The true story of the 101st Airborne Division’s most notorious squad of combat paratroopers—the inspiration for the classic WWII film, The Dirty Dozen.
Since World War II, the American public has learned of the exploits of the 101st Airborne Division, the paratroopers who led the Allied invasions into Nazi-held Europe. But within the ranks of the 101st, one unit attained truly legendary status. Known as the Filthy Thirteen, they were the real-life inspiration for The Dirty Dozen.
Primarily products of the Dustbowl and the Depression, the Filthy Thirteen became notorious within the elite Screaming Eagles for their hard drinking and savage fighting skills. From D-Day until the end of the war, the squad’s heart and soul—and its toughest member—was a half Native American soldier named Jake McNiece. McNiece made four combat jumps, was in the forefront of every fight in northern Europe, yet somehow never made the rank of PFC.
The Filthy Thirteen offers a vivid group portrait of hardscrabble guys whom any respectable person would be loath to meet in a dark alley: a brawling bunch whose saving grace was that they inflicted more damage on the Germans than on MPs, the English countryside, and their own officers.
The truth about The Dirty Dozen!
Sometimes it’s hard to believe the truth but this book is all about the truth.
Take it with a large grain of salt
If you’re comfortable with self-serving tales by a raconteur who had no respect for the customs of the service, who refused to accept the concept of self discipline and took avowed pride in frequent AWOLs, intoxication, incarceration and insubordination… If you don’t mind errors of simple fact, even in photo captions, or continually wondering how much is invented fiction, then enjoy the book. But if you’re looking for historical facts, or you have a respect for those who served honorably, this isn’t the book for you.
The Filthy Thirteen
My grandfather served in the 101st Airborne Division in WW II. He never talked about the war and we’re still searching for all we can find out about that portion of his life. Thank you so much for shedding a little more light on his Division.