Dog Company

The Boys of Pointe du Hoc -- the Rangers Who Accomplished D-Day's Toughest Mission and Led the Way across Europe


By Patrick K. O’Donnell

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An epic World War II story of valor, sacrifice, and the Rangers who led the way to victory in Europe

It is said that the right man in the right place at the right time can make the difference between victory and defeat. This is the dramatic story of sixty-eight soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion, D Company — Dog Company — who made that difference, time and again.

From D-Day, when German guns atop Pointe du Hoc threatened the Allied landings and the men of Dog Company scaled the ninety-foot cliffs to destroy them; to the thickly forested slopes of Hill 400, in Germany’s Hü Forest, where the Rangers launched a desperate bayonet charge across an open field, captured the crucial hill, and held it against all odds. In each battle, the men of Dog Company made the difference.

Dog Company is their unforgettable story — thoroughly researched and vividly told by acclaimed combat historian Patrick K. O’Donnell — a story of extraordinary bravery, courage, and determination. America had many heroes in World War II, but few can say that, but for them, the course of the war may have been very different. The right men, in the right place, at the right time — Dog Company.

  • “No one doubts the bravery of the gallant men of Dog Company…And no one is more qualified to tell the tale than Patrick K. O'Donnell.”, 11/29/12
    “Fine and finely detailed…There is plenty of action here, plenty of detail about battles major and minor, plenty of heroism to contemplate, and plenty of material to keep readers fascinated by the events of World War II interested.”

    Philadelphia Tribune, 11/18/12

    “Thoroughly researched and vividly told.”

    Reference and Research Book News, December 2012

    “Written in a dramatic narrative style for general readers and WWII history buffs, the book emphasizes the roles and relationships of individual members of the company.”

    Midwest Book Review, November 2012

    “[An] excellent contribution to military history shelves, thoroughly accessible to scholars and lay readers alike.”

    San Antonio Express-News, 12/21/12

    “The daring combat actions by ‘boys' from America's heartland comes to life in Dog Company…O'Donnell captures the intensity of the mission.”

    Marion Sentinel, 12/20/12

  • “Tells [Tom Ruggiero's] D-Day story in tight detail. It also provides fresh and intimate looks at how the Plymouth native and others in Dog Company went on to fight their way across France and into Germany. O'Donnell's story captures the essence of bravery in a man we can all still proudly honor.”

    Milwaukee Public Library blog, 12/28/12
    “If you enjoyed Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers, then this new book on D Day…will be right up your alley. Well researched and written, the story of a company of US Army Rangers and their near impossible mission is a tale of honor, gallantry, persistence and death.”

    Seattle Times, 1/6/13
    “O'Donnell skillfully tells the tale of the 68 soldiers who made up the 2nd Ranger Battalion… Though there have been hundreds of books that tackled D-Day, none have given so much detail to this one company or to Pointe du Hoc… O'Donnell does an admirable job presenting the story of the Rangers in such minute detail that you feel you are there during the assault… Dog Company helps keep that sacrifice alive with the cinematic telling of a small story that forever changed history.”, 12/11/13:

  •  “[O'Donnell] writes vividly about war…Readers of Dog Company will be immersed in the soldiers' lives from training all the way to the battles they fought.”

    Lima News, 2/10/13

    “O'Donnell paints a vivid picture of the valor possessed by the 68 soldiers of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, D company during World War II. If you enjoyed ‘Band of Brothers,' this story is for you.”

    The Key Reporter, 3/12/13

    “Powerful, immediate and poignant.  The men of Dog Company richly deserve this remembrance of their valor.”

    Midwest Book Review, March 2013

    “A powerful account of World War II and a 'must' for any military history holding.”

    America in WWII, April 2013

    “O'Donnell effectively captures the story of these Dog Company Rangers in combat…A fast-paced personal story…It blows away the dust of history.”

    WestLife, 3/27/13

    “Provides an hour-by-hour account of Dog Company's stand against a much larger German force.”

    World War II, May/June 2013

  • Kirkus Reviews, 10/1/12
    “[An] inspiring story…O'Donnell engagingly describes how a dedicated team was built out of the specialist training it received, but he is at his best presenting the fortunes and shocks of battle as the months of planning and training were blown away in a series of mischances that also fortuitously safeguarded the unit from delayed pre-invasion bombing runs…A worthy tribute honoring each member of a small group of volunteers who responded to the call of duty.”

    Bookviews blog, November 2012

    “The story of the heroism of the men defies the imagination, but it is real and told well by a distinguished military historian.”

    Politics & Patriotism blog, 11/7/12
    “A fast-paced read that'll redefine your understanding of the U.S. Army Rangers in Europe during Word War Two.”

    Roanoke Times, 11/9/12

    “A fine tale of heroism and sacrifice marked by many personal interviews with the very few present-day survivors.”

    Kingman Standard, 11/7/12
    “Carefully documented and researched…[O'Donnell's] interviews of many surviving veterans have captured their stories in fitting detail…This is a 5-star book and one which every veteran can be proud of having on their bookshelf!”, 11/18/12
  • General Doug Brown USA (Ret.) Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command 2003-2007

    "This is an incredible story of courage under fire, leadership at all levels and bravery beyond comprehension. The bravery and leadership of Dog Company lives on in today's Army Rangers as they take the fight to America's enemies in the Global War on Terror. This is the story of real American heroes and no one can tell the story better than Patrick K. O'Donnell."

    Douglas Waller, author of Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage

    "Patrick O'Donnell has set the gold standard for war histories rich in color, drama and detail. With Dog Company, he's hit that high mark once more. Drawing on a trove of government reports plus hundreds of in-depth interviews with the men who fought, O'Donnell takes you from the scaling of Pointe du Hoc's murderous cliffs on the Normandy coast to the Battle of the Bulge and into the rubble of Germany. World War II comes to life through the eyes of this one company of intrepid U.S. Army Rangers."

    Clive Cussler, New York Times bestselling author

    "A great American writer."

    Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer prize winning author of Day of Battle

    "Remarkable and very readable...vivid."

On Sale
Nov 5, 2013
Page Count
336 pages
Da Capo Press

Patrick K. O’Donnell

About the Author

Bestselling author Patrick K. O’Donnell is a combat historian who has written nine books, including the William E. Colby Award winner Beyond Valor, Dog Company, and We Were One (selected for the Marine Commandant’s Professional Reading List). The author is the recipient of numerous awards include the prestigious OSS Society’s John Waller Award. Visit him at and

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