When Raymond Gantter arrived in Normandy in the fall of 1944, bodies were still washing up from the invasion. Sobered by that sight, Gantter and his fellow infantrymen moved across northern France and Belgium, taking part in the historic and bloody Battle of the Bulge, before slowly penetrating into and across Germany, fighting all the way to the Czechoslovakian border.
With depth, clarity, and remarkable compassion, Gantter--an enlisted man and college graduate who spoke German--portrays the extraordinary life of the American soldier as he and his comrades lived it while helping to destroy Hitler's Third Reich. From dueling with unseen snipers in ruined villages to fierce battles in which the lightly armed American infantry skirmished against Hitler's panzers, Gantter skillfully captures one infantryman's progress across a continent where guns, fear, and death lay in wait around every bend in the road.
A graduate of Syracuse University who had played piano with jazz bands from the age of fourteen, Raymond Gantter was the program manager of the major radio station in Syracuse when he turned down his third draft deferment and entered the army. At thirty years of age, nearly six feet tall, and 130 pounds, Mr. Gantter made an unlikely infantryman, but in six months he went from private to acting squad leader to acting buck sergeant before being awarded the Silver Star and a battlefield commission. He began to write the journal that became Roll Me Over in September 1944 and finished the manuscript in 1949. He died in 1985, survived by his wife and two children.