detail have added immensely...

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Introduction: Lawrence Cane's Fight Against Fascism

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pp. xi-xxxvii

As most Americans grappled with the challenges of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the political left looked beyond the economic problems of the nation and recognized that a greater threat, the rise of fascist and totalitarian governments, loomed on...

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Remembering Lawrence Cane

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pp. xil-liv

As an officer in the American Army, my father, Lawrence Cane, participated in the liberation of the notorious Nordhausen concentration camp in the closing days of the SecondWorld War. Some of the U.S. Army photographs that he brought home after


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p. lv-lv

1. Basic Training: Geiger Field,Spokane, Washington: August 28–November 8, 1942

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pp. 1-30

2. Officer Candidate School and Military Intelligence Training: Fort Belvoir, Virginia and Camp Ritchie, Maryland: November 9, 1942–July 31, 1943

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pp. 31-59

3. Preparing for the D-Day Invasion: England: January 25–June 5, 1944

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pp. 60-81

4. The D-Day Invasion and Beyond: Fighting in France and Belgium: June 6–September 14, 1944

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pp. 83-128

5. The Siegfried Line and the Battle of the Bulge: Fighting in Germany and Belgium: September 15, 1944–January 26, 1945

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pp. 129-164

6. The End of the Third Reich: Belgium, Germany, and France: January 27–May 8, 1945

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pp. 165-193

7. Waiting to Come Home: May 9–October 29, 1945

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pp. 194-218

Appendix A: History of The Ticker

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pp. 219-220

Appendix B

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pp. 221-222

Appendix C

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pp. 223-231

Appendix D

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pp. 232-233

Appendix E

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p. 234-234

Appendix F

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pp. 235-239

Appendix G

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pp. 240-247

Appendix H

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pp. 248-260

For Further Reading

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pp. 261-262


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pp. 263-268

E-ISBN-13: 9780823247837
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823222513
Print-ISBN-10: 0823222519

Page Count: 268
Publication Year: 2003

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Cane, Lawrence, 1912-1976 -- Correspondence.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American.
  • Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939 -- Veterans -- United States -- Correspondence.
  • United States. Army -- Officers -- Correspondence.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Western Front.
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