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This history of the 313th Infantry is the result, actually, of a definite policy established early in the career of the Regiment. Col Sterling A. Wood took command in the spring of 1943, and one of the first questions he asked (and he has asked many since) was what was being done about a history of the Regiment. Answers were to the effect that the prospect had not advanced beyond the talking stage. The net result of the discussion was the termination of that stage and the initiation of the next one, i.e., getting something done about it.
Maj (then Capt) Raymond P. Godwin, the Regimental S-2, was given the task of organizing the work. He appointed Pfc Robert G. Deihl as recorder, and Pfc Stig Stabe as photographer. Thereafter a very fine camera was purchased in order that a photographic record of events might be kept, and Pfc Deihl began immediately to write up notes on the history of the Regiment as it had unfolded itself up until that date.
Deihl continued this work until the Regiment went overseas, when it was necessary to leave his accumulated manuscript behind, for security reasons. And, due to the pressure of business (!) in Normandy and elsewhere, there was little time or opportunity to establish the proper cultural surroundings appropriate to literary composition. The mere fact that Deihl was able to transcribe the entries on the Regimental log into a cohesive narrative at all, is a tribute to his industry and ingenuity.
With the end of the war came increased opportunity for work on the history. The breaking up of the Division interfered, of course, but plans were made whereby this obstacle could largely be transcended. Capt Thomas L. Lyons, the last S-2, volunteered to give his free time, after his return to the States, to the furtherance of the work. He and Deihl planned to go into conference with the Infantry Journal Press in Washington, D. C., whose policy on unit histories made the publication of this book possible. It is the spirit of loyalty and self-sacrifice of these two that deserves the gratitude of us all.
The book has been written by various people, which largely accounts for its non-uniformity of style. It is not intended to be a literary masterpiece, however, and I am quite sure that none of its authors have the "best seller" lists in mind. The purpose of this history is merely to entertain the ex-members of the Regiment, and to aid in their reminiscences, both spoken and unspoken.
Colonel Edwin M. Van Bibber
Infantry journal Press
United States Army, World War 1939-1945, Regimental histories, 313th Infantry
United States Army; Wood, Sterling A.; Van Bibber, Edwin M.; Lyons, Thomas L.; and Deihl, Robert G., "History of the 313th Infantry in World War II" (1947). World War Regimental Histories. 187.
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